Saturday, May 14, 2011

Calle 13 vs. Fortuño and HidroAysen

Note: This post was originally published on Thursday, May 12th. It was erased as a result of a Blogger outage that also prevented us from posting on Friday. Hence, we’re reposting this article today.

Puerto Rican hip-hop/reggaeton duo Calle 13 are not shy when speaking out against actions that they feel are unfair. Their politically charged music has met with its share of detractors from Colombian politicos to Puerto Rican policemen. Vocalist Rene “Residente” Perez reportedly admitted recently that he has “received threats” multiple times but he refuses to quell his outspokenness.

Calle 13 appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Tuesday where they performed two of their songs including “Baile de los Pobres” (“Dance of the Poor”). See if you can spot the sociopolitical messages aside from those mentioned in his song:

Printed on his shirt was the phrase “To hell with the fees”, which targeted the controversial move by Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuño to obligate public university students to pay an $800 fee. Upon removing his shirt, the phrase “No pipeline” was written on his chest representing his opposition to a Fortuño-backed plan for contracting a 92-mile natural gas pipeline.

The Via Verde initiative wasn’t the only energy project Perez protested against; written on his back was the phrase “Patagonia without dams.” This message alluded to Chile’s HidroAysen plan that involves erecting five large hydroelectric dams in the southern Patagonia region. As we mentioned on Wednesday, HidroAysen is strongly backed by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera as a viable source of energy. Yet the project has run into staunch opposition including from Patagonia residents who are against the flooding of approximately 15,000 acres of land.

Even though Perez helped bring attention to the tensions caused by the HidroAysen plan, ABC allegedly cut him off as he gave an impromptu speech “alluding” to the project’s controversy. “Chile cut off my message but my back had the message,” wrote Perez via Twitter after the show.

In the meantime, tens of thousands of Chileans took to the streets on Thursday and called for the government to enact educational reforms.

Video Source - Jimmy Kimmel Live via YouTube
Online Sources- El Nuevo Dia, The Latin Americanist, Terra Chile, LAHT,

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