In the News
Freedom to All the Political Prisoners in Chile
– Petition, Change.org –
We call for the international solidarity of the Chilean community abroad and their organizations & collectives, human rights and civil society organizations, from the trade union, academic, militant sectors, as well as individuals to adhere to this petition to demand the release of all political prisoners in Chile. We demand that the Chilean Senate continue with the process and approval procedures of the pardon for humanitarian reasons [the] bill that would benefit the “people charged with or convicted of acts that occurred during protests, demonstrations or social mobilizations.” The bill was presented in December 2020. However, it has not been treated with the expected diligence as it has passed through several evaluations in legislative commissions.
We reproach and denounce the police and military repression and the criminalization of the social protest, as well as the political-criminal persecution by the Chilean State against those who reclaim their territories and ancestral rights and demand the right to a dignified life. There have been systematic human rights violations in Chile against the Mapuche Nation and its people through its conflict with the Chilean State. The human rights violations have taken on the same character against the Chilean people after the social uprising of 2019.
Various international human rights observation missions carried out in Chile have extensively documented the violation of the right to protest, to life and to personal integrity. However, this situation is not new, as evidenced by the recommendations made to the State of Chile in recent decades regarding the excessive use of force, the absence of mechanisms for the prevention of torture and the failure to refrain from applying the anti-terrorism law against the processes of vindication of the rights of the Mapuche people. On February 2, 2021, the Chilean National Human Rights Institute (INDH) denounced that human rights violations committed by State agents have not ceased during 2020 and that even the most basic recommendations have not been fully implemented. The massive use of illegal detentions, cases of sexual violence, eye injuries, mutilations and injuries caused by gunshots by Carabineros (police) also continue.
It is amid this context that the use of political imprisonment has been another tool to undermine social protest in the country. Although unofficial figures state 2,500 political imprisonments have taken place, there is no truthful register on the part of the State institutions. On the contrary, the government of Sebastián Piñera has denied the existence of political imprisonment. Chile is currently undergoing a constituent process to change the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship. After more than a year and a half of political imprisonment, we express our support for the mobilizations in the country that have maintained pressure on the issue, on the urgency of the general pardon for political prisoners and on the persecution and repression of the Mapuche people.
We denounce the indiscriminate and extensive use of preventive detention against people who have been detained in the context of the massive social protests. We condemn the denial of justice, the lack of presumption of innocence and the implementation of laws aimed at intensifying the criminalization of protest and political persecution, such as the anti-barricade and anti-looting laws.
We call attention to the historical repression by the Chilean State against the Mapuche people in the face of their demands for their ancestral territories. Political imprisonment of the Mapuche people has existed for decades. “Since the 2000s, the Antiterrorist Law was used as the main means of criminalization of the Mapuche social protest for which the Chilean State was condemned in 2014 by the IACHR.” In addition, “the high rate of acquittals obtained in judicial proceedings under the Anti-Terrorism Law is evidence of its discretionary and political use as a tool of criminalization.” We demand the demilitarization of the Mapuche territory in the Araucanía region.
For group, collective or organization sign-ons, please click here.
Comité Chileno por los Derechos Humanos Montréal, Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine, Colectivo No más Impunidad en Chile-Montréal, Collectif Le Droit de vivre en paix-Montréal, Chile Despertó Internacional-Québec, Place de la dignité
(Photos: SOA Watch, Chile Solidarity Network)