Chile’s Social Uprising

Photo: October 26, 2019. Agency Gentileza.

What began as a series of student demonstrations in October 2019, was rapidly and progressively adding the adherence of hundreds of thousands of people of all ages, genders and origins,  throughout Chile. They came out to express their deep discontent at the great structural inequality and the precariousness of life, generated by the neoliberal and capitalist economic model, as well as the ineffective role of the Chilean Subsidiary State. The most serious result of the Chilean model is the privatization of Basic Social Rights and their exercise, such as education, health, housing, pensions, work, property and access to essential natural resources for life, such as water, minerals or seeds, among many others.

The Chilean State recognizes itself as a Democratic Republic, which submits its exercise and political force to the Rule of Law, but the facts have shown just the opposite. Formally, it recognizes and promotes the fundamental rights, including the legitimate Human Right to Protest and the equality before the law of all people, subscribing international pacts, conventions and also, international trades based on respect for the Human Rights (e.x EU-Chile trade).  Nevertheless, since October 2019 the evidence has shown that we are living in a totalitarian and criminal political system, under the administration of S.Piñera, who uses the coercive forces against the people, to suffocate the protest and the structural changes that they are claiming. Most of the demonstrations have been developed peacefully, by the protesters. Throughout the country they multiplied, filling with colors, slogans, songs, performances, dances and more, as testimony of our awakening. Demanding substantive changes towards a more egalitarian and inclusive society for everyone. “Until Dignity becomes a custom” has been the main popular motto.

However, the response of the Police Forces has been to brutally repress both the demonstrations and the protesters themselves, with weapons and tactics of war. Moreover, with a clear intention to injure the protesters, without any respect for the national and international laws or protocols signed by the Chilean State. The political power has openly supported these criminal actions by the police forces, beginning with the President of the Republic himself, who reacted (to the massive demonstrations) by decreeing the State of Constitutional Emergency (which still remains). Furthermore, he dispatched military forces to secure civilian control, officially declaring: “We’re at war against a powerful and implacable enemy who doesn’t respect anything or anyone, and who’s willing to use limitless violence and criminal acts.” That is how President Piñera described the protests. (BBC news, October 2019)” The result in terms of Human Rights has been the worst experienced since the Pinochet dictatorship.

If you want to know more about what is happening in Chile and why this social uprising began we recommend you see the video below: