Former Chilean Military Official Found Liable for Killing of Victor Jara

6/28/2016

A Florida jury on Monday found a former Chilean army officer liable for the 1973 torture and murder of the folk singer and political activist Victor Jara, awarding $28m in damages to his widow and daughters in one of the biggest and most significant legal human rights victories against a foreign war criminal in a US courtroom.

The verdict against Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez after a two-week civil trial in Orlando’s federal court could now also pave the way for his extradition to face criminal murder charges in Chile related to his conduct during a CIA-backed coup that led to Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship and the deaths of almost 3,100 people.

Accusers said Barrientos, 67, who now lives in Deltona, Florida, shot dead Jara, 40, in September 1973 after three days of beatings while the socialist-leaning theatre director and university lecturer was among thousands of suspected communists and subversives detained in Santiago’s soccer stadium.

Barrientos, who fled Chile in 1989 and became a US citizen through marriage, was one of nine retired army officers indicted for murder in his homeland four years ago but the US Department of Justice has not responded to a request by the Chilean government for his return.

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Outlet: 
The Guardian