Latin America Chile: Preventive detention is issued for the former army officer accused of killing the singer-songwriter Víctor Jara

A former Chilean army officer accused of torturing and murdering folk singer-songwriter Víctor Jara during the bloody 1973 coup in Chile was remanded in preventive detention after being extradited from the United States on Friday, according to the Chilean Judiciary

Latin America Chile: Preventive detention is issued for the former army officer accused of killing the singer-songwriter Víctor Jara

A former Chilean army officer accused of torturing and murdering folk singer-songwriter Víctor Jara during the bloody 1973 coup in Chile was remanded in preventive detention after being extradited from the United States on Friday, according to the Chilean Judiciary.

Pedro Barrientos has been notified of the prosecution against him for his participation "as the author of the aggravated homicides and simple kidnappings" of Jara and the then director of prisons, Littré Quiroga, committed in September 1973.

Chilean judge Guillermo de la Barra notified Barrientos of the procedures issued in 2012, 2014 and 2016 by other Chilean judges, determining his preventive detention and leaving him incommunicado in military facilities "pending proceedings" to clarify his participation in the events.

In 2016, a US court found him guilty of charges of Jara's death and torture and demanded compensation.

Barrientos arrived in Chile on Friday afternoon guarded by US agents to comply with his extradition after more than three decades living in the United States. The request for his extradition had been made in 2013, the Chilean Foreign Ministry reported.

Barrientos had been arrested in Florida at the beginning of October and also tried in the United States for providing false information in his US nationalization process, which led to the cancellation of his citizenship in July of this year and allowed his extradition.

"This is perhaps the last link that we had left in this case," Nelson Caucoto, the Jara family's lawyer, in charge of the cases in Chile, explained to the Chilean media. "We will have to see the final result with the Supreme Court ruling, but we are optimistic."

Other people have already been convicted in the country for the murder of the singer-songwriter, five decades after his murder.

At the end of August, the Chilean Supreme Court firmly ratified the 25-year prison sentence against six former members of the army for the kidnapping and murder of Jara, and a seventh former soldier for cover-up.

"For us, the regrettable thing is that his life partner Joan Jara is not alive to see the outcome of this case and the final conviction of a crime that shocked our entire country and internationally because Víctor Jara has global recognition for the legacy he left, the Government's spokesperson, Camila Vallejo, told the press.

"Justice has indeed taken a while, but it is better late than never and it is good news that Barrientos is already in Chile and that we can see as soon as possible what really happened, their responsibilities and the respective sentences," he added.

The murders of Jara and Littré Quiroga, director of prisons, occurred just a few days after Augusto Pinochet's military coup against the government of socialist president Salvador Allende, on September 11, 1973.

Jara was arrested at the university after the military coup and taken to the National Stadium, while Quiroga was arrested in his office and, after being tortured in a regiment, was transferred to the sports venue. The bodies of both were found near a cemetery in the Chilean capital along with two other people, according to the Court of Appeals.

The judicial investigations established that Jara's body had one bullet in the back of the head and another 43 in different parts of the body, in addition to 56 fractures, while Quiroga had 23 gunshot wounds. The bodies of both were dumped in a street far from the stadium, which immediately after the military coup was used as a detention facility.

Jara was one of the most popular folklorists, recognized for his protest songs and favorable to Allende (1970-1973). He had studied law at the University of Chile, for which the Supreme Court awarded him the posthumous title of lawyer.

Barrientos' extradition occurs a few weeks after the death of the singer-songwriter's widow, who dedicated an important part of her life to seeking justice for the murder of her husband and requesting that Barrientos be extradited.