Jorge Guerra – One of the first Chilean refugees to arrive in Canada

Photo: Jorge Guerra, former Chilean student leader and –now- humanitarian worker. In Afghanistan in 2003.

Jorge Guerra is commemorating a sad anniversary; it is 40 years since he arrived in Canada.  On January 12th1974, he landed with his wife and baby.  The coup in Chile, that began in 1973, changed his life.

In the chaos following the coup, Guerra, a former student leader, had been interrogated and tortured by the ruling military hunta.  Leaving his home in Valparaiso, he took refuge in the Canadian embassy in Santiago, spending Christmas and New Year’s with 54 other people, all of them crowded into a limbo.  He was 20 at the time.

As Jose Guerra told Carmel Kilkenny, he has built a great life in Canada, and has helped other refugees in places like Rawanda, over the years.

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