Argentine Music Icon And Peace Activist Facundo Cabral Killed In Guatemala

Facundo Cabral at a press appearance in Costa Rica in 2007. i i

hide captionFacundo Cabral at a press appearance in Costa Rica in 2007.

Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images
Facundo Cabral at a press appearance in Costa Rica in 2007.

Facundo Cabral at a press appearance in Costa Rica in 2007.

Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

English / Spanish

A voice for peace in Latin America was silenced today in Guatemala.

Argentine singer, songwriter and novelist Facundo Cabral was shot and killed in Guatemala City early this morning. He had just finished a concert in the nation's capital and was headed to the airport by car. Eyewitnesses say he was ambushed en route by three vehicles and gunned down on the nearly empty highway. According to the witnesses, the attackers fled on a road leading to the Guatemalan border with El Salvador.

Cabral rose to fame in the early 1970s, when almost all of Latin America was in the grip of brutally repressive dictatorships. He belonged to a wave of singers who mixed political protest with music. Cabral became internationally known for the song "No Soy De Aquí Ni Allá" ("I Am Neither From Here Nor There"), which reflected the conflicted feelings of many Latin Americans at the time: an admiration for the free-spirit hippie ideology, even as they were being attacked in their own countries.

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When Jorge Rafael Vidala's dictatorship rose to power in Argentina in 1976, Cabral was forced into exile in Mexico, where he continued composing music. In 1996, he was named an international messenger of peace by UNESCO.

The motives for this morning's shooting remain unclear. Guatemala has one of Latin America's highest murder rates. The Guatemalan government has stated that this was a planned attack, and that an investigation is already underway. Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom has personally reached out to President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina.

Artists across the Latin world and beyond have reacted to his death. Among them is the Puerto Rican rap group Calle 13, who took to Twitter to write: "Latinoamérica está de luto" ("Latin America is in mourning").

UPDATE:The Guatemalan government has announced that based on forensic analysis of the bullets, they believe the attack was not directed at Cabral, but rather at Henry Fariña, the Nicaraguan club owner who was travelling with him.

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English / Spanish

Asesinan Al Músico Argentino Facundo Cabral

Hoy a la madrugada perdimos a un ícono de la música latina.

El cantautor y escritor argentino Facundo Cabral fue asesinado a balazos en Guatemala. Acababa de terminar un concierto y se encaminaba hacia el aeropuerto cuando según testigos, tres vehículos lo interceptaron en la carretera vacía. Luego del hecho, los tres autos se dirigieron hacia la frontera entre Guatemala y El Salvador.

Cabral alcanzó la fama a principios de la década de 1970, durante la cual casi toda América Latina se encontraba oprimida por brutales dictaduras. Pertenció a una camada de cantautores que formulaban la protesta política a travéz de la música. Cabral se hizo internacionalmente conocido por la canción "No Soy De Aquí Ni Allá", una canción que en gran parte reflejaba los sentimientos de tantos latinoamericanos durante esa época: una admiración por las ideologías hippies de paz y amor, y a la vez alienación ante ser atacados por sus propios gobiernos.

Cuando la junta militar se apoderó de Argentina en 1976, Cabral se exilió en México, donde continuó creando música. En 1996, fue nombrado mensajero mundial de la paz por la UNESCO.

Los motivos por el asesinato aún no están claros. Guatemala es uno de los países latinoamericanos con el mayor índice de violencia. El gobierno de Guatemala anunció que ya se esta llevando a cabo una investigación, y el presidente Álvaro Colom ha estado en contacto con la presidenta argentina Cristina Kirchner.

Varios artistas han reaccionado a la muerte de Cabral, entre ellos el grupo Calle 13 de Puerto Rico, quienes comentaron en su Twitter que "Latinoamérica está de luto."

Última noticia: Un portavoz del gobierno de Guatemala acaba de declarar que según la evidencia forénsica, se cree que el atentado que terminó con la vida de Facundo Cabral estaba dirigido hacia Henry Fariña, el empresario nicargüense que viajaba con el en ese momento.

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