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.


Priests and Soldiers (Curas y milicos)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« I don’t want to exaggerate but Camp Melinka became not only a factory that produced handicrafts and a performance hall but also a university. Every day there were classes to learn foreign languages, art, medicine or literature. Solar ovens were built. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Reflections (Reflexiones)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« Prison forced me to think quite a lot about my political past and my total commitment to an ideological cause and its consequences. In this song (composed in the Puchuncaví Detention Camp and only sung for my friends and cellmates) I reflect on my role as a prisoner songwriter. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Return, Return, Return (Volver, volver, volver)

Author:
Vicente Fernández
Testimony by:
Jorge Montealegre Iturra
« At the Chacabucan artistic performances, Hugo Peñaloza sang tangos, including “Volver” (Return) by Gardel and Le Pera. This caused a lot of self-ironic laughter when he sang  “que veinte años no es nada” (twenty years is nothing) given our situation of uncertainty in which no one knew how long we’d be imprisoned. »
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Published on: 06 January 2015


Run Run Went up North (Run Run se fue pa'l norte)

Author:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
Ernesto Parra Navarrete
Place & date:
« Run Run ... In the large sports field, mild summer weather was in the air. But for us, aching from the torture, hungry, haggard, stinking, tattered, tired of our uncertain future, all we longed for was a breath of energy that would allow us to feel that we were still alive and that the feelings of our absent loving partners were present. »
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Published on: 12 December 2014


Sadness (Tristeza)

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


Saint Gregory’s Tonada (Tonada San Gregorio)

Author:
Pedro Humire Loredo
Testimony by:
Pedro Humire Loredo
« This song* recalls the horrible situation I was subjected to in the cells of the police station in the San Gregorio district in southern Santiago. That afternoon of  September 11, 1973, I was at school correcting some music tests. After a while I heard a very loud bang on the door and went to open it at once. »
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Published on: 05 January 2015


Sinner, come to sweet Jesus (Pecador, ven al dulce Jesús)

Author:
Unknown
Testimony by:
anonymous
Place & date:
« One time a group of male and female evangelicals came to Teja Island to preach. They were taken to the visitors’ yard. Because we prisoners had nothing else to do, we went to see them. »
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Published on: 13 January 2018


Song of a Middling Man (Canción de un hombre medio)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« In our political discussions, we always spoke disdainfully of the middle class. In the view of the Marxist ideologues in prison, that large sector of society supported the dictatorship and it was necessary to reverse that trend. It was not an active support but rather a passive support that involved laying low and finding an accommodation with the dictatorship. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Song of the Disappeared (Canción del desaparecido)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« Several of my friends and comrades disappeared after being arrested. The dictatorship denied knowledge of their whereabouts but I knew they were lying. Many of these people had been in prison with me in the dungeons of Villa Grimaldi. This song was sung in a cell of Valparaíso Jail with one comrade keeping watch next to the door in case a prison guard approached. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Song of the Seed and the Plant (Canción de la semilla y la planta)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« History of the seed and the plant, of which this song forms part, was performed as a play to entertain our audience of children during a family visit to the prison. Imagination had no limits when it came to kindling a small flame of hope in our hearts. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015