Santiago’s Homeless: “We Side with Piñera.”

18 Aug

Photo: Alex E. Proimos / Flickr

By Kurt Hoberg.

                  In a surprise declaration yesterday from the indigentes of the greater Santiago area, spokesman Mario “Hueso del Perro” Martinez Palmero announced his support for oft-criticized president Sebastián Piñera. In the four-minute address, Martinez praised the variety of improvements vagrants are experiencing as a result of student protests.

“At this difficult time of year,” he opened between violent coughing fits, “Food and warmth is the most important thing. With the crowds of wasteful teenagers walking the streets, we are there to rescue their leftovers from trashcans, dogs, and ditches.

“Additionally,” he continued after looking distractedly at a passerby eating a Golpe bar, “People already are opening their wallets for students, so we homeless also get some of the overflow.”

“I think he’s doing a great job. We are an ignored group, and he’s doing really great things for us. People should be nicer to President Pimento.”

Martinez switched to a sitting position and continued explaining that the amount of students performing acts of juggling, music, and theatrics had transformed the streets into the most entertaining atmosphere homeless had seen since the 2006. At that time, student protests also erupted onto the streets in huge numbers. It was at this time, Martinez claimed, he had learned to juggle while standing on his head in order to earn money at the intersection of Santa Maria and Loreto.

According to other indigentes, the police forces have provided both hygienic and recreational pleasures for the needy. While fire-hoses have turned Santiago’s streets into some of the cleanest in South America, the use of tear gas has also provided those lucky enough to be within sniffing distance a “burning head rush that lasts for at least 30 minutes if you snort it right.”

All of these positives come as a result of Piñera’s stubbornness to meet the demands of both Colegio and University students’ diverse demands focused on affordable education while Chile’s best young minds sit unchallenged. “Hueso del Perro” then cupped his hands and leapt into the small group of reporters shouting “Pesitos! Pesitos para Huesitos del Perritos!” thus marking the end of the address.

Even with the support of the homeless, Piñera would still fail to reach a 30% approval rating among registered voters in Chile. And, if the homeless did vote, Universidad de Chile professor Rodrigo Figueroa says most lack the ability to make an informed decision.

“Besides mental problems and addictions, they don’t have the education level. It’s very unfortunate. If you don’t have a home, how can you worry about something like political representation? How can research it? Even people with a home can’t afford education in Chile now. But to answer your question, no the majority of homeless are not able to make such political judgments.”

Shortly after his speech, Martinez was heard recounting to a group of pedestrians waiting for the micro how he once was a professor of French, and, after doing a series of halting, off-balance pirouettes from his makeshift podium- an upturned shopping cart covered by a blanket- said that “we should remember the French for their strength and dancing.”


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