This Is the Very Best Graduation Present Ever

In Chile, where students have been protesting the outrageous fees at for-profit universities for decades, college grads received a fantastic gift from local artist Papas Fritas. He broke into the Universidad del Mar, stole $500 million in student loan documents, and burned them.


Then, he made a video explaining what he'd done. The Washington Post has the story:

In the video, which went viral last week in Chile, Papas Fritas confessed he had recently stolen the documents from the for-profit Universidad del Mar. Then he set them ablaze in a defiant, brazen act of art.

"It's over," declared Papas Fritas, which means "french fries." "It's finished. You don't have to pay another peso [of your student loan debt]. 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 sh—y life, and I live it day by day.

French Fries finished his screed: "This is my act of love for you." ...

The theft has created a bevy of headaches for the embattled university, which must now sue each student individually to secure a repayment of the debt, reports the Santiago Times. Students, meanwhile, argue the incurred debt was illegal anyway and are refusing to pay it.

And what's to become of Papas Fritas? According to the Santiago Times, he may be going to jail for one to five years for lifting the documents.

To understand the context, you have to realize that Chile has the most expensive higher education system per capita in the world. Its outrageous university fees have made it hard for all but the wealthiest people to get degrees — thus perpetuating a cycle where almost nobody born into poverty can work their way out.

You can read more at the Washington Post


He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor. Stood up to the man and he gave him what for. Our love for him now, ain't hard to explain, The hero of Chile, the man they call... Damn, doesn't rhyme.