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Chile reburies coup victim and singer Jara

People accompany the car carrying the coffin of Victor Jara in Santiago
Many people sang songs that made Victor Jara a national icon

Thousands of people have attended the funeral of Chilean singer Victor Jara, who has been reburied 36 years after his death in a military coup.

Well-wishers scattered flowers as his cortege made its way to a cemetery.

Jara was one of the most prominent victims of the 1973 coup that brought Gen Augusto Pinochet to power.

His body was exhumed in June so that a court could clarify the circumstances of his death. It was established that he had been shot more than 30 times.

'Advancing in justice'

Jara's British-born widow Joan, now in her 80s, led the funeral procession as it wound through the streets of the capital, Santiago.

Finally, after 36 years, Victor can rest in peace
President Michelle Bachelet

The coffin was draped in the singer's trademark red-and-black woollen poncho.

The BBC's Gideon Long, in Santiago, said it was an emotional morning, not only for Victor Jara's family, but for hundreds of Chileans who lost loved ones during the years of military rule.

Some well-wishers brought guitars, and many sang the songs that made Victor Jara a national icon, our correspondent says.

Jara's remains were reburied in Santiago's general cemetery.

Earlier, thousands of people paid their last respects to the singer during a three-day wake in the capital.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet stands by a photo of Victor Jara in Santiago
Victor Jara: one of more than 3,000 victims of the 1973-1990 military rule

"Finally, after 36 years, Victor can rest in peace," said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who was herself persecuted under the Pinochet regime.

"But there are also lots of other families that want to rest in peace, and that is why its important that we keep pressing forward in the search for truth and justice, so that Chile can rest in peace. Victor Jara is with us!"

Victor Jara was admired as a theatre director as well as for his folk songs and was a member of the Chilean Communist Party.

New evidence

The singer was among thousands of people rounded up in the early days of Gen Pinochet's right-wing military coup, which ousted the elected leftist President Salvador Allende.

He was taken to the Chile Stadium in Santiago where he was tortured and killed. His broken body was found a few days later.

Authorities reopened the investigation into his death last year, after new evidence was presented by his family.

Earlier this year a former army conscript, Jose Adolfo Paredes Marquez, was charged over the killing. He denies responsibility for Jara's death.

The officer or officers who ordered his killing have never been formally identified.

More than 3,000 people were killed or disappeared during military rule in Chile from 1973 to 1990.



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SEE ALSO
Chilean singer Jara is exhumed
04 Jun 09 |  Americas
Charge over Chile singer's death
27 May 09 |  Americas
New probe into Victor Jara murder
04 Jun 08 |  Americas

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