Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Chile wake for singer Victor Jara

Mourners at funeral of Victor Jara
Families of dissidents killed under the dictatorship attended the funeral

The remains of popular Chilean singer Victor Jara are to be reburied in the capital, Santiago, 36 years after he was killed following a military coup.

Hundreds of people began paying their last respects to one of the most prominent victims of the 1973 coup that brought Gen Augusto Pinochet to power.

Mr Jara's 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.

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

His widow Joan Turner, an English-born dancer, stood by her husband's coffin and greeted guests who included artists, human rights activists and government officials.

Wilda Garate, a fan of Mr Jara, said the three-day wake, which is due to end with a funeral on Saturday, was a much-deserved tribute.

"This reaffirms the people's sentiment towards him," she said

"Remembering him is what keeps him alive and will continue to maintain him alive forever."

Tortured and killed

Victor Jara 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 Mr Jara's death.

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

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