Tag Archives: Santiago

El Guanaco and the “Chilean Winter”

6 Aug

Image via Wikipedia

Leave it to Russian TV to capture raw footage of the Carabineros using Pinochet’s favorite method of crowd dispersion – el Guanaco (named for a spitting llama-like animal) that spews tear gas infused water.

The students continue to make their demands and to spread their message in the streets and via social networking and Youtube.

This video – in various languages and with English subtitles is from June – before the international press caught on as it has in the past few days.  Even the New York Times is following the moment, dubbing this the Chilean Winter (I guess Arab Spring is running its course and we need a new protesting ethno-national group season?)

In fairness to the New York Times, they deserve credit for some incredibly stark and sharp images from the past few days.

Personally I’m hoping for less Guanaco and more Kiss-ins… or as seen on the CBS Today Show – “a massive make-out session!”

More to come…


Chilean High-School Students Employ Greatest Protest Method Ever

5 Aug

An inspiring headline – “Estudiantes se besaron para mejorar la educacion” (Students kissed each other to improve education).

Thousands of high-school students are once again taking to the streets of Santiago de Chile to demand free public education and an end to the private-sector  education system bequeathed to young Chilenos by the Pinochet dictatorship.

Their resolve and numbers – especially for teenagers (such a movement would be unthinkable in the United States right now) are truly impressive and speak to the character of Chile’s so-called “Democracy Generation” (commonly used to refer to the first Chilean generation in decades to come up during a time of democracy).

Their methods are also admirable:

Los Pacos (o Carabineros) of Chile have responded in full-force – detaining 874 students according to TeleSur.

Not good news for Sebastian Piñera, the first right-wing president of the country since the fall of the Pinochet dictatorship by popular referendum in 1990. His approval rating has dropped to 26 percent.