As one of the luminaries behind Chile’s Nueva Canción folk movement, singer-songwriter Víctor Jara was renowed worldwide for his heartrending protest songs promoting social justice, freedom and equality. Yet in 1973 — after General Augusto Pinochet led a U.S.-backed military coup against the democratic socialist President Salvador Allende — Jara became one of 3,000 civilians who were rounded up, tortured and massacred by Pinochet’s regime inside the sports complex then known as Chile Stadium.
The story behind Jara’s death is investigated further in “Massacre at the Stadium,” an upcoming episode of ReMastered — a Netflix original docuseries that digs deeper on some of music’s greatest mysteries, including the dubious circumstances behind Bob Marley’s assassination attempt and Johnny Cash’s visit to the Nixon White House.
Directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, the producer and director behind 2015 documentary Havana Motor Club, the latest installment not only goes inside the days leading up to Jara’s death, but follows the story of Pedro Barrientos Núñez, a former Chilean army official and accused murderer of Jara, who now lives as a free man in Deltona, Florida. Despite the Chilean government’s requests to have him extradited from the United States and tried as a criminal — plus a court order by the State of Florida to pay $28 million to Jara’s family — Barrientos adamantly claims innocence.
Jara’s music and legacy would inspire scores of Chilean musicians, from Gepe to Alex Anwandter, as well as English-language artist-activists like Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen and The Clash. “Massacre at the Stadium” will be available for streaming on Friday, January 11th.