Victor Jara

Masacre en el estadio

This is PDF with activities and resources for teachers and students

Netflix documentary: When is a massacre at the Stadium

Victor Jara’s life

   Victor Jara (born September 28, 1932, Lonquén, Chile—died September 16, 1973, Santiago), was a Chilean teacher, theater director, poet, singer-songwriter and communist political activist tortured and killed  during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. He developed Chilean theater by directing a broad array of works, ranging from locally produced plays to world classics, as well as the experimental work of playwrights such as Ann Jellicoe. He also played a pivotal role among neo-folkloric musicians who established the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement. This led to an uprising of new sounds in popular music during the administration of President Salvador Allende. Victor Jara was arrested shortly after the Chilean coup of 11 September 1973, which overthrew Allende. He was tortured during interrogations and ultimately shot dead, and his body was thrown out on the street of a shantytown in Santiago. The contrast between the themes of his songs—which focused on love, peace, and social justice—and the brutal way in which he was murdered transformed Jara into a “potent symbol of struggle for human rights and justice” for those killed during the Pinochet regime. His preponderant role as an open admirer for Allende’s government, under which he served as a cultural ambassador through the late 60’s and until the early 70’s crisis that ended in the coup against Allende, marked him for death. Joan Jara (born Joan Alison Turner, England, 1927) is a British-Chilean dancer, activist, and widow of Víctor Jara. Since his death, she dedicated herself to perpetuating the memory of him, his work, and his values.

Victor Jara

Victor Jara’s legacy

Rolling Stone named him one of the fifteen top protest artists.

On 22 September 1973, less than two weeks after Jara’s death, the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh named a newly found asteroid 2644 Víctor Jara.

The American folk singer Phil Ochs, who met and performed with Jara during a tour of South America, organized a benefit concert in his memory in New York in 1974.

The anthology For Neruda, for Chile contains a section called “The Chilean Singer”, with poems dedicated to Jara. 

An East German biographical movie called El Cantor (“The Singer”) was made in 1978. It was directed by Jara’s friend Dean Reed, who also played the part of Jara.

In 1989 Simple Minds dedicated Street Fighting Years track to Victor Jara.

In the late 1990s, British actress Emma Thompson started to work on a screenplay that she planned to use as the basis for a movie about Jara.

English poet Adrian Mitchell translated Jara’s poems and lyrics and wrote the tribute “Víctor Jara”, which Guthrie later set to music.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Wrecking Ball Tour made a stop in Chile on 12 September 2013, just days before the 40th anniversary of Jara’s death. 

Among others.

Victor and Joan Jara

Netflix documentary

When is a massacre at the Stadium

This is PDF with activities and resources for teachers and students

The Netflix music series investigates the death of one of Chile’s most beloved musicians — and the story of the officer who may have killed him. The story behind Jara’s death is investigated further in “Massacre at the Stadium,” 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. 

Questions after watching the documentary: 

If you are a Spanish 1, 2 or 3 student, you can answer the questions in English. However, HS must write the answer in Spanish.

¿Quién era Victor Jara? Who was Victor Jara?

¿Qué pasó en Chile en 1973? What happened in Chile in 1973? 

¿Quién mató a Victor Jara? Who killed Victor Jara?

¿Por qué no se ha hecho justicia a su muerte? Why there has not been justice for his death?

¿Por qué lo mataron? Explain why they killed him. What things Victor did that were considered against the Dictatorship. 

¿De qué trataba su música  (las letras de las canciones)? What was his music about (the lyrics)?

¿Quién era Joan Jara y qué pide o reclama en este documental? Who was Joan Jara and about what things she complains during the interview? What it is the MOST important thing -according to you- she asks at the end of the documentary.

¿A quién culparon de la muerte de Victor Jara y qué pasó con él? Who was blamed for Victor Jara’s death and what happened to that person?

¿Qué parte del documental te gustó más y por qué? What part of the documentary did you like the most and why?


This is PDF with activities and resources for teachers and students

Essay and Song Analysis – ACTIVITIES


If you are a Heritage Speaker student, you must write an essay in Spanish. 3 paragraph essay: introduction, body and conclusion. 

If you are a Spanish 1, 2 or 3 student, you can write the essay in English. 3 paragraph essay: introduction, body and conclusion.

 Questions to guide you while writing the paragraph could be -for example- What happened to the Jara family? Why are they  -still looking for justice? Why was Victor Jara assassinated?

2. Song Analysis: 

– If you are a HS student, choose one of the Victor Jara’s song and write 2 paragraph of analysis in Spanish. Explain the lyrics and the reasons why have you chosen it. 

– If you are a Spanish 1, 2 or 3 student, choose one of the Victor Jara’s song and write 4 sentences about the song. Explain the lyrics and the reasons why have you chosen it. 

2 Comentarios

  • Sra. Javy

    Hello. I know, this is a very hard topic. However, we have been working on it for while with my class. We have watched a lot of movies related to 1973 in Chile. We also watched other documentaries and since I am from Chile I can share more about it with them. On the PDF you can find some “easy” questions and also you can work on Essays; then teachers and students can discuss about it while guiding the essay on the direction that works better for you all. I don’t think that for an Spanish class it is extremnly necessary know all about the dictatorship in Chile, but while you learn a little bit you can work on grammar and writing skills.

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