Testimonies

The testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the new ones first.
Click on to sort by witness, to sort alphabetically by musical piece title, or to sort by publication date.


Morning Has Broken

Author:
Cat Stevens, based on a traditional Gaelic hymn; lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
« At the time of the coup in 1973, this song was world-famous and frequently played on the radio. As transistor radios were quite small, many people were arrested with one of these in their pockets, and a significant number were not searched and confiscated by the military. »
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Published on: 25 April 2015


Little Doctors (Doctorcitos)

Author:
Unknown. Folk tune from the Andes highlands
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, January - February 1974
« Agreeing to a suggestion from Ricardo, Los de Chacabuco learned and arranged this tune. In the Andean high plateau, the tune is a satirical reference to lawyers and, by implication, to civil servants. It is performed at carnival time. »
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Published on: 09 April 2015


The Rain is Falling (Scende la pioggia)

Author:
The Turtles, with new lyrics by Gianni Morandi
Testimony by:
Eduardo René Cuevas
Place & date:
Cárcel de Los Ángeles, September 1973
« This song was a workhorse for the prisoners. Iván Moscoso sang it, accompanied by a guitar, in a powerful and defiant voice, and the most altruistic among us sung along in the presence of the gendarme guards, in a courtyard that was only for political prisoners. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 31 March 2015


Gigi the Ladies’ Man (Gigi l’amoroso)

Author:
Jacqueline Misrahi, Lana Sebastian and Paul Sebastian. Popularised by Dalida.
Testimony by:
Eduardo René Cuevas
« This song was used while the Military Intelligence Service (SIM) subjected me to cruel torture at a clandestine torture centre in the southern Chilean city of Los Ángeles. »
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Published on: 21 March 2015


Neither Fish nor Fowl (Ni chicha ni limoná)

Author:
Víctor Jara
Testimony by:
Joaquín Vallejos
Place & date:
« I was arrested at home together with a childhood friend who they’d gone to pick up first. My family thought he’d stitched me up, which was not true. My friend had nothing to do with politics; he just wanted peace and freedom. He was a hippie and very committed to helping those in need. »
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Published on: 08 March 2015


La López Pereyra

Author:
Artidorio Cresseri
Testimony by:
Germán Larrabe
« This Argentine zamba* was the first song we tried to perform in Puchuncaví, with a group made up of prisoners transferred from Chacabuco Detention Camp together with us, newly arrived 'Puchuncas'. »
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Published on: 05 March 2015


Sadness (Tristeza)

Author:
Hermanos Núñez
Testimony by:
Germán Larrabe
« A very sad song, often performed by parents of young children. »
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Published on: 05 March 2015


An Old Love Tune (Tonada del viejo amor)

Author:
Eduardo Falú and Jaime Dávalos
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 - February 1974
« The Los de Chacabuco band, created and conducted by Ángel Parra, performed this zamba* by Eduardo Falú and Jaime Davalos at the camp’s weekly shows. »
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Published on: 19 February 2015


Amalia Rosa

Author:
Tino Carrasco
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 - February 1974
« Los de Chacabuco, a band founded and conducted by Ángel Parra, performed this Venezuelan folk song, known as joropo*, singing it at the weekly prison camp show. I dare say it was one of the favourite songs of the audience, comprised of political prisoners. »
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Published on: 19 February 2015


Words for Julia (Palabras para Julia)

Author:
José Agustín Goytisolo (lyrics) and Paco Ibáñez (music)
Testimony by:
Amelia Negrón
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Tres Álamos, 1975 and 1976 until Tres Álamos was closed on 28 November 1976
« There were so many of us women prisoners. Despite the circumstances we had managed to invent our own world, one with our rules, according to what we thought and wanted for ourselves, our families and all the Chilean people. One might think we were ambitious women, and yes, we certainly were. »
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Published on: 10 February 2015