‘The Rapist is You’: anthem condemning sexual violence spreads across Latin America

A song protesting sexual violence that has become an anthem for women across Latin America was the focus of a demonstration Friday in the capital of Brazil, where women are increasingly willing to denounce aggressors.

About 200 women wearing blindfolds sang the song “The Rapist is You,” whose matter-of-fact lyrics absolve victims of any semblance of guilt and blame a patriarchal justice system for a failure to hold those responsible to account. They performed in front of the Supreme Court holding signs with names of slain women and dancing the steps now known the continent over.

“This movement is important to denounce violence against women,” said Liss Fernandez, a Chilean photographer who helped organize the demonstration. “The movement is being realized to support the fight of women in Chile, Brazil, and in Latin America.”

Created by the Chilean feminist collective “Lastesis,” the song was first performed late last month in that South American country’s capital of Santiago amid widespread anti-government protests that elicited a harsh crackdown by security forces.

From there, the song crossed the Andes into Argentina, and it also spread northward to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico. It’s been translated to the Chilean indigenous language Mapuche, Andean indigenous language Quechua and to Portuguese in Brazil.

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