Aníbal Pinto is the street that passes the main square and theater, named for a President of Chile in the 19th Century during a time of crises, notably the War of the Pacific. Logging the Alerce tree was outlawed in 1976, even before then it was a luxury reserved for elite. Most buildings are of these masonry blocks, part of the Hotel Costa Norte, under construction at the corner of Manuel Bulnes. Mural art lined both corner surfaces. Some was apolitical, such as this colorful mandala surrounded by flowers, butterflies, bees on the east side of Aníbal Pinto.
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Turning east onto Manuel Bulnes (a street name) the Atacama desert escarpment comes into view above low concrete block structures (no highrises in sight). Outside the bus window is this political statement. The red brick painted, “DERRIBA” is Spanish “knock it down.” The red brick fallen away reveals suppressed speech, on left. The profile of the Chilean poet and statesman Pablo Neruda, his stylized speech transforming the dead landscape.
Manuel Bulnes, another 19th century Chilean president, was also a military officer who fought for Chilean independence from the Spanish.
A mural of unidentified pugilists, a solid left jab on a small street named for Oscar Bonilla, one of the main conspirators in the military coup against Salvador Allende. As Defense Minister, Bonilla went against Pinochet. Shortly after was killed in a mysterious helicopter crash.
On a happier note…Santa Claus entering a chimney strung with lights.
Wikipedia – “Aníbal Pinto“, “Manuel Bulnes” , “Oscar Bonilla”, and “List of Presidents of Chile”
Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved