Tag Archives | Chile

42 Years Later, Officers Charged for Murder of Defiant Chilean Folk Singer

"Víctor Jara" by Source. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Víctor Jara">Fair use via Wikipedia.

Víctor Jara” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. To see more of Sarah Lazare’s articles, go here.

More than four decades after the Chilean military tortured and killed beloved folk singer, playwright, and social activist Victor Jara during the coup of General Augusto Pinochet, former officers allegedly involved in the murder are finally facing charges.

Judge Miguel Vázquez Plaza on Wednesday announced homicide and kidnapping charges against 10 former military officers, including former lieutenant Pedro Barrientos Nuñez, a resident of Florida who is seeking to avoid extradition to Chile. Four of the people indicted have already turned themselves in, and arrests are expected to follow.

Charges were also levied Wednesday for the slaying of Littre Quiroga Carvajal, former military police chief.

Jara’s widow, Joan Turner Jara, told reporters that the development offers a “message of hope,” but she went further, saying “we’re pushing forward in demanding justice for Victor with the hope that justice will follow for everyone.”

Over 40,000 people were tortured, murdered, or held as political prisoners during Pinochet’s dictatorship, which lasted for decades and was backed by the United States.

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The Calbuco Volcano in Chile Has Erupted — Here’s a Video

This is the first time in four decades that the Calbuco volcano has erupted. It blasted twice on Wednesday and about 5,000 people have evacuated.

Devastatingly beautiful.

According to NPR:

The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted this week for the first time in four decades. Quiet since 1972, it’s blown twice since Wednesday, generating striking images and concerns over the effects of both the lava and a mammoth cloud of ash.

That column of ejected ash measures nearly 7 miles, says Chile’s National Mining and Geology Service, citing a “flyby” that was made early Thursday. In its latest update, the agency says volcanic activity is finally diminishing but that a state of emergency remains for a 12-mile area.

Saying 5,000 people have left the area around the volcano, NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports, “Local officials say people are very, very frightened. The immediate concern is the volcano’s eruption could trigger snow melts and cause flooding.”

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Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry

Dinero Poetico

Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of my favorite filmmakers, but that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows my posts. I’ve seen all of the master’s films and was particularly excited by last year’s release of both The Dance of Reality and the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. The former was Jodo’s most recent feature film and the elegiac tone of the movie felt a bit like a summing up of a life and a career, and a few friends of mine even opined that they thought it would be the great magician’s last illusion.

Not so.

Taking a page from the younger set, Jodo has a new Kickstarter campaign underway to fund his next cinematic project. Here’s the skinny…

After a 23 yearlong absence, the director of cult classics El Topo (1969) and Holy Mountain (1973) made his comeback in film direction in 2013 with The Dance of Reality. The film was based on the first part of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s homonymous autobiographical book, depicting his childhood years in Tocopilla, Chile.Read the rest

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Take it and Like it: Corporate America and the Manipulation of Public Opinion

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill by Mark Weiser at Dissident Voice:

The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it’s likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors.

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World Leaders Call For End of Criminalization of Drug Use

drugwarToday in New York City, the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland join with Kofi Annan and others to call for the end of drug criminalization. They are also calling for legal and regulated use of psychoactive substances. This press conference is being held at 9:45 AM by the Global Commission on Drug Policy:

Via Drug Policy Alliance:

Today, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City. The event will be live-streamed and speakers include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.

The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.

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Chilean Artist, Activist ‘Liberates’ $500 Million Dollars of Student Debt — By Burning It

PIC: Coyau (CC)

PIC: Coyau (CC)

Andrea Germanos writes at Common Dreams:

An artist and activist in Chile has “freed” university students from their student debt by burning $500 million dollars in debt notes.

The action was the work of visual artist Francisco “Papas Fritas” Tapia, who took the debt notes during a student takeover of the University del Mar, burned them to ashes, and put them on display as an exhibit.

