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.


South-Eastern Storm (La Sudestada)

Author:
unknown
Testimony by:
Luis Alfredo Muñoz González
Place & date:
« While I was in solitary confinement in Cuatro Álamos, one day I noticed there was a large room at the end of the corridor, which, overnight, the "dinos" (members of the DINA secret police) had filled with prisoners. At the end of the day, these comrades organised quite a "jamboree": talking, sharing information, asking questions and singing. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 08 January 2015


St John

Author:
Ángel Parra
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, January - February 1974
« This song is the third track on the cassette recorded in the Chacabuco concentration camp by the band Los de Chacabuco, formed by Ángel Parra and conducted by him until his release. This song, like the Gospel of Luke, was performed by Los de Chacabuco during the masses offered by the chaplains for the benefit of both prisoners and soldiers. »
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Published on: 13 November 2015


Story of the Chair (Historia de la silla)

Author:
Silvio Rodríguez
Testimony by:
Eduardo Andrés Arancibia Ortiz
Place & date:
Cárcel de Santiago, 1980 - 1991
« This was one of the songs Silvio Rodríguez sang to us the day he visited the political prisoners in Santiago’s Public Jail in 1990. I had the chance to thank him on behalf of Víctor Zúñiga Arellano, a political prisoner who died in an escape attempt in 1987 in the Santiago Penitentiary, as this songwriter had been a treasured companion during Víctor’s life in hiding. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 05 January 2015


Sufferings (Dolencias)

Author:
Víctor Valencia Nieto
Testimony by:
Domingo Chávez Navarro
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 - April 1974
« Marcelo Concha Bascuñán sang this song, which many of us liked. I personally knew Marcelo and we were both released from prison at the same time. I left the country, whereas Marcelo stayed in Chile. The DINA picked him up and since then he is one of so many disappeared people. »
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Published on: 09 January 2015


Tacit Song (Canción tácita)

Author:
All the women present at that moment in Chacabuco
Testimony by:
Mónica García Cuadra
Place & date:
« I am the daughter of a former political prisoner who spent a long time imprisoned at Chacabuco, among other places. I am Monica, a little 9-year-old girl who travelled with a heavy heart full of sadness to visit her father, Gerardo García Salas, held at the Chacabuco concentration camp. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 13 January 2015


That General (Ese General)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« The night of 24 March 1976, the residents of cell 198 hardly slept. We hadn’t slept on account of a long, heated discussion about the prospects of revolution in Latin America’s Southern Cone. What had ignited our discussion was clear: that day we heard the news about the military coup in neighbouring Argentina. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


The Black King (El rey negro)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« One cold winter night of 1975, the small clinic of Melinka, in the Puchuncaví Detention Camp, became the setting for a touching story. »
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Published on: 02 December 2014


The Brief Space Where You Are Absent (El breve espacio en que no estás)

Author:
Pablo Milanés
Testimony by:
Vilma Rojas Toledo
Place & date:
Cárcel de Coronel, 1986 - 1988
« I recall that during my time as a political prisoner Pablo Milanés was one of our greatest companions. His songs filled us with life, helped us to keep breathing and living behind the bars imposed by Pinochet’s military dictatorship. Personally, I remember the song “El breve espacio en que no estás” (“The brief space where you are absent”) because it sparked such heated debate among my comrades that you would think we were trying to resolve a vital political issue. »
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Published on: 08 July 2015


The Crux of the Matter (La madre del cordero)

Author:
Tito Fernández
Testimony by:
Servando Becerra Poblete
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, 9 November 1973 - 10 November 1974
« I recited this poem in the National Stadium. I continued to do so in the Chacabuco prison camp, earning the nickname of “Venancio” from my fellow prisoners. »
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Published on: 18 December 2014


The Internationale

Author:
Eugène Pottier (lyrics) and Pierre Degeyter (music). Popularised by Quilapayún in 1970s Chile.
Testimony by:
Ana María Jiménez
Place & date:
Villa Grimaldi, April 1975
« In April 1975, the triumph in Vietnam was celebrated. We heard about it through a comrade who went to the bathroom and found a piece of the week’s newspaper. It was so beautiful for us to be there, having shouted so often for Vietnam at demonstrations. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 20 October 2016