South-Eastern Storm (La Sudestada)

Music piece by:
Poni Micharvegas
Testimony by:
Luis Alfredo Muñoz González
Experience in:

Some testimonies have short notes that explain Chilean slang, dates, names, acronyms, concepts and important contexts. To read the notes, click on the underlined wordsThis is a sample note..

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 dinosAgents of the DINA (National Intelligence Directorate), the secret police of Pinochet’s dictatorship between 1974 and 1977. had filled with prisoners.

At the end of the day, these comrades organised quite a 'jamboree': talking, sharing information, asking questions and singing. It was a frenetic activity of solidarity, support, courage and warmth.

One afternoon, I heard a voice that stood out from all the others, a song and music I’d never heard before. It was a beautiful, strong and clear voice. The voice didn’t seem to come from the big room but rather a cell close to mine.

When I became a recognised prisoner and was allowed to talk to other prisoners, I tried to find the comrade behind the song, but no one knew of his whereabouts. Some time afterwards someone told me that his name was Horacio Carabantes, and he was from Valparaíso.

Although I only heard the song a few times before Carabantes disappeared from the prison block, I’ve never forgotten it. During my years in exile, I sang 'his' song as often as I could and to whoever wanted to listen. It leaves everyone moved even if they don’t understand Spanish.

Victims remembered in this testimony:

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Published on: 08 January 2015


I was sat in the sun one day
by myself at the table
I was pleased with myself
my life was my riches.

It was not just another day
it was not a day
when things happened without touching me
I was facing the sun, the clear sky
and anyone who wanted to talk to me.

It wasn't the wine nor the drugs
It wasn't old flames nor beer
it was a sunny day that I loved
my life, its misery and splendour.

I was sat in the sun one day
by myself at the table
and suddenly something overcame me
it was a big Sudestada in my head.

I grabbed her with my hands
with the nails
with the arms
with the chest
with the legs
I grabbed her, grabbed her
grabbed her so much
wrapped up in fear
on this table.

I kissed her with the lips
with the mouth
with the teeth
with the taste
with the tongue
I kissed her, kissed her
I love her so much
this Sudestada in my head
this Sudestada in my head
this Sudestada in my head.