ReMastered season 1, episode 4 recap: Massacre at the Stadium


Episode 4 of Netflix docu-series ReMastered looks at the life and tragic political murder of Víctor Jara, a Chilean singer-songwriter, theater director and activist.

Known for songs like “I Remember You, Amanda” and for inspiring the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement, Víctor Jara has become a music icon. Though many don’t hear of him in the United States, he has been compared to a cross between Bob Dylan and Martin Luther King, Jr. ReMastered looks at his life, his violent death in 1973, and the quest to bring his killers to justice.

Who was Víctor Jara?

Víctor Jara’s mother, Amanda Martínez, was a singer and musician, which no doubt influenced her son’s creative path. Joan Jara, Víctor’s wife, says life with Víctor was fun. We also learn from a fellow musician, Eduardo Carrasco, that Chile was in many ways unjust in its treatment of the poor. It is said that some children had no shoes in the winter.

By around 1960, Víctor Jara composed songs to reflect this reality and the peasant experience. For example, his song “El Arado” (or The Plow) features the lines, “I squeeze my hand firmly and sink the plow in the earth. I have spent years on it. How could I not be exhausted?”

Must Read. ReMastered season 1, episode 3 recap: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?. light

More from Netflix

Chilean guitarist Horacio Salinas suggests that — much like Chile’s worker and student protests of the 1970s — such music was born out of necessity. Still, not everyone likes such messages, or the largely popular, democratically elected Marxist President of Chile, Salvador Allende. Predictably, the United States warned of “another Cuba.”

Also, Víctor Jara’s music was considered part of Allende’s victory. In both, the working class was said to have a voice. As another musician, José Seves, informs us, right-wing opposition was growing. According to some, Víctor became a bigger target when he victor criticized politician Pérez Zujovic in a song.

Sept. 11, 1973

On this day the Moneda Palace was bombed and the military coup of Augusto Pinochet began. President Allende was under attack. When Víctor called wife from university, a curfew was in effect. The military forces began machine-gunning the university, rounding up people considered threats and took them to Chile Stadium. It’s believed that thousands were beaten, and not even children were spared. Neither was Víctor Jara. Allegedly, when a soldier damaged Víctor’s hands, the assailant quipped: “Try playing the guitar now, with your hands like that…” Soon, Víctor was tortured to death, left among hundreds of other bodies, and Joan Jara’s life would never be the same.

Justice sought

Years later, after years of eluding justice, former Chilean dictator Pinochet was placed on house arrest (though he died while facing charges). Mark Beckett, the Jara family lawyer, says Joan Jara was determined to bring justice for her husband. An investigation opened into Jara’s murder, and a Private named José Paredes claimed he saw Pedro Pablo Barrientos, a Chilean army officer, shooting Víctor Jara. Kathy Roberts, a legal adviser for the Center for Justice and Accountability, remarks that it was difficult to find Barrientos for the civil trial.

Barrientos’ denial

Finding him in Deltora, Florida, ReMastered is fair enough to let Barrientos tell his side. He denies killing victor, being at the stadium, or even that he knew of Jara. He claims he’s wanted as a “political trophy.” In fact, Maria Teresa Castro Barrientos, his ex-wife claims he had voted for Allende (though he didn’t like strikes and food shortages which resulted). He steadfastly maintains he was at an armory, not at Chile Stadium. The confusion, he says, stems from a program called “En la Mira,” where they repeatedly mentioned him as being in charge at the stadium. Also, José Paredes recanted his claims of seeing Barriento there, attributing it to a grudge. In fact, Paredes is shown on camera swearing before God and his son’s grave that it was untrue. Paredes also regrets the torture he committed.

Kissinger, Nixon and the CIA

Any time one discusses the CIA, it will potentially sound paranoid. Nevertheless, some people assume that Kissinger, President Nixon, and the CIA overthrew Allende. However, Jack Devine, a CIA veteran, tells ReMastered they merely engaged in propaganda efforts. Joyce Horman, of the Charles Horman Truth Foundation, says the United States was more heavily involved. Her husband was a reporter and filmmaker also killed in the stadium. She believes the death wasn’t properly investigated.

Did Barrientos do it?

Despite Paredes’ retration, some who were Chilean conscripts in the ’70s testified that Barrientos was indeed at Chile Stadium. If that’s not enough, they are said to have independently confirmed it. In fact, José Navarrette, a conscript at the time, claimed to be Barrientos’ bodyguard. Barrientos dismisses all this. Also, because they played a Jara song in the courtroom, Barrientos says they were toying with emotions (which, honestly, may be a reasonable complaint).

Barrientos demanded a lie detector test. However, unfortunately for him, it indicated deception regarding the torture and killing of Jara. Still, because Barrientos was breathing too heavily and moved around too much, the results are inconclusive. Barrientos was charged with crimes in Chile but lives in the US. He says, “You won’t get me in Chile.” In June, 2016, he was found liable for Jara’s killing, and the jury awarded Jara’s family $28 million.

Next. ReMastered season 1, episode 1 recap: Who Shot the Sheriff. dark


Jara’s final poem, “Estadio Chile,” contains the line, “How hard it is to sing when I must sing of horror.”  Still, Jara’s legacy continues. The Festival of 1000 Guitars celebrates his life. In 2018, eight officers were given 15 years for involvement in the death. Also, Chile Stadium is now Víctor Jara Stadium.

That’s it for this ReMastered recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!