Rocker Bruce Springsteen paid a heartfelt tribute to murdered Chilean folk hero Victor Jara on Thursday (12Sep13) as he returned to the stage in South America for the first time in 25 years. The singer had not performed on the continent since taking part in the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! gig in Argentina in 1988, but he decided to kick off the final leg of his Wrecking Ball tour in Santiago, Chile and the show happened to fall on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Chilean coup, which brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power.
The significance of the date was not lost on Springsteen, and during the encore, he returned to the microphone to cover one of poet and political activist Jara's last songs, Manifesto.
Addressing the crowd in Spanish, he said, "In 1988, we played for Amnesty International in Mendoza, Argentina, but Chile was in our hearts.
"We met many families of desaparecidos (the missing), which had pictures of their loved ones. It was a moment that stays with me forever. A political musician, Victor Jara, remains a great inspiration. It's a gift to be here and I take it with humbleness."
Jara, an outspoken campaigner against human rights abuses, was tortured and shot to death after he was taken as a political prisoner shortly after the coup.