The Caribbean Vampire Beast
The Chupacabra or "goat sucker" is a creature has popularized in the Caribbean, as many of the stories go the creature had huge glowing red eyes, was about 4 feet in stature, and had small membrane-like wings. The Chupacabra legends tell of a reptile, dinosaur, alien, dog or some other type of beast that drains the blood of goats and other livestock. Some reports say that Chupacabra sometimes removes organs, with no visible wound through which the body part could have been According to stories the Chupacabra was a hybrid between a small creature and an alien mutation of some sort. Although never actually been official recorded as an animal or even seen by any person. Its horrific legacy lives by its alleged attacks on livestock especially goats that consisted of sucking all the blood of the animals, and left a significant signature of two puncture on the animal’s neck. Along with leaving the bodies without any their soft tissue the Chupacabra left no possible evidence that a regular animal of prey had done. "The study of the Chupacabras generally fell under Crypto zoology, which is the study of rumored or mythological animals that are presumed to exist"(National Geographic). The Lochness monster and Bigfoot are other examples of animals that belong to the study of crypto zoology to name a few. I will discuss how this creature's mystery and ambiguity was so popular during the late 90's where it was most sought after, making it a creature and a representation of US imperialism of the 20th century and a sense of control and oppression that would impose fear into the Latin American population.
This so called goat sucker or Chupacabra first appeared in Puerto Rico in the 90’s. Where goats were found with their blood drained and with two peculiar puncture marks on their necks. There have also been reports alleging that particular organs were missing from some of the animal's bodies, without any visible way for the organs to have been removed. Sightings have increased as the time goes by. Puerto Rican authorities maintain that the deaths are due to attacks from groups of stray dogs or other exotic animals, such as the panther, illegally introduced in the island's territory. Legend also claims the animal had escaped from a secret government facility, where lab tests had produced a hybrid creature. This creature could be almost compared to the modern day vampire, a creature that took the life of the same animals that humans in the area needed for survival which was livestock. Among monsters, goblins and creatures that go about in the night, the stories of Chupacabra are relatively new. At the same time a surge of UFO sightings and supposed encounters human encounters with extraterrestrial beings, there had been numerous recorded videos and eye witnesses that allegedly seen extraterrestrial beings.
The Chupacabra’s mystery is also why humans feared it so much. Many have said by word of mouth they had witnessed the creature but no solid evidence was ever there to back up any of these statements. People in Latin America where the creature had supposedly been seen first were terrified at the thought a creature would mutilate helpless livestock animals with no intent. People immediately started to label and try to make correlations between other monsters involved in sucking blood. Most noticeably with vampires, because of their “shared trait of blood drinking… Unlike vampires though the creature called the Chupacabra is not a transformed human and has no magical or supernatural abilities or weaknesses” (Smith, Brown p.274). This meant although this creature could be similar to legends of vampires, in another sense both creature’s characteristics don’t correlate with each other. The Chupacabra did not posses any powers that vampires had been associated with in various stories. This creature also did not have any weakness as would many monsters from ancient stories would have. So in some ways the Chupacabra can be compared to a blood thirsty vampire, but both monsters have complete differences that make them as, equally the same equally different separate creatures. It was more closely related to demons and was thought to be surrounded by evil energy that brought upon evil and saddening spirits. “This is because UFO’s have sometimes been seen around the same time that discoveries have been made of animal mutilations, for which the Chupacabra is suspected. For some, these creatures are demonic in nature, existing because someone once summoned the monster from the depths of hell itself” (Jenkins Pg. 7). This explains the reason why people were terrified confused about this creature, because when something new appears we always try to link it with something from the past or something that was already familiar. This new creature called the Chupacabra took Latin America by surprise, andeventually its meaning took a turn aswell as it changed from being a devil or monster to something bigger than what it really was.
Not only was this monster the Chupacabra, a thing that implement fear to the people of the Caribbean and Latin America, but it can also mean something different. Or could be a representation of the conspiracy and secrecy involving the United States government in Puerto Rico during the early 1990’s, a post Cold War period where the tensions of the past still existed. many civil wars and genocides occuring around the world were nothing out of the ordinary during those frigid times. “If the Russians have created this technology, then without doubt the US and other powers have too” This was response to the influence of the United States’ military presence in the island of Puerto Rico especially. The United had established themselves primarily as bases for its military. “Throughout the mass panic surrounding the sightings from 1995 to 1996, witnesses descriptions of the Chupacabra, the locations of the “attacks”, as well as the local theories as to the creature’s origin all pointed toward a common association with the sustained U.S. presence on the island” (Jordan p. 97 ) This meant that these strange occurences were not just beginning to happen from an overnight visit from the Unites States military. The strange obscurty that America's presence had dramatically changed the people and the environment of Puerto Rico and Latin America aswell because also at the time the United States had established many free trade agreement between various countries in Central and South American countries as of the late 1990s, called the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Which was an expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement or the NAFTA, which were basically agreements that expanded trade services between smaller less economically stable coutries which basically benefited the bigger American economy. In some way it benefited the Latin American coutries because it maintained it economy at a fair level, with other coutries involved in the agreement.
“As the presence of U.S. imperialism spread throughout modern Latin America, so too did the Chupacabra” (Jordan p.97). That was basically a representation of the neo imperialism of the United States in South and Central America and the Caribbean. It showed how in the 90's the race for economic power was won by the United States between the Great Britain which was always in competion. So in a sense the United States can be labeled as a Chupacabra because it was an alien country that basically invaded or imperialism another country for economic advance military progress purposes. Figuratively speakin the livestock the Chupacabra was consuming were the Latin American countries and the Caribbean. As control and influence grew in those countries the Chupacabra carelessly sucked they blood right away from those countries, the blood meaning their resources and control of companies. But there was never any actual proof of a chupacabra ever existed, thus the ability to hide any evidence or proof that all that happened at all. With no proof any excuse could have be said and easily labeled as a hoax.
Nevertheless when it comes to monsters the fisrt impression that is given is fear and unhappiness as well. There is always a sense of negativity and demonic activity because that’s what monsters are associated with.
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Jenkins, Greg. Chronicles of the Strange and Uncanny in Florida. Sarasota: Pineapple Press, 2010. Print.
Jordan, Robert Michael. El Chupacabra: Icon of resistance to U.S. imperialism, 2008, page 97
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Smith Lansing, Evans, and Nathan Robert Brown. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World Mythology. New York: Penguin: 2007. Print.
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