It looks like Victor Jara’s murderers have some small chance of being brought to justice. Jara, if you are unfamiliar, was a musician and activist in Chile during the dirty war. He was tortured and killed by Pinochet’s thugs. Now Chile is prosecuting his murderers and it turns out one of them is hiding out in the US. Jara’s widow is calling for his extradition.
Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking about a Jara quote I just read in 33 Revolutions Per Minute.
It seems nobody dares to be themselves. They are afraid of solitude and because of that, everyone is alone in a mass of lonely people
He was talking about us estadounidenses. I always assumed that fear of being yourself was a universal human trait, but maybe we in the U.S. have taken it to a whole new level.
It is ironic that people aren’t themselves because they fear others won’t like them. If people don’t really know us, how can they like us? Besides, isn’t it partly sharing faults, secrets, doubts, fears, and fuckedupedness that connects us. Makes sense that the less we are willing to do that, the more isolated we all feel.
So if Jara was right, what is it about our culture that walls us off so thoroughly? Are the boxes we put each other in even smaller than in other places? Is it connected to how punitive we are, how unforgiving? How do we break that? How can we change anything if we don’t break it?
Course, as punitive as we are when it comes to minor drug offenses, we have a history of refusing to extradite thugs like Luis Posada Carriles and Emmanuel Constant. Given that we supported the government that killed Jara, I won’t hold my breath.