Thousands continued to protest against Chilean President Sebastián Pinera in Santiago on Wednesday, with several demonstrators carrying a giant effigy of iconic Chilean singer-songwriter Víctor Jara.
“Victor Jara has been an emblem for a long time. Today he is being remembered in these demonstrations because we are also demanding our right to live in peace. Victor Jara spoke of peace with social justice. Chile demands the end of repression and calls on the President to listen to the social organizations that are right here in the street,” said Camilo Sanchez, president of the Communist Youth of Chile.
Jara “belongs to the Chilean people and it’s good that he is here in the street, where he would have liked to participate as well. We have him here as an emblem, but we know that he is much more than that. It is the demand, the demand for peace and social justice,” added Sánchez.
Victor Jara was tortured and murdered after the 1973 coup d’état in Chile. Former Chilean military officer Pedro Barrientos Núñez was convicted of his murder in 2016.
The massive anti-government demonstrations in Chile were initially triggered by a metro fare hike which was later withdrawn. But protests continued with demands to address the rising cost of living, pension reform and alleged abuse of power by police.