How Victor Jara died, last minutes
The mystery of who killed famed Communist singer-songwriter Victor Jara seems to be almost resolved, or at least says the compiled judicial testimonies released in Chilean court today and an elaborate recounting of his last minutes by Jacmel Cuevas, writing for Ciper Chile, an investigative journalism site. For the first time a group of officers surrounding his death has been identified. Also, the details of Jara’s last minutes are detailed as is the story of how his body was found dumped outside a cemetery, spirited away and anonymously buried by loved ones.
It places into doubt previous testimony blaming the death of Jara on Edward Dimter Bianchi.
On September 17th, after four days of imprisonment and multiple sessions of torture in a basement room in Estadio Chile, with a swollen face and fingers fractured by the butt of a rifle, Jara was shot by a low-ranking officer on a round of Russian roulette, with the barrel of the revolver resting against the temple. Jara’s body fell to the floor on its side, convulsing, said José Alfonso Paredes Márquez, an 18-year-old military conscript on guard duty who witnessed the above events and testified to Judge Juan Eduardo Fuentes recently.
Jara’s body was then shot again 43 times by the conscripts there, including by the person who is making this testimony. There were 44 bullet wounds in his body, according to the autopsy.
The ranking officer, Nelson Edgardo Haase Mazzei sat behind an interrogation desk and observed. This is according to the singular testimony of Paredes Marquez, who began his obligatory military service in five months earlier.
Paredes Marquez is currently 55-years-old, lives in the Central Coast region of Chile, and works building houses.
Haase, in testimony, denied that he was present in the Estadio Chile. Testimony of officers and soldiers, compiled by the judicial case and the investigation by CIPER, contradict Haase and place him in Estadio Chile during the time of Jara’s death. The name of the man who first pulled the trigger is not in the Ciper account.
Yesterday, Paredes Marquez was arrested by the Chilean judge. Last year, César Manríquez Bravo, the commander of the Estadio Chile prisoner complex, was arrested for being the responsible officer at the time.
On April 23, 2007, Haase, who owns a company that makes wooden crates for shipping wine, participated in a charity golf tournament in a team made up of other retired military officials. They are pictured below.
In a telephone interview with La Nación newspaper Haase declares that he doesn’t like soccer and has never stepped foot in Estadio Chile (now re-named Estadio Victor Jara.) Haase said he was in an undisclosed location in the south of Chile at the time.
En una conversación telefónica con La Nación, Haase desmiente siquiera haber pisado el Estadio Chile.
-Algunos conscriptos lo mencionan a usted como quien dio la orden de asesinar a Víctor Jara en el Estadio Chile.
-Yo nunca estuve en el Estadio Chile y no conozco a ese caballero (Víctor Jara).
-Pero usted sí fue oficial del Ejército.
- Sí, estuve en el Ejército.
-¿Y estuvo en Tejas Verdes?
-Yo he estado en muchas partes.
-¿Y en el Estadio Chile?
-Yo nunca he estado ahí. No lo conozco. Ni siquiera me gusta el fútbol.
-No me refiero al estadio como recinto deportivo, sino de prisioneros.
-Nunca estuve ahí.
-¿Por qué cree que estos conscriptos lo señalan a usted?
-No tengo idea de lo que me habla.
-¿Dónde estaba usted el 15 de septiembre de 1973?
-En el sur.
-¿En qué parte del sur?
-Eso a usted no le importa.
-Seguramente será citado a declarar
-Mire, no sé por qué estoy hablando esto con usted, pero responderé a quien corresponda si es una llamada oficial.
Yesterday, La Nación asked Paredes Marquez a question in the hallways of the Chilean courts, did Haase give the orders. Paredes Marquez nodded his head.
“Si estando en el pelotón que ultimó a Víctor Jara, Nelson Haase Mazzei era quien daba las órdenes, José Paredes Márquez, albañil y obrero de la construcción, asintió con su cabeza afirmativamente.
Haase continued his military career as a confidant of Manuel Contreras, head of the DINA, and was the commanding officer of the clandestine detention center of the “Cuartel Bilbao,” according to CIPER.
Names of officers and soldiers mentioned in article
comandante (r) César Manríquez Bravo
Manuel Contreras Sepúlveda
Marcelo Moren Brito
capitán David González Toro
capitán Germán Montero Valenzuela
conscripto José Alfonso Paredes Márquez
Nelson Edgardo Haase Mazzei
Rodrigo Rodríguez Fuschloger
teniente Pedro Barrientos
conscripto Francisco Quiroz Quiroz