Song of the Disappeared (Canción del desaparecido)

Music piece by:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Experience in:

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.


Published on: 23 September 2015

I’ve begun this song
upon hearing, in fright, an ill-fated scream.
The cruel beast that I detest
lashes the mind of an innocent man.

He finds refuge in the world
of his violated silence
while the raging blow
perforates his love.

I myself have been a witness
of what I am talking about and I can prove it.
The same soldier who imprisoned me
had his fill of torturing him.

It will be plain for the world to see
when the killer smugly
tells us in a self-assured tone
“my hands are clean”.

They will publish in the paper
that this prisoner lives with the guerrilla.
Yesterday I saw him on the "grill"
his hands bound, his legs burned.

They will kill him without killing him
they will wipe him off this world.
The sad ones will bury him
the just will hate deeply.

Even if the body buried by dangerous claws
rests in the earth
no piercing spear
will wound the ideals of the libertarian.

He will remain in this world
lighting up the path.
The thoughts of the dying man
will not be forgotten, comrade.

The bitterness of this moment
became a wail in this throat.
Sadness is a plant
that grows in every man until it blossoms.

So this world blossoms
with the pain of the lost ones
with the fertile battles
for the disappeared.