(TMU) — On Wednesday, the 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards ceremony took place, celebrating the talents of the Latino music world’s biggest stars and filling television screens with wild musical performances and a number of emotional moments.
One of the most memorable moments, however, came when Chilean-Mexican singer-songwriter Mon Laferte used the occasion to make a bold statement in support of the ongoing massive protests that have rocked her home country of Chile.
Wearing an oversized all-black suit and platform shoes along with the iconic green bandana of Latin America’s feminist movement demanding the decriminalization of abortion, the politically outspoken Laferte clearly arrived at the ceremony intent on making a different sort of statement than those artists who were sporting sexy, glamorous get-ups.
However, the artist behind the hit songs “Tu falta de querer” and “Canción de mierda” wasn’t content with just making a statement through the accessories she wore or through some acceptance speech—instead, the 36-year-old artist chose to turn her moment in the spotlight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas into a political statement that no one could ignore through the time-honored tradition of using non-sexual nudity for social protest.
Standing on the red carpet in front of the world’s press, the South American singer pulled down her blazer and exposed her bare chest, which was emblazoned with the phrase: “En Chile torturan, violan y matan” which translates to “In Chile they torture, rape and kill.”
Prior to walking on the red carpet, the musician won the award for Best Alternative Album for Norma and spoke about the current situation in Chile during her speech.
The Mexico City-based singer then recited a poem by Chilean folkloric poet La Chinganera:
“Chile hurts me inside, you bleed through my every vein, I feel the weight of every chain, which imprisons you to the center. Chile outside, Chile inside. Chile to the sound of injustice, the boot of the militiaman, the bullet that does not listen—they won’t stop our struggle until justice is done.”
Mon Laferte has been an outspoken supporter of anti-government protests in Chile. Her latest statement comes as the people of Chile enter the second month of massive protests against the neoliberal government of President Sebastian Piñera.
The huge protests, which began October 14 as a response to rising public transit costs, have quickly become radicalized as millions of people from across social movements, students, workers’ unions, and a vast cross-section of Chilean society have focused their anger on high levels of inequality in the country, the rising cost of tuition and health care, precarious working conditions, poor job security, and a constitution inherited from the 1973-1990 far-right dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
The protests have also been marked by widespread accusations of violence, abuse, and sexual assault toward demonstrators on the part of public security forces, the military, and the police. The number of those injured in the violent repression of protests has skyrocketed past 2,000, with hundreds being blinded by the shotgun pellets of riot police.
In the meantime, there have been widespread complaints about the systematic sexual assault and rape of some of the 5,000-plus protesters who have been detained in the past month. The country’s independent human rights monitor has initiated legal action over at least 179 cases, including alleged murders, sexual violence, and torture by the military police.
— Gloria Felix (@GloriaFelixArt) November 15, 2019
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