Three weeks after the awakening of Chile and the repression intensifies, depriving society of its right to demonstrate. This week, the president announced bills that criminalize the protest and convened the National Security Council (Cosena). The town bleeds but responds with marches – on Friday there was a massive one, which according to Interference It gathered half a million people – and councils. According to figures from the Ministry of Interior, there were forty injured. Sebastian Pinera's attempts to wear down the mobilization do not work. “Send more and more violence to the street. He wants to put out the fire with benzine. But the desire to fight and lower it is getting stronger, ”he tells Page 12 Lenny Montanares, 18, injured with twenty rubber pellets in Bustamante Park.
The perception of the Social Unity table, conglomerate of unions and organizations that somehow channels the voice of the people, is that Pinera is still deaf to the claim of the streets, which is the constituent assembly: “He insists on his repressive policy, sharpening the conflict, ”says Carolina Espinoza Tapia, of NO + AFP. After Friday’s big march, Pinera said he’s preparing “a draft of changes” to the Constitution. The leader questions the tax reform as "insufficient and cosmetic" and reports that the unions will strike on Tuesday. “We are being persecuted, repressed; We continue adding wounded and illegal detentions. Police abuse extends especially to children, ”he warns. This Tuesday, the Carabineros shot at a female high school. Two minors were injured. According to the media, one was hit by fifteen pellets.
A State that removes eyes
On October 23, Alejandro Munoz Fuentes had combined with his bandmates Anarkia Tropikal to march to Plaza Italia. On the corner of Santa Rosa and Alameda he found barricades and fights between police and protesters. "I was putting out tear gas pumps with a jar of water," the 36-year-old tells this newspaper. Suddenly he felt a buzz. He saw a tear to impact. He could not move. "He hit me in the front of my eye and I fell to the ground with my jar," he recalls. While a group of young people dragged him along the Alameda to help him, the police continued firing gases. Behind some trees on the hill Santa Lucia was attended by the Red Cross and medical students. In the clinic he was diagnosed with eye explosion with retinal detachment and balloon. They moved it and operated it. “They rebuilt my eye. They had dismembered it. It looks like a normal one and I can move it, but I don't see. An absolute darkness. ”
“I went out to protest the injustice and now it's all more unfair. Before I had a small business, I was doing very well. I will have to look for a new way of life. I have to move on. If I stay, I rot, ”says the construction worker, gasman, plumber and plastic artist. “The State removed my eye. I need you to take responsibility. You have to pay me to the last peso (of the treatment), ”Alejandro says, who has three lawyers.
His is a trauma shared by 182 people, according to the latest report by the NHRI. The number of wounded with eye injuries, mostly due to pellets and pellets, "is totally unusual for the history of Chile and the world," says Enrique Morales, president of the Human Rights department of the Medical College. Right now that figure is growing, despite calls for medical attention and human rights referents. It is a world record compared to other areas of conflict such as Israel and Palestine. “Several tens have lost not only the vision, but also the eye. It is a catastrophe. A health emergency For the victims, physical and psychological harm, because this has no improvement, ”Morales warns.
The average age of those affected is 29 years. They were mostly reached by rubber pellets with metal center. “For what they tell us and what we can see in videos, protocols are not followed. There is a certain degree of gradualness that should be used and many times this is the first tool used, ”says Morales. This desire to shoot directly into the eye has become habitual towards those who record violent episodes with cameras. In the artistic performances of the streets of Santiago this collective trauma is represented. It is also in photos stuck in the buildings. The Dean of Medicine of the University of Chile, Manuel Kukuljan, accused the State of using "mutilation" as a tool of public control. The social media version circulates that a student from the University Academy of Christian Humanism was injured on both eyes on Friday.
