While not all that is said is true, not all that is truth is told.
Psychologist, tireless advocate for justice and human rights, and burn victim and survivor of Pinochet reign, Carmen Gloria Quintana, to visit the Bay Area.
February 16, 2016.- Carmen Gloria Quintana will attend the encore performance of the cantata La Vida Vence a la Muerte / Life Triumphs Over Death, on Saturday, March 19th, at Berkeley’s La Peña Cultural Center.
On the morning of July 2, 1986, during a two-day national strike and protests against the military rule of General Augusto Pinochet, two teenagers, Rodrigo Rojas de Negri, 19 year-old, and Carmen Gloria Quintana, 18, were cornered by a military patrol brutally beaten, doused with petrol and set them on fire. The patrol then dumped them in a ditch alongside a deserted road on the outskirts of Chile’s capital city, Santiago.
Rodrigo, a photographer who lived in Washington, DC, with his exiled Chilean family, died four days later from his injuries. Carmen Gloria, severely disfigured by burns on over 62 percent of her body, survived to became a symbol of the struggle for democracy in Chile. The case was one of the most notorious human rights abuses committed by the Pinochet regime following the U.S.-backed military coup of September 11, 1973.
On July of 2015 – 29 years after this event – the case was revisited when a Chilean judge ordered the arrest of the seven officers involved. One of the perpetrators, Fernando Guzmán, told Judge Mario Carroza that Lieutenant Julio Castañer, the patrol’s commanding officer, gave the deadly order.
Denouncing the event and saluting the resolve of Carmen Gloria, La Peña’s then Artist-in-Residence, Fernando Torres, wrote seven poems and a narration which musician Leonardo Cereceda set to music, embracing various folk rhythms and styles. Out of this collaboration, the cantata La Vida Vence a la Muerte / Life Triumphs Over Death, was born. In the spirit of Nueva Canción, and a testament through poetry and song to the ability of the human spirit to overcome terrible treachery, the cantata was premiered at La Peña in April of 1987 by an ensemble of musicians from a class taught at La Peña by La Peña Community Chorus’s director, Lichi Fuentes. On Saturday, March 19th at La Peña, Carmen Gloria will hear the cantata for the first time.
What: Cantata: La Vida Vence a la Muerte performed by the La Peña Community Chorus
When: March 19 @ 8pm
Where: At La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, Ca. 94705
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Available online: