Meet the Chilean ‘Robin Hood’ Who Burned $500 Million of Student Debt
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.Wait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig