Holly Near will also participate in the 100th-year commemoration of the massacre of Santa Maria de Iquique, where some 3,000 striking miners and their families were killed by government troops in the Chilean port city of Iquique. In 1907, workers from northern desert nitrate mines went on strike against deplorable working conditions. Local government authorities sent troops to confront strikers occupying the Santa Maria School, opening fire against the unarmed crowd. This horrific event, which took place on December 21, is now viewed as the catalyst that eventually forced the Chilean government to improve labor laws and social programs.
In memory of this event, renowned Chilean composer Luis Advis wrote the Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique, first performed in 1970 by Quilapayún. On December 21, 2007, Quilapayún will perform at the final concert of the 100th year anniversary and has invited Holly to join them on stage. She has signed on in support of the 100th anniversary events along with hundreds of other social change artists and international activists.