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.


The Valley Swallow (La golondrina del valle)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« One of the most amazing experiences I had during my six months in the Puchuncaví Prison Camp was to see the metamorphosis of the barbed wire fence into a huge musical score. This happened when a flock of swallows made a surprise visit and hundreds of them perched at different heights on the stiff barbed wire. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Anthem of Puchuncaví (Himno de Puchuncaví)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« A few weeks before being transferred to Valparaíso Jail - where I would face a war council on account of alleged violations of the State Interior Security Law and other military regulations that existed during the state of siege - I wrote a song that I called anthem, because I wanted it to be sung as a group at the end of our cultural events on Fridays. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Caliche

Author:
Calatambo Albarracín
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, December 1973 - February 1974
« Los de Chacabuco, a band founded and conducted by Ángel Parra, arranged this song. It was sung several times during the Saturday shows at the Chacabuco concentration camp. At the farewell concert for Angel, Alberto Corvalán recorded it on cassette, and a subsequent LP was produced from that cassette. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Alfonsina and the Sea (Alfonsina y el mar)

Author:
Félix Luna (lyrics) and Ariel Ramírez (music). Popularised by Mercedes Sosa.
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
Villa Grimaldi, January 1975
« It was not easy to endure being locked up in one of Villa Grimaldi’s miserable cells that resembled vertical coffins. It was even harderin the high temperatures of the summer months of the Andes foothills in Peñalolén. I was inside one of those cells, blindfolded, my feet and hands in chains. »
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Published on: 18 June 2015


With the Sprouts I Sowed (Y con brotes de mi siembra)

Author:
Andrés Rivanera (lyrics) and Eugenio Moglia (music). Popularized by Los Moros and Jorge Yáñez.
Testimony by:
Guillermo Orrego Valdebenito
« In Chacabuco there were two theatres: one that was very beautiful and was linked to the old saltpetre works, where it is claimed (wrongly as it happens) that Caruso once performed; and another theatre that was inside the concentration camp. At the latter venue, every Sunday night at about 8 o’clock, a show was performed with the sole participation of the political prisoners and in the presence of the camp’s guards, and at the express invitation of the Council of Elders, a body that represented the comrades in captivity. »
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Published on: 26 May 2015


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. »
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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