Little Doctors (Doctorcitos)

Author:
Unknown. Folk tune from the Andes highlands
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
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 satyrical reference to lawyers and, by implication, to civil servants. It is performed at carnival time.

We arranged it as an instrumental tune, with no lyrics. Ricardo played impressive solos on the quena and the melody was accompanied by the rhythmic movements of the band members, something that was an innovation in our performances. Other instruments in use were guitar and charango.

The problem with the 'Doctorcitos' tune was that there were no recordings of the version we chose at Chacabuco. We had to learn it completely from memory. It was exciting to be able to do so. Other versions of 'Doctorcitos', such as those you can find on YouTube (Festival de Oruro), have different melodies, although it is interesting to see the costumes used by the street pageants and the ridiculous attire they wear.

The most important thing for us when we were rehearsing and recording was the memory of our great and admired friend Marcelo Concha: we did it as a homage to him. It was a labour of friendship and respect.

Recording made by political prisoners in Chacabuco in 1974.

This speech is the fourth track on the cassette recorded at Camp Chacabuco by the group Los de Chacabuco, created by Ángel Parra and directed by him until his release from prison. The unique value of this speech lies in the fact that our dear Marcelo was the only member of Los de Chacabuco who after being released was imprisoned again, and has been disappeared to this day. Marcelo had been a swimming champion and an outstanding guitarist and singer. The memory of his bonhomie, charm and enthusiasm remains with us.

Transcription of the speech:

"The group Chacabuco salutes its director and creator, Ángel Parra, to whom we owe the fact that we have been able to perform the songs that feature on this tape. They are yet another manifestation of the multiple activities - artistic, intellectual, manual, cultural and productive - which have been taking place here at Chacabuco camp. These songs are also a reflection of love towards the people who are waiting for us, and, in general, to all of those who have shown their solidarity, their concern and their support towards everyone who is in our situation. It is, therefore, a manifestation of hope, of trust, of faith, in sum: of love for life - which is love for freedom."

Victims remembered in this testimony:


Published on: 09 April 2015

Recorded in 2015 by MACOMBA, a group of ex-prisoners and friends, as a homage to Marcelo Concha.