“Authorities began shutting down” the university “last year for financial irregularities and encouraged students to seek out alternative universities,” the Santiago Times reported, but “the university is still collecting on its student loans.” It is slated to close at the end of this year.

Chile has been hit since 2011 by waves of student protests that have denounced the Pinochet-era education policies that have enabled ‘profiteering’ and privatization at the nation’s schools, and have prompted demands for education to be a public good, not a commodity.

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Cybersyn, Salvador Allende’s Socialist Internet In 1970s Chile

Red_pepperRed Pepper on Cybersyn, an ingenious proto-internet largely unknown outside of a cult following:

The pioneering cybernetic planning work of the Chilean leader, his ministers and a British left-wing operations research scientist and management consultant named Stafford Beer was an ambitious, economy-wide experiment that has since been described as the ‘socialist internet’, an effort decades ahead of its time.

In 1970, Beer was hired to advise the government, and the scheme he plunged himself into was called Project Cybersyn, a ‘nervous system’ for the economy in which workers, community members and the government were to be connected together transmitting the resources they had on offer, their desires and needs via an interactive national communications network.

Although never completed, by the time General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the young administration in a US-backed coup, the advanced prototype of the system, which had been built in four months, involved a series of 500 telex machines distributed to firms connected to two government-operated mainframe computers and stretched the length of the narrow country and covered roughly between a quarter and half of the nationalised economy.

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Winged Humanoid Creature Spotted In Chile

criatura_chile

Inexplicata has a translation of an item making the rounds in Chilean news:

On 29 September near Bustamante Park in Santiago’s downtown area, a strange flying creature was seen flying from one tree to another. Its size was estimated at around 2 meters tall and shaped like a manta ray.

Ignacio, a young man who was the witness, made his narrative available to journalist Juan Andrés Salfate on Canal La Red. Eyewitness testimony soon appeared in other places in Santiago. A witness named Sylvia confirmed the image of this human-looking “flying manta ray” in the Los Barrenchea Commune.

Incidents such as the above are recorded every so often in Santiago. In the Peñaloén Commune, over the past two years, IIEE has managed to secure similar accounts. Furthermore, we recall deceased journalist Osvaldo Murray, who wrote about the flying men who landed in the trees of the town of Juanita Aguirre in the 1980s.

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Chilean Woman Cries Tears Of Blood

Via I Love Chile, doctors are baffled by the incredibly rare, quasi-religious condition of haemolacria, or crying tears of blood:
The rare disease haemolacria is known as one of the “most alarming and unusual complaints in opthalmology.” Twenty-year old Yaritza Oliva from Purranque, who cries tears of blood, says, “Nobody knows what I need, they don’t know what I have or what to do.” At first, Chilean doctors believed Yaritza to have an infection or the like, but since then ophthalmologist Dr Alexander Lutz has clarified doubts about this strange condition. The illness has not been declared as deadly, but the different victims have to suffer the pain of their condition and cases of discrimination as well. Until today, only three other cases of haemolacria have been reported: Calvino Inman, a 16-year-old boy from the United States, Twinkle Dwivedi, living in India and 12 when the illness broke out, and Rashida Khatoon from India.
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Authorities Hunt For Leader Of Chilean Cult That Burned Baby Alive As “The Antichrist”

cult leaderBrainwashing by enlightenment drug? Authorities claim that ayahuasca was imbibed as a means of “controlling” the sect’s white-collar ranks. Via NBC News:

Chilean police on Thursday arrested four people accused of burning a baby alive in a ritual because the leader of the sect believed that the end of the world was near and that the child was the Antichrist. The 3-day-old baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay on Nov. 21 and was thrown into a bonfire. The baby’s mother had allegedly approved the sacrifice and was among those arrested.

Authorities said the sect was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large. Castillo Gaete was last seen traveling to Peru to buy ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew plant that he used to control the members of the rite.

“Everyone in this sect was a professional,” Miguel Ampuero, of the Police Investigative Units, said.

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