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Chilean Robin Hood

Why pay back your student debt when you can just find the papers at university and set fire to them?

Im sure we all think Ill pay back my loan one day, when or if I ever earn enough coin. Perhaps we should take a leaf out of the book of one Francisco Tapia, a student/artist in Chile who has taken anti-debt combativeness to another level by burning student loan documents for $500 million worth of debt, and claims that he has freed students from the chains that bound them.

The South American Robin Hood confessed to the crime: It’s over, it’s finished. You don’t have to pay another peso. We have to lose our fear, our fear of being thought of as criminals because we’re poor. I am just like you, living a shitty life, and I live it day by day – this is my act of love for you.

During a student takeover of the Universidad del Mar campus this month, Tapia gained access to the papers and destroyed them in protest at the countrys controversial student loans system and private profitmaking universities. In 2011, the average Chilean student graduated with around $45,000 worth of debt – one of the highest levels in the world.

Tapia will now be brought before a Chilean court for damages. The Santiago Times reports that the university will now have to individually sue each student to continue collecting the debt.

Since 2011, students have marched against a system that, over time, is being exposed as being riddled with corruption. They accuse private universities of operating scams that cheat students and taxpayers and line the pockets of the establishments.