Left Menu
Development News Edition

Looking for a hero: shirtless Chilean protester, police-hating dog rise to fame

Reuters | Santiago | Updated: 08-11-2019 02:25 IST | Created: 08-11-2019 02:21 IST
Looking for a hero: shirtless Chilean protester, police-hating dog rise to fame
Image Credit: Pixabay

A hooded, muscular man shielding himself with a traffic "Stop" sign during a clash with police amid protests in the Chilean capital has gone viral on social networks, with the man being lauded as a romantic hero of the struggle that has raged for the past three weeks.

The image of "PareMan" or "Captain Pare," as he has become known - pare means stop in Spanish - was first captured on Oct. 30 by Reuters photographer Jorge Silva during protests on Santiago's central Alameda thoroughfare. "He was a very striking figure on the frontline of the protest, with stones flying and the police using tear gas to disperse everyone," Silva said. "After I took those pictures, he just disappeared."

The man's image has since been widely replicated by local cartoonists. The phrase #PareMan has been trending on social media with some eulogizing him as the "First Chilean Superhero" of the protests, which started over a hike in public transport fares and has broadened to include grievances over low pensions and salaries, high utility rates and patchy public services. So far, more than 7,000 people have been detained, at least 23 people have died, and some 1,659 protesters and 800 police officers have been injured, according to authorities and rights groups.

Guido Salinas, a Chilean caricaturist and comic book illustrator, wrote on Instagram that Pareman could not have known how prescient his act of holding the stop sign would be, amid accusations of human rights abuses facing the Chilean state, and social demands to end low pensions and high utility rates. "There's something symbolic in the shield of this young rebel that perhaps even he didn't see at the time. He was plunged into the rage from which no one can escape today, it was just his way of protecting himself," Salinas wrote.

Salinas, in several of his images and those from other cartoonists and people creating social media memes, includes a dog nicknamed "Matapacos," a slang word which in Chilean Spanish translates as "police killer." That dog, one of Santiago's many street dogs, was a black mongrel sporting a red bandana around his neck who frequently joined protesters taking part in the 2011 street demonstrations calling for free university education.

Matapacos was so-named because he displayed antipathy toward the riot police engaging the 2011 protesters in clashes, frequently appearing in pictures barking and snarling at them. Other figures who have become social media phenomenons of the protest movement is a man who dresses as Spider-Man to conduct impromptu pole dancing sessions on the metro, where the protests first broke out, and another person who dressed as the Pokemon character "Pikachú" to dance among the street protesters.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

ISL and Sportradar renews integrity partnership

The cash-rich Indian Super League and Sportradar, provider of sports integrity solutions and sports data products, have renewed their integrity partnership, which has been there since 2016As per the agreement with Football Sports Developmen...

Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspected in car attack

Israeli forces Wednesday shot and killed a Palestinian motorist who police say tried to carry out a car-ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint. In a statement, police said the man presented false documents at the checkpoint, and when he w...

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve gets global award for doubling tiger population

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve PTR has bagged international award TX2 for doubling the number of tigers in the past four years. The number of tigers in the reserve area has gone up to 65 from 25 in the period of just four years, Deputy Dir...

ATC FDI nod: Co says investment reflects long-standing commitment to India

After the governments nod for ATC Asia Pacific buying about 12 per cent stake in ATC Telecom Infrastructure for Rs 2,480 crore, the company said the investment reflects its long-standing commitment to the country and the Digital India missi...

Give Feedback