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Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore

Reviewed by Peter Rogerson

Benjamin Radford here explores the story of the mysterious blood-sucking Chupacabra from all angles. He first looks at the global history of vampiric beasts in the human imagination, showing these are almost universal, and existed long before the term Vampire became popular. Of particular interest is his treatment of how this myth surface in colonial societies, where the mainly European colonial powers and their representatives were seen as blood suckers. In modern times this has mutated into rumours of Europeans going round stealing organs for transplant, these rumours have led to several foreigners being attacked and even murdered in Central and South America.

This theme of colonial exploitation had a particular relevance in Puerto Rico, where citizens rather see themselves as being exploited by the continental United States, a situation not helped by Puerto Rico’s anomalous status as neither a fully independent nation nor a fully integrated US state. This has led to exploitation by the military and its use as a waste dump for environmentally harmful products.

Of course, Radford argues, there is more to Chupacabra than this psychosocial approach might suggest, as people claim to have seen the things, as well as the aftermath of their activities. So Radford goes in search of the beast in the jungles of Nicaragua, where it was once allegedly seen. Needless to say he does not find it there.

Read the original article at: Magonia Blog

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