Giovanna Grandón, a political activist and politician in Chile who wears a Pikachu costume at protests, has now written the new constitution of the country's government while pretending to be the iconic Pokémon.
She earned the nickname "Tía Pikachu" or "Baila Pikachu", meaning "Aunt Pikachu" or "Dance Pikachu", for choosing the unique costume to wear at protests against the Chilean government. The getup actually came from a spontaneous Detective Pikachu merchandise haul that her young son purchased over the phone when he got hold of his father's credit card, which totted up to a whopping $800. She and her husband were unable to request a refund for the pile of Pikachu-themed products, so they sold the majority while keeping the inflatable Pikachu costume for Halloween.
Attending la marcha más grande de Chile in 2019, where approximately one million people appeared on the streets of Santiago, she wore the costume and danced with her fellow activists. In doing so, she became famous for her cheerful antics and the recognisability of the Pokémon that she had chosen. Less than 24 hours after the protest ended, her new Instagram account had gained 24,000 followers and Grandón continued to participate in protests against president Sebastián Piñera's government over the course of 2019 and 2020.
Check out these super satisfying 3D prints of Pokémon from across the generations. I definitely want a Bulbasaur for a desk buddy while I'm working.
In spite of the adorableness of a Pikachu costume, the activist has sadly borne the brunt of the physical costs of a presence at a protest. She has been shot with a rubber bullet, punched in the face and covered in pepper spray by the Carabineros de Chile, also known as the national law enforcement police of the country. Grandón has used seven separate Pikachu costumes since the start of her political career as the fabric isn't very durable and will deteriorate from being soaked by the water cannons on riot trucks.
"Young people have always liked anime, and they see a friend in Pikachu," she said of her interesting costume choice in an interview in 2020. In May, she was elected as the conventional constituent of the 12th district of southeast Santiago in the spring elections. As such, she secured over 16,000 votes to re-write the Chilean constitution, changes that were sparked from the la marcha más grande de Chile two years ago.
"Today during recess (lunch time) we made this gesture because many people had asked me to do so, as a symbol that the People and October 18 are within the Convention," said Grandón on her Twitter account, translated from Spanish by Google. "I understand that there are people who do not like it and find it too popular for their taste. However, I did it for the people who have suffered so much for so long, and for all those who have tirelessly fought for us to be here today. My commitment is and always will be with the People of Chile."
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