Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Petition to stop Guillermo Vargas Habacuc from starving another dog to death in the name of art

Today I received and email from Dan and I was truly shocked what I read. I signed the petition immediately. For me this is not art, this is a crime and an evil act of murderer.

The letter I received is as follows

In the 2007, the "artist" Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, tied him to a rope in an art gallery, starved him to death.

For several days, the "artist" and the visitors of the exhibition have watched emotionless the shameful installation based on the dog's agony, until eventually he died.

But this is not all... the prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American decided that the "installation" was actually art, and Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the biennial of 2008.

Click on the following link to help stop him:

Click here

It's free of charge, there is no need to register, and it will only take 10 seconds of your time to help save the life of an innocent creature.

Thank you for your time and please forward to as many as possible and post it on your blog to help prevent this from happening.


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Anonymous said...

The dog didn't die in the exhibition.

Anonymous said...

also Vargas will not be exhibiting the same piece at the Biennale.

Jessica Hirst / Palmer Fishman said...

I am an artist and animal activist living in Managua, Nicaragua. Since learning about this case I have been working to do something about it, both with artists and animal activists here and abroad. After months of research, communication, and action, I can report the following, good, bad, and unclear:


The petition and concern of so many of you has helped us here on the ground gain attention for all the other horribly neglected and mistreated dogs on the streets and in homes.
• Humane Society International has pledged to collaborate with the Animal Protection Association (APA) of Nicaragua on their agenda of education, free or low-cost spaying and neutering and medical treatment, and continued work to improve legal protection.
• WSPA is funding the UCC veterinary school to vaccinate and treat thousands of animals in poor neighborhoods.
• A family foundation in the US has pledged to donate several thousand dollars to support the work of the APA.

Natividad was far from alone in his plight as a neglected, abused animal.
• The poverty and cultural norms regarding animals are such that I see starving, ill dogs in the street several times a day, sometimes run over.

• Many dogs with homes are kept tied up on short chains all day and mistreated in order to make them aggressive guard dogs at night. As in the case mentioned above, food or water may be withheld, animals are beaten, and trained to attack with little provocation.

• A friend discovered there actually was a law on the books to protect animals. Unfortunately, no department of government has responsibility or budget to enforce it.

• Some artist friends and I spent hours on several days in the police station trying to report a woman for deliberately starving and neglecting her 2 dogs, and no one knew what we were talking about, even when we showed them the text of the law.

• Since this law only came into effect in the last month, there really was nothing in place under which to prosecute Vargas.

• Several NGOs have submitted better legislation to the National Assembly, but say it has been watered down by interests in favor of allowing cock, dog, and bull fighting as part of the 'national heritage'.


Account number for Dollars: 10021015624326

APA can be contacted at
web page

The Biennale organizers´is holding a forum today and tomorrow designed to ¨reflect and debate the ethical dimension of contempotary artistic practices and their sociocultural repercussions¨. Vargas will participate, along with artists from all of Latin America. Unfortunately I could not be there because my passport was stolen. I hope the proceedings are available, and that other artists are clear in their denunciation of cruelty toward animals or people as part of art.

RELATED HUMAN TRAGEDY: Vargas named the dog he caught Natividad after a Nicaraguan man named Natividad Canda, who was torn apart in Costa Rica by 2 guard dog rottweilers, and onlookers, including police, did nothing to save him. All of those potentially reponsible for his death were recently acquitted, igniting a firestorm of Nica-Costa Rican accusations of racism. Nicaraguans are the cheap labor of Costa Rica, and often experience discrimination.

Several sources from the local art world's inner sanctum, who are also animal protectors, told me Vargas started the horrific stories himself, and that all the upset and controversy were a manipulative part of his 'work of art' about the relative attention to scandal of 1 street dog vs. 1 indigent Nicaraguan man . Hence they have decided not to give him one more iota of the attention he seems to crave, at the Bienal or afterwards, and to work independently on behalf of animals.

Thank you all for your concern and outrage. Please help us support local initiatives to reduce cruelty and improve the welfare of animals in Nicaragua

Description of the Ethics Forum is on the Bienal website