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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July 2005, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
World music focus on human rights
A Venezuelan performer at Machynlleth
Musicians from as far as South America are performing at the event
A music festival for people in the world suffering human rights abuses has begun in Machynlleth.

Thirteen bands from Wales and such countries as Venezuela, Chile and Nicaragua are entertaining visitors.

The event is being staged in the name of singer-songwriter Victor Jara, who was tortured and killed during the military coup in Chile in 1973.

In 1990, a report found that 3,197 people died or disappeared during military rule in the country.

Jara's wife Joan sent a message of support on CD to the festival's organisers.

Mind Out For Music, which will run until Sunday, will also have workshops and stalls.

The event will be for all the people who are suffering human rights abuses
Phil Wheeler

One of the organisers, Phil Wheeler, said: "The event will be for all the people who are suffering human rights abuses around the world.

"But it will also be a celebration of music which is used as a way of highlighting hardship.

"The figurehead of the show is Victor Jara who was an internationally well-known singer songwriter."

Victor Jara, who died in 1973
A Chilean retired colonel has been charged over Victor Jara's killing

"A band from Venezuela is playing a charango, an instrument made from the shell of an armadillo," he added.

"Joan Jara has also sent a message of support which will be played to people at the event.

"She escaped death in Chile in 1973 because she is British."

Jara was a friend of the democratically-elected President Salvador Allende, who was overthrown in the coup.

Following his arrest after Allende was overthrown, Jara was taken to the Chile Stadium in the capital, Santiago, tortured and killed.

A retired Chilean army colonel was accused in December last year of ordering the execution.

Festival shows will be staged at Machynlleth's Tabernacl, its arts centre and in the grounds of Celtica museum.

Timeline: The Pinochet case
13 Jul 05 |  Americas
Country profile: Chile
16 Jun 05 |  Country profiles
Colonel charged over Jara killing
10 Dec 04 |  Americas
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10 Dec 04 |  North West Wales
Pinochet to testify in Jara case
25 Aug 04 |  Americas

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