Pil Trafa, the Argentinian punk pioneer known for his work as the frontman of Los Violadores, has died at the age of 62.
According to a statement from his second band Pilsen, the musician died at home in Lima, Peru on August 13 of a cardiopulmonary arrest.
Trafa’s real name was Enrique Chalar and formed Los Violadores (which translates to The Violators in English) in the early ‘80s. The band were influenced by the likes of Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned and Buzzcocks.
Los Violadores were one of the first bands to openly disparage the Argentinian dictatorship of the National Reorganisation Process. Early on in their career, they had to perform as Los Voladores to avoid being censored.
After releasing seven albums, the band split in 1992 and Trafa formed Pilsen. That group released two albums – 1993’s ‘Bajo Otra Bandera’ and 1994’s ‘Bestiario’ – and worked with Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones and train robber Ronald Biggs on their production.
Pilsen split in 1995, with Los Violadores reuniting in 1996. Trafa was also a part of the duo Stku@Pil and released two solo albums in 2004 and 2015.
Posting on Instagram, Pilsen shared the news of Trafa’s death, writing: “It is with deep pain that we regret the passing of our beloved leader, Enrique Chalar […] A warrior has passed away, a pioneer of Latin American punk and underground, enlightened lyricist, spokesman for a whole generation, fighter and tireless captain of a thousand battles.”
Among the tributes paid to Trafa on social media were messages from Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham, as well as many fans who shared the sentiment, “Punk’s not dead”.
“RIP Pil Trafa,” Abraham wrote. “A true punk legend. Playing this classic in his memory.”
— Damian Abraham (@leftfordamian) August 15, 2021
See more tributes below.
Pil Trafa was a great reference of the underground punk culture in Argentina and Latin America, in dark moments where many young people were murdered and disappeared by the terrorist states. I'm glad you remember him. Greetings from Argentina!
— Sebastián Saire (@SebastianSaire) August 15, 2021
Punks Not Dead!
Pil Trafa pic.twitter.com/UOmzN9eoSb
— Monsieur Gastón (@gaston_sin) August 14, 2021
— Lobo Suelto (@AlexLupo13) August 14, 2021