Testimonies

Testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the newest first.
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Alfonsina and the Sea (Alfonsina y el mar)

Song by:
Félix Luna (lyrics) and Ariel Ramírez (music). Popularised by Mercedes Sosa.
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Experience in:
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)

Song by:
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

Song by:
Cat Stevens, based on a traditional Gaelic hymn; lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
« 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)

Song by:
Unknown. Folk tune from the Andes highlands
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
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)

Song by:
The Turtles, with new lyrics by Gianni Morandi
Testimony by:
Eduardo René Cuevas
Experience in:
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)

Song by:
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)

Song by:
Víctor Jara
Testimony by:
Joaquín Vallejos
Experience in:
« 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

Song by:
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)

Song by:
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)

Song by:
Eduardo Falú and Jaime Dávalos
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
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