From peace to tear gas
It is just over 17 in Plaza Italia, epicenter of the social protest in Santiago. A small group of young people drink Plaza Baquedano, jump and shout against the pacos. It is a self-convened march, without the massiveness of others or the presence of trade unions or organizations. In addition, it is peaceful. Like all peaceful mobilizations of the Chilean people, it ends badly. In a few minutes the violence sweeps the peace. The hydrants arrive very early. "Goats, let's not move," shakes a brunette. The water jets begin – the young people believe they contain pee and poop in uniforms – protesters run where they can, and very quickly they start to explode tear gas that falls from several directions.
In Bustamante Park shots are heard. A mother sees the bombs fall. Hold your daughter tight by the hand. He orders you to put on glasses. In this area, where the Police usually generate spicy encerronas, Lenny Montanares received nothing less than the impact of twenty rubber pellets. His case is one of those that appear in the Archive of Audiovisual Memory (AMA), a document in development in which it is worth stopping, prepared by a group of journalists with the intention of giving face and voice to victims of civil violence , military and police (https://uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/cff39c5ecb6c7254a4be4cc095ebcd66/probando/index.html
). “We are not going with weapons. We are going to the maximum with stones. Young people are the least afraid so they go with more force. They are great, super warriors, ”says Lenny, who marched on the pensions of his grandparents and the education of his younger brother. He still has a bullet in his leg. He limps "all day."
Morales referred to the use of tear gas, chemical weapons banned in the treaties of some countries for use in wars, but used to control and disperse demonstrations. In Santiago there is such abuse that they already seem normal, part of the landscape. It is not necessary to be near an explosion to suffer its consequences. The eyes burn and tear, a choking sensation occurs and a persistent cough combined with nausea and nosebleed may appear. "They are complicated. There are very serious doubts about the damage they cause in a chronic way, of different types, including the generation of respiratory problems and neurological conditions. They have immediate effects in terms of toxicity, ”Morales describes. Its impact has caused fractures and bruises. Recently, a street vendor suffered an impact so close that it caused a severe head injury. The last thing that was known was that he was in an induced coma.
Sexual violence by police and military is another hallmark of Chilean repression. It covers "a wide range of practices." Many times it occurs in the context of irregular detentions. “There have been processes of undressing minors and women, even under threat that if they did not they would be detained for longer. There are victims of blows and touches, we have seen bruises around the genital area. Violence has reached the introduction of elements, for example weapons, and violations, ”reports Libertad Marquez, a feminist gynecologist, member of the Chilean Network of Professionals for the Right to Decide, the Action Table for Abortion and the brand new Grouping of Health for Human Rights. Since the Chilean awakening he has been attending victims at points close to the concentrations.
According to the latest report of the NHRI, 52 complaints were filed for sexual violence (for stripping, threats, touching and four penetrations). Those who suffered the most are women between 20 and 25 years old, according to what Marquez could observe, and of the most vulnerable social classes. "There are many more cases of the accused, but the victims are not encouraged to speak because they have been threatened," he says.
There are also men among the victims. However, one can speak of a specific attack on women and the LGBTIQ community. “There are times when in arrests women are asked to undress and men are not. And if the woman represents the stereotype of some dissent, it is more violent. There are testimonies of rape with corrective intent in a lesbian patient, ”says Marquez. In this sense, one of the most resonant cases is that of Josue Maureira, a 23-year-old medical student who reported being beaten until he was unconscious, vexed by his sexual orientation, again beaten until the septum was broken, violated with a porra, threatened with death and imprisoned for alleged attacks on agents.
“I still feel on top to draw conclusions. In pain I say that we continue to receive testimonies and attending. We are too much in the trench to see what it means for this generation to have under the eaves of a democracy title actions that had not been seen since the dictatorship. Under a supposed normality, the most heinous practices carried out by people who wear uniforms have been unleashed, ”Marquez concludes. He mentions the case of a victim who after committing sexual harassment committed suicide. A story that "will never" see the light with a name and surname, because the person failed to report, and his family fears prefer silence.
