1973 — Salvador Allende dies

More than 40 years later, it remains a matter of some dispute whether Salvador Allende, President of Chile, committed suicide (as the official version claims), or was assassinated. Given the circumstances of his death – he died on the same day that Augusto Pinochet, the commander in chief of the Chilean army, led a CIA-approved military coup d’etat against him, and the ‘official version’ is that of Pinochet, after all.

He was the President from 1970 to 1973, and although seen in the US as a Soviet puppet, was generally treated poorly by them. A lack of expected Soviet aid spending worsened the economic conditions in Chile, which created the conditions that led to the coup, although Allende’s economic reforms, which threatened the interests of the establishment while promoting those of the indigenous population, were also a factor.

Referenced in:
Mal Sacate — Kris Kristofferson

1973 – Victor Jara is killed

Poet, playwright, singer, songwriter and teacher, Chilean Victor Jara is best known for his theatre direction and political activism. He was a prominent figure in the Nueva Canción Chilena, an artists’ movement that led to a creative renaissance in Chile.

However, shortly after the US government-backed revolution that ousted Salvador Allende’s government in 1973, he was arrested by forces loyal to Pinochet. After being tortured and shot as close range with machine guns. His body was dumped in a shanty town outside Santiago.

The circumstances of his death and the content of his artistic works helped to make Victor Jara a martyr to the cause in independence in South America and around the world.

Referenced in:

Washington Bullets – The Clash
Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto – Sweet Honey in the Rock