Santiago de Chile, Chile – Percussionist Eric Maluenda, one of
the founders of renowned Chilean folk group Illapu died October 4 of a heart
problem. His health had deteriorated in the past months and several musicians
held fundraisers in Chile to pay for his costly health care expenses.Illapu was formed in 1971, in Antofagasta, in northern Chile. The group lived in
exile during the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) and became popular in Europe.
Maluenda left Illapu in 2003 after the band leader, Roberto Márquez, decided to
relocate the group to Mexico.
After leaving Illapu, Eric Maluenda joined another leading Andean music group
from Chile, Arak Pacha.
He is survived by his wife, Almendra Landaeta.
[Photo courtesy of EMI International].