Why does the afternoon cry (Por qué llora la tarde)

Music piece by:
Antônio Marcos. Popularised in Chile by Claudio Reyes
Testimony by:
Carolina Videla
Experience in:

My prison term happened during the last year of the dictatorship after the NoIn October 1988, a plebiscite was held to decide if Pinochet should continue in power for another eight years. vote won. I was set free because of 'lack of evidence', after a year and a half in prison.

Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve of 1988, as they did every year, the youths of the Brigada Ramona ParraMuralist brigade of the Communist Party of Chile. saluted the crowd on Tucapel road.

One of the members of the brigade, Salvador Cautivo, was killed by a policeman’s bullet. That night we went to the house of a comrade as the funeral was going to take place the next day at the parish church.

But in the morning soldiers and policemen arrived and arrested us all, except a comrade’s partner, who was pregnant.

I was in solitary confinement at Arica Prison for 11 days, as ordered by the military prosecutor, in a room located in a long corridor. Opposite there was a group of prisoners who I believe were homosexuals.

In the afternoon they watched the soap opera 'A la sombra del ángel' ('In the shadow of the angel'), which played a song called 'La tarde está llorando' ('The afternoon is crying'). I listened to that song for 11 days.

Every time I hear 'La tarde está llorando', I remember the time in prison. This connection has stayed with me. It’s a mixture of emotions.

I see memory as an exercise to give new meanings to the past. As the years go by you give it a different meaning or understand it differently.

When I remember my imprisonment, I feel a lot of nostalgia and sorrow for all it meant and did to me and my family.

Victims remembered in this testimony:


Published on: 26 September 2018

Why does
the afternoon cry and its weeping
grieves on its path.
Why does it cry even when it has
the beauty of sun and colour.
Why does the afternoon cry
even when it knows there is a tomorrow
and happiness after storms
is a sunny day.

Why does
the afternoon cry in the river
splashing it riverbed
why does it cry yelling
at the winds its anxiety and pain.

It’s because you left my dear
looking for other horizons
and today I understand
that the afternoon
also misses my love.

The afternoon is crying and it’s for you
because it sees the loneliness of my path
the afternoon saddened along with me
and I need this afternoon for shelter.

The afternoon is crying and it’s for you
it knows that my love has abandoned me
her steps lost in the void
and this rain wets my desolate soul.