Across the world, a protest song about rape culture, which has its origins in Chile, has gone viral. The song, titled un Violador en Tu Camino (A Rapist in your Path) was first showcased as the Chilean uprising against social inequality began its second month. The videos from Chilean protests have circulated around Latin America and then the world.
The song has accompanying dance moves and was originally written by a feminist theatre group called Lastesis.
The protests, which have affected the country since the fall of 2019, were sparked due to the widespread sexual violence in Chile. The Chilean Network Against Violence Toward Women recorded 32 femicides in 2019, as well as an 8% conviction rate in rape cases.
Though it was not originally written as a protest song, the women protesting in Chile saw the song as an opportunity to utilize music as an essential part of their protesting and rioting. The song suggests that sexual violence is not a moral problem, but a politically based issue.
The lyrics make this clear, by describing the systematic destruction of women’s rights from an institutional perspective. A jarring lyric goes as follows: “The rapist is you/ It’s the cops/ The judges/ The state/ The president.”
The song seeks to make the point that the state perpetrates sexual and gendered violence and discrimination, and thus fits well as a protest anthem.
The writers of the song are four Chilean women who seek to use performance to translate their feminist beliefs to the public eye. Though they did not anticipate their song to take off in the ways in which it did, they are grateful that their music is being used for an important purpose.
On November 25th, 2019–– The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Chilean women gathered in Santiago, Chile to rally against gender-based violence. They showcased the anthem and choreography as a unit to make a larger point about the reasons behind their protest.
During the protest, the women donned blindfolds as a metaphor for the widespread blinding of other protestors. The protests were rather violent, with police arresting, torturing, and even raping women involved.
According to recent statistics from the Chilean Network Against Violence Against Women, 42 cases of sexual abuse are reported to the police each day. Only about 25.7% of these cases, in 2018, resulted in judicial action.
Though the issues are clearly very prominent in Chile, many other countries have resonated with the sentiments of their protest and the conflicts at the center of the riots. The song, “Un Violador En Tu Camino” has inspired activists all across the world in countries such as Peru, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Spain, Germany, Mexico, France, Lebanon, England, and India.