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"The Right to Live in Peace"

Shortly after the violent coup d’état against Socialist President Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, the prominent folk song writer Víctor Jara was brutally murdered by the military. Within days of the social uprising in 2019, Jara emerged as a unifying symbol of the demonstrators, both in song and imagery. His 1971 recording, “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” (The Right to Live in Peace), originally written as a pro-Vietnam protest song, was transformed into a resistance anthem. At the same time, iterations of the phrase, “the right to live in peace,” were found on posters and graffiti across the walls of Santiago. Jara’s “resurrection” was more than about his song, however. It reflected a deeper sentiment: to recuperate the broken spirit of Salvador Allende through the power of collective, democratic protest.

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