SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Violeta Zuniga gets around with a cane because of her knee problems, but nothing can keep the 83-year-old from performing Chile’s national dance to protest her partner’s disappearance during the country’s military dictatorship.
The national dance called the cueca is performed by couples during Chile’s national holidays, a source of celebration and pride for many in the South American country. But Zuniga has danced alone for nearly 40 years to mourn and protest the forced disappearance of her partner, Pedro Silva Bustos, during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 rule.
Zuniga is among the women British pop singer Sting told of in his 1987 protest song, “They Dance Alone.”
“Why are there women here dancing on their own?” Sting asked in the song. “Why is there this sadness in their eyes?”