What “Paro” Stands For

Current international student Kaitlyn Hepburn shares her creative reflection on Ecuador's recent “paro,” or strike, and what the word “paro” means to her.

(For more information on the recent political unrest in Ecuador, please see our most recent newsletter.)

One of the hardest parts of the National Protests for me was hearing the many false narratives that the government and other countries were publishing for their own interests. This is why I used the “A” (Actores Internacionales) and “R” (Régmen) to express the interests of those actors who used their official positions and blanket statements like “democracy” and “development” to support the violent and abusive response to people who were peacefully protesting for recognition and social change. On the other hand, the “P” (Pueblo) and “O” (Otros Actores y ONG) were used to represent the real narratives that few people were exposed to. When you turned to the news on T.V., it was filled with propaganda commercials and narratives of looting. What it failed to mention, that alternative news sources, social media, and people protesting in Quito, did cover were the vast human rights abuses that the police and military were responsible for. These included tear gassing places of refuge, excessive use of force and brutality, and shooting lead bullets at protestors, just to name a few. In this piece, I try to show the many actors that took part in the protests, each with their own narrative to tell. Each actor represents a letter, and together they spell PARO.

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