Dona Nobis Pacem

Author:
text from Agnus Dei (Roman Catholic Mass); music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:
« Music was always present in my family. My dad played the violin and my mum the piano. When I was a child, my mum sent us to dance and piano lessons. I also learnt at the Evangelical Church and sang on the radio. My husband Mario played the guitar very well and had a wonderful tenor voice. »
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Melody by Jorge Peña Hen

Author:
Jorge Peña Hen
Testimony by:
María Fedora Peña
Place & date:
Cárcel de la Serena, October 1973
« “Look here, Maria Fedora. I’ve brought you a treasure...” - it was the voice of my brother Juan Cristián as he crossed the doorway of our mother’s house one morning in January 1983. Peering over the staircase banister, I saw him raise his right hand with something clenched inside. »
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Melody by Jorge Peña Hen

Author:
Jorge Peña Hen
Testimony by:
Eliseo González
Place & date:
Cárcel de la Serena, October 1973
« Jorge Peña Hen was in solitary confinement that day. I don’t know how, but someone brought him matches. With his saliva, he made ink from the phosphorus tips, which he then used to write a score of music on a scrap of paper. »
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The Little Fence (La rejita)

Author:
lyrics: collective creation; music: “Jálame la pitita” by Luis Abanto Morales (Peruvian polka)
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:
« Let’s get going, would say “the lizards”, as we called the policemen because they dress all in green. I looked and looked so I wouldn’t forget anything, because I didn’t know how many years I would be locked up for. I was emotional too: one gets frightened. »
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The Little Fence (La rejita)

Author:
lyrics: collective creation; music: “Jálame la pitita” by Luis Abanto Morales (Peruvian polka)
Testimony by:
María Cecilia Marchant Rubilar
Place & date:
Cárcel de Mujeres Buen Pastor, La Serena, September 1973 - January 1974
« We always sang this song when we were taken to Regimiento Arica. That was a torture centre. On our departure and return, the female prisoners who remained behind also sang the song. The lyrics were a collective effort, it was like our anthem. »
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Three Mountaineers (Eran tres alpinos)

Author:
Unknown. Traditional Spanish children's song
Testimony by:
María Cecilia Marchant Rubilar
Place & date:
Cárcel de Mujeres Buen Pastor, La Serena, September 1973 - January 1974
« We adapted this song and produced a play based on it. Each of us played one of the characters. We spent a lot of time on this. We performed the play to the other women prisoners in both centres within the prison: Regina Coellys and Alborada. »
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We Shall Prevail (Venceremos)

Author:
Claudio Iturra (lyrics) and Sergio Ortega (music)
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:
« The parish priest at Buen Pastor played the accordion. He played so beautifully. Because I played the piano, I asked him if I could borrow it. “I’ll lend it to you” he said. Discreetly I began to learn “Venceremos”, “La Internacional”, the National Anthem and the Anthem of the Police. »
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We Shall Prevail (Venceremos)

Author:
Claudio Iturra (lyrics) and Sergio Ortega (music)
Testimony by:
María Cecilia Marchant Rubilar
Place & date:
Cárcel de Mujeres Buen Pastor, La Serena, September 1973 - January 1974
« I was studying to be a chemistry teacher at the University of Chile in La Serena. I was 21 years old when I was arrested. I think I was picked up due to a specific fact. I was regularly sent copies of the El Rebelde (The Rebel) newspaper by train, in order to distribute them in parts of Region IV. »
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What Will the Holy Father Say (Qué dirá el Santo Padre)

Author:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
María Cecilia Marchant Rubilar
Place & date:
Cárcel de Mujeres Buen Pastor, La Serena, September 1973 - January 1974
« We sang songs that were popular at the time. We’d sing "What will the Holy Father say," especially the part that says "What will the Holy Father who lives in Rome say ... they are slitting the throat of his dove..." quite often, for example when someone was taken off to Regimiento Arica, which was a torture centre. »
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