National Anthem of Chile

Music piece by:
Eusebio Lillo and Ramón Carnicer
Testimony by:
Eduardo Ojeda
Experience in:

We arrived at Dawson Island on the afternoon of 11 September(1973) Day when the Chilean armed forces led by Augusto Pinochet overthrew President Salvador Allende.. All we knew was that we had been arrested in the morning - nothing else.

We arrived at the first detention camp, called Compingin. Music was with us all of the time on the island.

First of all, were the military songs we were forced to sing. If prisoners arrived from Pudeto, we had to sing that regiment’s anthem.

We also had to learn the anthems of the Cochrane and Telecommunications regiments. The infantrymen would say, 'here's the anthem, you have until the afternoon to learn it by heart'.

When we were in Compingin, one morning at dawn a group of ministers and senators were brought in from Santiago.

We were completely separated from each other. We wondered who the new arrivals might be. Some said: 'They’re bringing the women'.

At six o'clock in the afternoon, they lined us up to sing the National Anthem. We became aware of singing from the prisoners on the other side, the ones who had just arrived from Santiago. You could hear male voices. It wasn't the women.

In Cochrane, the marines were really ignorant about music. More than once Lanfranco sang 'Te recuerdo Amanda' (I remember you, Amanda). The marines had no idea what they were listening to.


Published on: 16 October 2015

Pure, Chile, is your blue sky
pure breezes cross over you too
and your field of embroidered flowers
is the happy copy of Eden.

Majestic is the white mountain
that the Lord gave you for bulwark
and that sea that serenely bathes you
promises the splendour to come.

[Your names, courageous soldiers
who have been the pillar of Chile
are engraved on our breasts
our children will know it too.]The Pinochet regime reinstated this stanza, which had previously been in disuse for a long time. It was removed again when democracy was restored in 1990.

Sweet Fatherland, receive the vows
which Chileans swore on your altar.
May you be the tomb of the free
or their refuge against oppression.