Today on International Human Rights Day, SOA Watch reiterates our deep condemnation of the brutal state violence and systematic human rights violations – murders, sexual violence, torture, and serious injuries – that the Chilean military and police are exercising against the protesting civilian population. Since October, protesters have been calling for a new Constitution and demanding that the State, led by President Sebastián Piñera’s government, end abusive neoliberal policies.
The National Human Rights Institute (INDH) has filed 6 official manslaughter complaints before Chilean courts for cases where there are clear records that state agents killed these individuals. , and according to the INDH, the vast majority of these injuries are from bullets, pellets, and beatings.
that seemingly targets their faces. , and the New York Times even published an article called ”. The head of Chile’s Medical College, Patricio Meza, stated, “Unfortunately in Chile, we have had a greater number of cases than in any situation of social unrest that has occurred in the world. The only world statistic that is a little closer to what we have seen in Chile is from Israel, where there were 154 patients with injured eyes, but in six years.”
As of December 3rd, , as well as 106 complaints of sexual violence. On November 25th, in an effort to call out and organize against the Chilean State’s use of sexual violence, led a mass mobilization in Santiago, where they preformed a piece called “A Rapist on Your Path” and likened the oppressive state to a male rapist. , being replicated in numerous countries, and is a direct affront to the use of sexual violence by state forces and the Chilean police’s motto of “a friend on your path.” The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th) was initially established in memory of the Mirabal sisters, who were brutally murdered in 1960 under the Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.
It is important to note that the Chilean State is also prosecuting protestors. Of those arrested, 20,000 have been charged or formally accused for protest-related events, and 1,957 political prisoners have been held in pretrial detention.
On October 18th, President Sebastián Piñera declared a State of Exception, thus militarizing the streets during the first 10 days of protests. For context, it is important to keep in mind that Chile is only second to Colombia in terms of the number of military and police personnel sent to train at the US Army’s SOA/WHINSEC. One of the demands of the Chilean organizations in the protest is
The Carabineros are heavily implicated in the ongoing violent repression against protesters. In 2018, 40 Chilean police officials received – a country with one of the worst human rights records in the Western Hemisphere. This course is supported by the US and . This “anti-terrorist” or civilian-targeted warfare training has been under intense scrutiny and last year, a GOPE member murdered Camilo Catrillanca, a member of the Mapuche community.
At SOA Watch, we reject and denounce the logic of military and police training that targets civilian populations and teaches state forces to look at their own population as an “internal enemy”, the results of which are currently playing out in Chile and throughout the Americas.