On February 17, CJA and co-counsel Chadbourne & Parke LLP filed a brief in our case
Jara v. Barrientos, in which former Pinochet Lieutenant Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñezis accused of torturing and killing Chilean folksinger and activist Víctor Jara. The brief states that our clients, the Jara family, do not oppose Barrientos's request to lift the default judgment in the case. A U.S. federal court had previously found Barrientos, who currently lives in Deltona, FL, liable for torture, extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity during the mass detention of thousands of intellectuals, political leaders and perceived supporters of the Allende government at Chile Stadium immediately after General Augusto Pinochet's coup in 1973.
Having failed to appear before the court previously, Barrientos now asks the court to lift the default judgment claiming that he did not understand the consequences of the legal proceedings against him. In response, CJA argues that he
did understand the consequences because shortly after we served him with our complaint, he transferred assets to a family trust, registered a permanent change of address with the post office, and appears to have gone into hiding.
Despite the legal maneuver, the Jara family welcomed Barrientos's request because they are confident in the merits of the case. The court has now suspended the damages trial originally scheduled for February 23, 2015, pending the petition from Barrientos to remove the default judgment.
This case will shed light on what happened at Chile Stadium in the first days of Pinochet's coup, as these events have remained shrouded in mystery for over 40 years. CJA's case, along with the work of Chilean prosecutors who have indicted Barrientos, will finally provide judicial acknowledgement to the victims of Chile Stadium.