There are several groups working on this issue, such as Feminist Lawyers and Not A Less Autonomous. The NGO Amaranta called attention to the number of victims who claim to have been touched "in the middle of the street, while marching, by Special Forces troops." Memories of Feminist Rebellion is a collective of former political prisoners. They receive complaints and are giving workshops in schools and high schools in the Chilean capital. They affirm that the current violence is nothing more than "the faithful reflection of the impunity of political-sexual violence or sexual torture" during the dictatorship.
Leaders and journalists in the spotlight
Tucumano photographer Jeremias Gonzalez, newspaper correspondent Der SpiegelHe was detained in Chile for six hours on Sunday 3. He was portraying a cyclist march towards the president's house in Las Condes. At first they told him they were taking him for taking pictures. A Chilean colleague, Alvaro Santa Ana, began to portray the scene and they also took him. They accused them of public disorder. With Sant Ana they went further: “usurpation of functions”, because he did not have accreditation (he is a reporter free throw). They shared this episode with four protesters. On the other hand, three Argentine journalists of alternative media were held at the Santiago airport and, as they denounced, the Investigative Police kept them locked in a room and threatened to deport them on the grounds that there were photos in their networks that “incited hatred " The most serious case in terms of journalism and human rights is that of Chilean cameraman Alejandro Torres, shot in the left eye with a shot. I could lose it. For their part, grassroots social leaders are being watched by the Police. It was learned from a document of Carabineros that leaked.
A massive attack
Tortures, people run over and beaten, wounded who do not stop growing and who avoid health centers for fear of reprisals, allegations of the existence of clandestine detention centers, suspicions of death mounts, sexual violence, repression, detainees (in the entire process 5565 according to NHRI, of which more than 600 are children and adolescents; 9 thousand has said the Ministry of Interior). An attack that turns heavily on children and adolescents. In the networks there may be isolated posts of people looking for relatives but there are no official figures of missing persons. “The actions that are being carried out by State agents are not isolated. Generalized behaviors are being committed. It could be said that it is a massive attack, a coordination of different entities of the State ”, analyzes the lawyer Francisco Ugas Tapia, from the Nelson Caucoto Pereira study, dedicated to human rights.
The NHRI reported Thursday that it received some 2300 complaints of human rights violations since the beginning of the protests, which according to the agency left 20 people dead and 1915 injured (more than one thousand by gunshots). Most of the complaints point to the “violative” act of police officers during the three weeks of demonstrations and also of members of the Armed Forces during the state of emergency. Of the allegations, 72 accuse the security forces of torture. On Friday, the National Prosecutor's Office reported that it opened 1080 criminal investigations for allegations of institutional violence that accuse Carabineros, the Army, the Investigative Police and the Navy.
“The explanation of much of what is happening now, this disproportion of the Forces in their actions and the various crimes attributable to agents of the State, is found in what happened in the dictatorship. Human rights training of police and armed forces has been quite low. Also in terms of the current institutional protocols, ”explains Ugas Tapia, who is carrying the cases of a 16-year-old Colombian shot in the back with 13 pellets and a man beaten by 12 police officers in Ñunoa (for which the police officers are being investigated ).
Apart from the repression in Liceo 7, another striking fact this week was the complaint of a student who said he had been kidnapped by civilian police and tortured in Antofagasta in what could be a clandestine detention center. Also, in the last days, Interference He raised several doubts regarding the quality of the Legal Medical Service's reports to the bodies of those killed in demonstrations, riots and looting. It was learned, for example, that Yoshua Osorio Arias, under 17 found inside Kayser, died of suffocation but had three holes in his chest, which had not been deepened at autopsy.
However, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asked the Chilean State for authorization to visit the country and human rights organizations and personalities are arriving, such as Nora Cortinas, the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) and the World Organization Against Torture ( OMCT). On Friday, the press consulted Pinera about the concern of UN experts regarding the use of pellets and pellets. The president did not answer the question. He just smiled.