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Meet the Chilean ‘Robin Hood’ Who Burned $500 Million of Student Debt

Posted on May 23, 2014

Photo by 'Democracy Now!'

In a “Democracy Now!” exclusive, Chilean artist Francisco “Papas Fritas” Tapia, who burned $500 million worth of student debt held by the private Universidad del Mar, which continued to collect on loans even as it was being closed for financial irregularities, describes his work as a “joint effort” of “empathy” and “compassion, because of the problems we face as human beings.”

“Democracy Now!” reports Friday:

During a recent student takeover of the school, Papas Fritas says he took the debt paper records, burned them and displayed the ashes inside a van as an art exhibition. “It is a concrete fact that the papers were burned. They are gone, burned completely, and there’s no debt,” said Papas Fritas in his first U.S. broadcast interview. “Since these papers don’t exist anymore, there’s no way to charge the students.”

‘Democracy Now!’:

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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