Stop the Violence in Chile!

Stop the Violence in Chile!

Stop the Violence in Chile!

The Pirate Party of Chile (PPCL) is calling on other Pirate parties to intercede with their governments to demand an end to violence against citizens and the state of emergency from the government of President Sebastián Piñera in Chile. They ask us to be attentive to what is happening and to help spread the news as it emerges. Please communicate this situation with your government representatives. Please encourage human rights organizations to observe the events taking place in Chile.

For months different social sectors have been repressed, such as Mapuche communities (one of the native nations of Chile and Argentina), and also schoolchildren, with riot police (special forces) inside schools. Recently, the government announced the increase of public transportation in the city of Santiago, which already surpassed a dollar per passenger; one of the most expensive in Latin America. In order to protest, small groups of schoolchildren (girls and boys aged 15) began evading payment for the subway. These protests grew into massive demonstrations, and the government put riot police in the subway stations, unleashing a strong repression against children.

Citizens began to demonstrate peacefully in various parts of the city pounding pots. The government decreed a state of emergency in Santiago, handing over control of the city to the military, which increased unrest and made the protests more violent. The protests spread to other cities in the country, because of all the malaise accumulated by decades of mistreatment by the authorities. Peaceful protests by hundreds of thousands of people (beating pots) multiplied, as did repression and the enactment of states of emergency in several regions. With military in the streets and curfews (prohibition in the city at night), violence increased along with citizen unrest, causing a great deal of destruction and fires in large supermarkets, some banks, toll booths on highways, and other commercial premises. This whole movement has arisen spontaneously and is not being led by organized political groups. This complicates the panorama, because it reduces the possibilities of a dialogued exit.

The opposition parties and movements (including PPCL) have called on the government to annul the states of emergency and remove the military from the streets. We are also trying to coordinate many social and political actors to maintain peaceful protests, protect the population and seek political solutions to this crisis. Nevertheless, the government is determined to resolve this situation by force. We are interested in international pressure on the Chilean government to change the policies it is applying, which in several cases lack the necessary constitutional backing and violate human rights treaties ratified by Chile.

The military are on the streets. The political coalition in which the PPCL participates (Frente Amplio de Chile) has supported the protests, which channel decades of frustrations produced by the implementation of neoliberal policies. The victims of police and military repression multiply every day. There has been an increase in testimonies and accusations of abuse of the police force, torture, sexual harassment and deaths at the hands of agents of the Chilean State.

The Chilean media and government communiqués highlight the acts of vandalism, omitting the social unrest and problems that led us to the current situation. The opposition parties are calling on the government to remove the military from the streets and the state of emergency. In the Chilean population there is a frustration and malaise of more than thirty years, which have not been democratically channeled. For this reason, the leaders of the political parties and movements that make up the Frente Amplio de Chile coalition have sent the following letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, requesting that this committee become part of the investigations for human rights violations that are being requested in Chile.

Copy of Letter from PPCL to the UNHCR

High Commissioner for Human Rights Letter

PPCL is asking for our support to stop the violence in Chile

You can follow PPCL on Twitter: @piratachile