Four Chilean SOA Graduates Charged with 1973 Murder of Victor Jara
On Friday, December 27, Chilean Judge Miguel Vásquez charged two Chilean officials, Pedro Barrientos and Hugo Sanchez, in the 1973 murder of Chilean folk singer Victor Jara; six others were charged as accomplices. Four of the eight took courses at the School of the Americas. Pedro Barrientos, the second-in-command of the National Stadium, which was turned into a open-air prison following the September 11th US-sponsored coup, and Raúl Jofré took the same Officers' Orientation course in 1968; Edwin Dimter Bianchi took a Combat Arms Orientation course in 1970; and Jorge Smith Gumucio took a Combat Arms Orientation course in 1972. SOA graduate Pedro Barrientos currently lives in Deltona, a city southwest of Daytona Beach in Florida.
Victor Jara was one of the Pinochet regime's first victims. SOA graduates filled the ranks of the Chilean dictatorship's military and the feared intelligence unit, the DINA.
Victor Jara was a symbol of justice and progress in the Americas, and his voice encouraged millions to continue moving towards a just and fair society. Though his life was cut short by the brutal US-sponsored dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, his legacy lives on through the changes happening throughout Latin America.