Summary: US court finds Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez guilty of murder of Victor Jara

Orlando, 27th June 2016: a jury has found Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez liable for the torture and murder of the Chilean musician Víctor Jara, who was killed during General Augusto Pinochet’s military coup in 1973. The court ordered Barrientos to pay $28 million in damages.

SRT grantee the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and legal firm Chadbourne & Parke filed a civil suit against Barrientos in September 2013 on behalf of Mr Jara’s family, alleging his responsibility for Jara’s torture and execution. Jara was one of thousands of intellectuals, political leaders and perceived supporters of the Allende government detained en masse at Chile Stadium during the early days of the coup. His torture and death came to symbolise the suffering of all those detained, tortured, and killed at the stadium, many of whom have yet to be identified.

Eyewitnesses testified that Barrientos, a former senior military officer in Chile who has since moved to the USA, was at the scene of Jara’s death and had boasted of killing him.

Victor Jara’s widow Joan Jara said, “It has been a long journey seeking justice for Victor’s death. His songs continue to be sung today, and inspire both artists and those who seek social justice. For Victor, art and social justice were one and the same. Today, there is some justice for Victor’s death, and for the thousands of families in Chile who have sought truth. I hope that the verdict today continues the healing.”

CJA’s Director C. Dixon Osburn said, “We believe that perpetrators of the worst human rights crimes should be held to account, no matter how long it takes or where they try to hide […] We hope that the verdict today provides some measure of justice and accountability for those who have fought so hard to see this day.”

Full coverage from CJA’s website:

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