'El Derecho De Vivir En Paz' Gives Voice To Protesters In Chile Amidst the enormous protests against inequality, Chileans turn to song. Music once used to protest the brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet in the '70s has been revamped for the demonstrations.

'El Derecho De Vivir En Paz' Gives Voice To Protesters In Chile

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The enormous anti-government protests in Chile over the past few weeks have brought thousands together in song.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Singing in foreign language).

SIMON: Last week, thousands in Santiago were led by dozens of guitarists playing a resistance anthem against the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet back in 1973.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL DERECHO DE VIVIR EN PAZ")

VICTOR JARA: (Singing in Spanish).

SIMON: Victor Jara's song "El Derecho De Vivir En Paz," the right to live in peace, was originally a tribute to Vietnam's communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Singer Francisca Valenzuela says Jara is an icon in today's Chile. He gave his life for his country.

FRANCISCA VALENZUELA: Victor Jara is a tremendously talented composer and songwriter who was taken by the military during the dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet and was killed. He was first imprisoned. And he had his hands cut off while being detained. He even sang and wrote with the other prisoners and was a beacon of hope and resistance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL DERECHO DE VIVIR EN PAZ")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing in Spanish).

SIMON: This past weekend, 30 Chilean artists, including Valenzuela, released a new recording of "The Right to Live in Peace."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL DERECHO DE VIVIR EN PAZ")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing in Spanish).

VALENZUELA: So this part speaks to what is called the Nuevo Pacto Social, the new social agreement. And this is basically what the movement currently in Tunis fighting for - basic human rights and dignity in terms of education and health, pensions. The movement has specific requests. And it's actually adapted into the lyrics in this verse.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL DERECHO DE VIVIR EN PAZ")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #1: (Speaking Spanish).

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #2: Sentimiento.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #3: (Speaking Spanish).

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #4: (Speaking Spanish).

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #5: (Speaking Spanish).

VALENZUELA: I think what's really incredible is that right now in Chile, the artistic and cultural community is very active. We're really connected. There's things happening every single day, whether it's shows, manifestations, marches. There's been assemblies every single day, which have also, you know, live music. I really feel very proud of my cultural community that we're a part of because everyone's been very active and really putting their voice and their music at the service of this movement.

SIMON: Francisca Valenzuela talking about a new version of the song "El Derecho De Vivir En Paz."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EL DERECHO DE VIVIR EN PAZ")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing in Spanish).

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