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People holding portraits of Chile's late folksinger Victor Jara walk alongside the car carrying his coffin at his funeral procession in Santiago on Saturday. Jara was shot dead 36 years ago soon after Gen. Augusto Pinochet executed a coup in 1973. ((Roberto Candia/Associated Press))

Thousands of mourners turned out in Santiago for the funeral of Chilean folksinger Victor Jara, who was given a formal burial 36 years after he was tortured and killed during the regime of Augusto Pinochet.

Jara was a popular singer and theatre director when he was shot dead by the military, barely a week after Pinochet led a coup against the government of Salvador Allende in 1973.

At the time, the singer's widow, Joan, had to arrange a quick, secret burial before escaping the country into exile.

Jara soon became a symbol of the opposition to Pinochet's brutal rule.

Saturday's public funeral was attended by the public and politicians.

"Finally, after 36 years, Víctor can rest in peace," said Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, who herself was a victim of the Pinochet regime and also spent many years in exile.

Thousands of Chileans filed past Jara's coffin during a two-day wake for the singer prior to his official burial on Saturday.

Officer played Russian Roulette with gun

The singer is having a second burial because his body was exhumed in June so investigators could find out more about how he was murdered and who might be blamed.

Jose Adolfo Paredes Marquez, a former army member, has been charged with Jara's murder as a result of the new inquest.

Marquez denies he was involving in the killing and told investigators that an army officer known as "El Loco" played Russian roulette with Jara.

He said the officer held a gun to the singer's head, spinning the cylinder and firing until a bullet was shot into the singer's head. Soldiers were then ordered to finish Jara off and pumped some 40 bullets into his body.

Investigators are still trying to figure out who "El Loco" is and another officer, known as "El Príncipe" (The Prince).

The only other person to have been charged with Jara's death was a guard at the soccer stadium in Santiago where the singer was tortured and shot.