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.


Lucía

Author:
Joan Manuel Serrat
Testimony by:
Beatriz Bataszew Contreras
Place & date:
« Tres Álamos was a more “normal” camp, even though we never had a trial. There was a lot of music, it was sort of ritualistic. There were days when we put more enthusiasm into it, on Saturdays or Sundays after the visits, although I’m not all that sure. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 08 November 2016


Lucky Devil (El suertúo)

Author:
Víctor Canto and Luis Cifuentes (lyrics), Roberto Parra (music)
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973- February 1974
« This cueca* was composed at Chacabuco some time between November 1973 and February 1974, and was sung by Los de Chacabuco, of which Víctor Canto and I were members. »
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Published on: 17 December 2014


May the Omelette Turn Over (Que la tortilla se vuelva)

Author:
Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio. Ppopularized by Quilapayún
Testimony by:
Claudio Melgarejo
Place & date:
« I spent a week in captivity, in November 1973. I didn’t hear many songs, but the most popular ones sung by my comrades were "Venceremos" (We shall be victorious) and “Que la tortilla se vuelva” (May the omelette turn over), also known as "The song of the tomato", which portrays the bosses' exploitation of the workers. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 13 July 2015


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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Published on: 01 July 2016


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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Published on: 26 April 2016


Mid-Afternoon Love (Amor de media tarde)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This song was dedicated to Graciela Navarro, who embellished my prisoner's life the days we were allowed to receive visitors. During the week, when the hourly monotony became unbearable, she would use her free moments to deliver roses and brief love letters for me at the prison gate. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Morning Has Broken

Author:
Cat Stevens, based on a traditional Gaelic hymn, and words 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, there were many who 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


Musicalized Dialogue between Two Old Prisoners (Diálogo musicalizado entre dos ancianos presos)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« At Puchuncaví Detention Camp (Melinka) I shared a cell with an elderly man from Lota, where he had spent his entire life working in the coal mines. I was struck by the way he spoke. It was very different from the “Chilean” way of a twenty-something year-old like me from the capital like me. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


National Anthem of Chile

Author:
Eusebio Lillo and Ramón Carnicer
Testimony by:
Boris Chornik Aberbuch
« The Puchuncaví detention camp’s daily routine included mandatory participation in the ceremonies of raising and taking down the Chilean flag on the flagpole at the entrance to the camp. »
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Published on: 15 December 2014


National Anthem of Chile

Author:
Eusebio Lillo and Ramón Carnicer
Testimony by:
anonymous
Place & date:
« I was detained in Panguipulli on 24 September 1973, along with 17 other young people. I was a high school student. I was also working at the forestry and logging company of Huilo Huilo, which had been taken over by the working class. We were tortured for two or three days at the police station of Panguipulli. »
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Published on: 13 January 2018