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Old 08-30-2000, 12:32 AM   #1
Babyface
 
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who is jara?

hey. just have one question. in one tree hill, the lyric: jara sang, his song a weapon. does anyone know who jara is, or what this refers to? love the song but that lyric is somewhat of a mystery to me. thanks a lot!



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Old 08-30-2000, 01:33 AM   #2
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Victor Jara was a chilean songwriter who composed and performed songs written for the Allende Regime. When Pinochet's army headed de government coup in September 1973, one of the first posts they took was the Technical University. Jara was there, so he spent his time trying to cheer everybody up with his music. There was nothing else he could do. For being a communist and agitator, he was taken to prison. He was tortured and so he died. Armed only with his guitar and his songs as a defense, Jara stood for what he believed until the last moment.
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Old 08-30-2000, 10:45 AM   #3
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wow. thanks much one:love.

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Old 08-30-2000, 04:45 PM   #4
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Well play the blues, I'm mexican/chilean and this kind of subjects (Allende...) rise very heated discussions in my house. I guess that as with anyone coming from such a background, strong feelings are meant to be involved. And even today resentments are still present, like wounds that won't heal up. My father is from Chile and there are subjects that you just can't touch. Chile is the most politized country in Latin America, like what Italy is to Europe.
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Old 08-30-2000, 11:35 PM   #5
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Hey one:love. I have to confess i know very little about Chilean history. I've only even heard of Pinochet fairly recently because of his trial in England. If you feel like talking more about this i'd be interested in learning. I gather Allende's regime was communist or socialist? Was Pinochet supported by the people, or was it mainly the military? And thanks again for the information on Victor Jara. That song has new meaning for me now thanks to the added background info.
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Old 08-31-2000, 01:08 AM   #6
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Hey one:love, another latin here, Im brazilian. Im always interested in Chilean history, mainly in the Allende/Pinochet period, so I intend to follow this thread, maybe I can learn with you, as play the blues said.
About Victor Jara, do you know that marvellous song "Gracias a La Vida"? I love it, especially the lyrics. Im not sure but I think it was writen by Victor Jara. Could you confirm it?
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Old 08-31-2000, 02:49 AM   #7
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First I must warn you both: i'm no expert on the subject.. yet

Ah! Follower, the song you are talking about was not composed by Jara, it was written by Violeta Parra. She was chilean and I like the song too, although I find it a little ironic since she is singing about gratitude but her voice is incredibly sad!

And about Allende/Pinochet. Well, unlike Mexico, when Chile got its independence from Spain, things went rather smoothly and it had the strongest democratic tradition in South America. In 1970 chileans elected Salvador Allende, who was a marxist and head of a coalition government. The problems started when he nationalized mines and banks (in Chile mines have a really important % in the economy; and in those times copper was one of the main exports)and began land reform.

The economy almost colapsed: national debt and inflation rose sharply, and foreign investors began to pull all their capital out. The US started putting pressure also. Then came General Augusto Pinochet and organized a military coup to overthrow Allende (1973). He did and in order to wipe out communism he took several measures: censorship and violence towards political opponents. And this is where all of the accusations regarding human rights violations come.

Anyways, the economic well being was restored, and the government returned most nationalized companies to private ownership (it still controls oil production I think). This strenghtening of the economy did a lot for Chile while we were in economic crisis after crisis (1980-2...) (oops in Mexico we get economic crisis every six years when a new president steps in, so I guess we aren't a good comparison point)

Then in 1988 Pinochet agreed to let chileans vote on whether he should remain in power. He lost and in 1990 a new president came, Aylwin. Pinochet still held a post in the senate that was supposed to be for life...

This is a very rough picture of what happened, and you know the rest of the story. I live in Mexico, and the last time I went to Chile was almost 2 years ago. The country is completely divided about the matter. And outside I am sure we get the impression that nobody in Chile wanted Pinochet and that his supporters are a minority group. No! you can't believe how many people there are that love him. So there in Chile it is really a thorny issue, because not everything of what he did was wrong and he didn't hurt everybody. Things aren't black or white...

And about Spain and the UK, one of the problems was that Pinochet helped Margaret Thatcher with all of the Falklands Islands war by allowing the UK to operate from chilean bases and use chilean infraestructure.

Hope I could help you guys. And feel free to ask although I don't guarantee I can answer everything! Maybe we can find around here a chilean/chilean
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Old 09-01-2000, 12:14 AM   #8
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Thanks one:love. What is your personal opinion on the Allende/Pinochet situation? Do you think Pinochet was justified, given that the economy turned around, or were his human rights abuses just too much? Also, it seems kind of hypocritical for the UK to prosecute Pinochet, when they were accepting help from him when it was convenient for them.

Oh, and can you recommend any songs by Victor Jara?
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Old 09-01-2000, 02:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for that info one:love. It's a fascinating subject, for sure.
And play the blues just read my mind. I was thinking of asking you some information about Victor Jara's songs too.
And play the blues, you can find some of Bono's thoughts on Victor Jara in the book At the End Of the World, by Bill Flanagan.


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Old 09-05-2000, 03:22 AM   #10
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Sorry for the late reply, but my b-day was today (yesterday actually, and was IT a beautiful day) so I had no alternative but to party all of the weekend... First of all I am sorry guys, but I haven't heard stuff by Jara in a long time. I do remember some good tunes, but not their names so I took the liberty of searching for a site with some of them, so you can hear them by yourselves. Here it is: http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/4472/jara.html

And about my position in the Pinochet matter. Oh I knew this question was coming and I think you will find my position disappointing since I haven't made up my mind yet. Human rights violations are human rights violations despite their intention. But every time I go to Chile I meet more and more people who were wronged by Allende and thus benefited from what Pinochet did. Most of my friends there and my family suffered a lot under Allende, and I have heard accounts from more than one source (and from more than one socioeconomic strata) about how Allende took everything they had, big or small and how it ended not benefiting anybody except his closest allies. I am aware of how my upbringing (my father completely despises Allende) can lead me into taking a biased position, but being an international relations student I have looked into the matter with the most objective criteria possible. And still I am confused. But I still think you can't equate Pinochet with Slovodan Milosevich.


And I couldn't resist it. This is my favorite "political" quote by Bonoman himself :
"Revolution starts at home, in your heart, in your refusal to compromise your beliefs and your values. I'm not interested in politics like people fighting back with sticks and stones, but in politics of love. I think there is nothing more radical than two people loving each other, because it is so infrequent."
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