CHILE: EIGHT EX-MILITARY MEMBERS ARE PROSECUTED FOR THE MURDER OF SONGWRITER VICTOR JARA
On Dec. 28 a Chilean judge prosecuted eight former army officers for alleged involvement in the murder of songwriter Victor Jara, which occurred on Sept. 16, 1973 during the coup d’état led by Augusto Pinochet. The decision made by judge Miguel Vasquez, includes men that at that time were in charge of hundreds of prisoners confined to the Chile Stadium belonging to the capital of the country. One of those prosecuted, Pedro Barrientos Nuñez, was issued an international arrest warrant and the other seven were placed under house arrest to be confined to a military police battalion. Nuñez, who currently lives in Florida, was prosecuted as the main person responsible for the singer’s murder along with the ex-official Hugo Sanchez Marmonti. Jara—one of the symbols for the struggle for human rights and justice in Latin America and a representative of Salvador Allende’s socialist government and writer of the song Te recuerdo Amanda and El cigarillo—was killed with “at least 44 bullet shots by machine gun fire,” according to the autopsy. He died after being subjected to various forms of torture, among them cigarette burns and broken hands due to repeated blows from the head of a gun. The Chile Stadium was renamed Victor Jara Stadium in 2003.
MEXICO: SUBCOMANDANTE MARCOS ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF THE ZAPATISTA POLITICAL AGENDA
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation returned to the political arena on Dec. 21 and organized a silent protest, the biggest protest of the organization since they took up arms Jan. 1, 1994.
It did so with three extensive statements signed by Subcomandante Marcos, in which he: disqualifies all of the politicians; summons the new president Enrique Peña Nieto to fulfill the agreements of San Andres (agreements signed in 1996 that modified the national constitution to grant rights, including autonomy, to the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico and to meet the demands concerning justice and equality for the indigenous peoples and the poor of the country); and announces the beginning of a series of civil actions. Some 40,000 peoples, with their faces covered with helmets, marched during the entire protest silently and peacefully through various towns in Chiapas (in the south of Mexico). “Our message is not one of resignation, nor of war, nor of death or destruction. Our message is of struggle and resistance,” wrote Marcos in one of the statements.