by A. Naomi Paik
On November 24, 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, thousands of women sang “Un violador en tu camino” (A rapist in your path) in front of the national stadium of Santiago, Chile, a site notorious for the torture and disappearances executed by the Pinochet dictatorship. The protestors performed a dance that evoked the sexual violence inflicted during interrogations, historically linking the Pinochet era and the present. They dressed in clothing, complete with blindfolds, highlighting the ways police subject protestors to blinding violence with pellets aimed at eyes. They performed the song, which ironically twists the Chilean police anthem “A friend in your path,” as part of the nationwide protests ignited by a fare hike in public transit but fed by decades of neoliberal governance that has made Chile one of the most privatized economies with some of the worst income inequality in the world. As one protest motto proclaims, “This is not about thirty pesos, but about thirty years” (Rioja 2019). As ordinary Chileans rose up, the state cracked down, with police violence leading to thousands of arrests and injuries, at least twenty deaths, and hundreds of human rights violations, including rape and forced stripping.