Chile has been rocked by a series of vast and powerful statewide protests in 2019, some of which turned violent in October. The protests have led to a crackdown of military forces on citizens. Of these protests, many have been increasingly creative and moving in form, incorporating music and dance in dissent.
In a video from November 26, the feminist collective Lastesis staged a protest outside Chile’s ministry for women’s rights and gender equality, in conjugation with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The choreographed dance was two minutes in length, and sends a powerful message, ingenuously performed.
The women in the video are seen with black blindfolds over their eyes, chanting – and dancing – in coordination the words, “The rapist is you.”
Addressing the involvement of the state in human rights abuse, the chant compares state repression and violation of citizens’ rights to the actions of a rapist.
The chant also calls out both toxic masculinity, the government, the police, and the failure of the judiciary failure to protect the women of Chile.
In a statement to the press, Erika Guevara-Rosas, director at Amnesty International said of Chilean authorities under President Sebastián Piñera, “The intention of the Chilean security forces is clear: to injure demonstrators in order to discourage protest, even to the extent of using torture and sexual violence against protesters.”
Guevara-Rosas went on to say, “Instead of taking measures to curb the very grave human rights crisis, the authorities, under the command of President Sebastián Piñera, have pursued a policy of punishment for over a month, adding yet more people to the staggering number of victims, which is continuing to rise to this day.”