Speech by the Chile Woke Up The Netherlands Collective, for the October 16th, 2021 demonstration in Amsterdam.
Photos by: Romy Fernández
“On the second anniversary of the social uprising in Chile, various organizations of the Chilean community in Europe demand truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence of the serious Human Rights violations that occurred during the social revolt in Chile.
What began as a series of student actions in October 2019 turned into a movement of hundreds of thousands of citizens who took to the streets throughout the country in what we know as the “Chilean Social Outbreak.” Thousands of citizens expressed their dismay at the neoliberal economic system that structurally generates great inequalities among the population. This model was imposed by force during the civic-military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled the country with an iron fist from 1973 to 1990. During his regime, many of the basic needs of life, such as water, were privatized. As a result, the State of Chile cannot guarantee universal human rights such as the right to a quality health system, education, housing and pensions.
For two years, hundreds of demonstrations have been brutally repressed by the Chilean government and thousands of citizens were arrested. The Chilean police “Carabineros” of Chile continue to use the same intimidating tactics that prevailed during the dictatorship, such as torture and sexual abuse. Hundreds of people have been convicted based on assemblages or the mere testimony of the police. Others have been detained in preventive detention for months. Violence against minors, women, LGBTI + people, immigrants and indigenous peoples, especially the Mapuche people, is particularly serious. The press and human rights activists and observers have also received constant threats.
The systematic and persistent human rights violations committed by State agents are accompanied by widespread impunity. The National Institute of Human Rights of Chile (INDH) indicated yesterday, October 15, 2021, that of the 3,072 charges filed against state agents, only 4 have resulted in convictions.
Since the protests began in October 2019, more than 5,600 citizens have reported human rights violations to the Public Ministry. At least 405 people have suffered serious eye injuries from lead rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. Gustavo Gatica and Fabiola Campillay were blinded for life. At least 35 people have died and last Sunday, October 10, the human rights observer Denise Cortés died during a protest to vindicate the demands of the Mapuche, the main indigenous people of Chile.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Inter-American Association for Human Rights, and the United Nations have issued reports on human rights violations in Chile. Yesterday, October 15, 2021, in a new report published by Amnesty International Chile, Ana Piquer, its executive director pointed out: “Thousands of victims today could tell a different story, if it were not for the fact that the leadership of the Chilean police deliberately allowed torture and mistreatment of protesters to disperse them at all costs. ”Or stop them without due guarantees. The authorities knew what was happening and did not act decisively to prevent such actions from happening again. Two years after the outbreak, investigations are barely progressing. The Public Ministry must immediately investigate the responsibility of the entire command line, down to the highest level. We hope that this report will help end this long-standing and unacceptable impunity. “
Therefore, based on the “principle of complementarity” of international law (Article 17 of the Rome Statute), we support the accusation presented before the International Criminal Court by a series of organizations of human rights abuses, including the former Spanish judge. Baltasar Garzón, against President Sebastián Piñera for his crimes against humanity.
We also call on the European governments to stop this indifference toward the human rights violations not only in Chile, but also in other Latin American countries such as Colombia. It is necessary to condemn violence against the civilian population and demand concrete measures to prevent human rights violations.
FOR THE TRUTH, JUSTICE AND REPARATION OF THE VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILE, PIÑERA TO THE HAGUE!!
FOR THE FREEDOM OF POLITICAL PRISONERS OF THE OCTOBER REVOLT! PIÑERA TO THE HAGUE!
FOR THE LIBERATION OF THE WALLMAPU AND THE FREEDOM OF ALL THE MAPUCHE POLITICAL AND ANCESTRAL AUTHORITIES. MARICHIWEU! PIÑERA TO THE HAGUE!”
Chile Woke Up The Netherlands Collective, October 16th, 2021.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
European agitation weekend:
Piñera to The Hague
Cultural and political demonstration to demand respect for Human Rights in Chile.
October 16th 2021, from 13:00 to 17:00 hrs. Dam Square, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The following video made by Slow Edit Amsterdam contains part of this demonstration:
On the second anniversary of the Chilean social outbreak, several European-based social, political and Human Rights organisations have come together to demand truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition for the systematic Human Rights violations committed by agents of the Chilean State, endorsed by the criminal government of S. Piñera.
The most important national and international Human Rights organisations have recorded and reported hundreds of eye injuries caused by the impact of rubber bullets or teargas cans, torture, deaths, sexual abuse, illegal detentions and a series of other abuses and serious Human Rights violations.
Likewise, the justice system criminalises and sanctions thousands of participants in legitimate social protest, sending them to jail and opening legal proceedings against them, without reliable evidence. Hundreds of them have been sent to pre-trial detention accused of violating the State’s Internal Security Law. To this day, dozens of them have been in prison for almost two years, at the insistence of the Ministry of the Interior and the National Prosecutor’s Office. They are mainly young, with no prior criminal record, victims of Political Prison (*).
For these reasons, based on the “principle of complementarity” of international law (Article 17 of the Rome Statute), we support the accusation presented before the International Criminal Court against S. Piñera for his crimes against humanity, by a series of Human Rights organisations, with former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón. And we demand his international judgment, through a series of political and cultural activities, which will take place in the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague, in the Netherlands.
In that context, as collective Chile Woke Up the Netherlands, thanks to the support of the organisation for Latin American Action the Netherlands (OLAA), we have organised a political and cultural demonstration for Saturday, October 16th, starting at 13:00 hrs. in Dam Square, Amsterdam, where we will meet a series of social and political organisations, musicians, dancers, artists and activists from different cities of Europe who support legitimate social protest in Chile and Latin America.
Each and everyone is invited to participate in this demonstration that calls for justice, dignity and peace for the people of Chile!
(*) For more information about Political Prisoners you can consult our special report.
We are happy to share that the first Melon with Wine gathering in Amsterdam of 2021 was a complete success, even the weather was on our side.
Thank you very much to all the supportive people who participated, especially to all the volunteers who organized and make these meetings possible.
Soon we will report details of the money raised and of course, an upcoming appointment to meet again with good food, good music, and some delicious Melvin. See you soon!