Anthem of Puchuncaví (Himno de Puchuncaví)

Song by:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely

A few weeks before being transferred to Valparaíso Jail - where I would face a war council on account of alleged violations of the State Interior Security Law and other military regulations that existed during the state of siege - I wrote a song that I called anthem, because I wanted it to be sung as a group at the end of our cultural events on Fridays. The song was written so that every prisoner, regardless of political affiliation, could sing it. The only way to strengthen prisoners’ unity was to realise that all of us lived in the same conditions.

From what other prisoners have said, we know that the “Himno de Puchuncaví” continued to be sung in the detention camp, both at the Friday cultural events as well as in everyday prison life – even after I was transferred to Valparaíso Jail.

The version I recorded for the album Documento (1986) includes an instrumental introduction, inspired by the tune of an anthem sung in a concentration camp in the first years of Nazism in Germany. That song was called “Die Moorsoldaten” (“Soldiers of the mud”), which prisoners of the Burgermoor concentration camp sang during their backbreaking working days.

Published on: 22 June 2015

From the Andes peaks,
crossing central valleys
pampa lands, wetlands,
they come from everywhere.

They are like the shine of golden copper,
braided legs, hands that plough the field,
dreamers, carved bodies,
they come from everywhere.

They search for lost streets,
their barefoot voices, songs of life,
they have loves, they don’t forget them,
they come from everywhere.

They speak of history but have no past,
rock upon rock they were forged,
they want to be wind, they want to be water,
they come from everywhere.