Welcome to Chile, society of jails and jailers.
This past Saturday the 14th of August, in the cities of Santiago and Valparaíso, an action coordinated by police of all types (special task forces) violently raided three squatted social centers and many private homes in fives communes. The police intimidated people with weapons of war, broke windows and doors, and took many personal items with them from all of the houses.
14 people were detained being informed of the reason for their detention for three hours.
Later? Six people were released on probation for lack of evidence against them. As for the people that remained imprisoned, they were put in isolation cells in maximum security jails where they were awaiting a 180 day long investigation process and potentially a 20 year sentence for alleged illegal terrorist association. They have alleged that these people were involved in making and blowing up the bombs that have erupted lately in the capital. According to the prosecutor, this association was a hierarchical organization directed by key ringleaders.
This supposition is in absolute contradiction with anarchist ideology – most of the kidnapped people have been labeled as anarchists- which is opposed to the concepts of “leaders” and “hierarchies”…
Furthermore, this charade, a perfect outcome for the puppeteers and jailers who desire to keep their power. Above all, this has been the result of those citizens, who like their peace so much and through their deafness and silence, are helping to erase the oppressed, the masquerades, jails, and resignations…..
“The bombs case” is the title that keeps appearing in the headlines of the newspapers like a bad novel, in which the main characters, the Minister/Secretary of the Interior, the prosecutor and his police henchmen are trying to catch the ’undesirable’ anarchists. The beginning of the ’bombs case’ is a police persecutions saga that dates back to the 10th of September, the eve of a historic date in Chile, on which people mourn their dead and disappeared ones from the dictatorship, while others display their discontent with the falseness of a democracy that has not changed much from a dictatorship.
In this context, a molotov bomb was thrown at the house of the government. The images went around the world; the symbol of the concord of democratic parties was blown into pieces; the fraternal unifying factor of the left has been altered. Two weeks later, a vast police contingent raided the squat “la mansión siniestra” and arrested 6 people, who, to their own surprise had become, thanks to the distorting role of the press, an illegal association of “molotov bombs makers”, “violent criminals”, “vandals”. This scenario is the one that the 14 accused comrades were facing.
Back then, the police never thought that evidence was necessary, because the things they seized as alleged bomb making materials were no more than common domestic utensils. These molotovs never existed. During the judiciary process, the 6 antagonists of this story were allegedly the worst moral aberrations; public opinion has given legitimacy to the sentence of up to five years in jail … But OOPS…’mistake’! The accusations were fake, the police’s masquerade had been revealed. Finally, these 6 people did not serve the time they were sentenced. But that’s only after spending 11 days in a high security prison. Just as expected, no institution was held accountable for the irreversible physical and psychological punishments and damages inflicted on the detainees, nor for the personal belongings that were seized from their them and their comrades.
Four years have gone by since this incident, and with its passing, the travesty of justice, the inequalities and the repressions remain the order of the day.
Only to talk about JUST A FEW concrete examples:
According to the survey of “national socio-economic characterization” (CASEN) the economic gap has increased from 13% to 15% since 2006. Meanwhile the administration of the government wants to spend 135 thousand millions of pesos to build, starting this year, 10 new prisons, which would add to the total of more than 16,500 new vacancies in the prison system. It is important to note, according to the sources of the mideplan, that 64% of the prison population are illiterate or have not finished their basic studies and are the poorest and the most marginalized people in Chilean society. This illustrates that the interest of the system is to imprison the most marginal instead of educating them and providing them with the tools for a better life.
These prisons need jailers…
The alliance of ’democratic’ parties was in charge of the government for a decade after the dictatorship, killing 42 people, and helping, instead of changing, the development of the ’political constitution of Chile’ that was created by the dictatorship, strengthening it with reforms and continuing with its tradition of criminalizing social movements and perfecting the Anti-terrorism Law. One of the modifications to the Anti-Terrorism Law was to give policemen a status of ’witnesses of faith’, whereby they frequently do not have to present concrete evidence against the accused, which gives the legal support to the masquerade/ setups for those who represent a threat to the system. Among other barbarities, now in 2010, the turn of the ’coalition for change’ with Sebastian Piñera in power. This regime is pro-dictatorship and a huge collaborator with the establishment of the neoliberal model. Let’s not forget that he was also the one that gave the Chileans the opportunity of having credit cards to live working in order to pay their debts. But above all, nowadays M. Piñera is famous for his campaign ’the Battle against Delinquency’, in which he shows us his support for a policy of more ’security’, in other words, and to be less moderate with the term, jailers that secure the power of their friends the businessmen and capitalists. To make sure that things proceed smoothly, the president will reinforce the repression against historically repressed populations, increasing police personnel to 15000 carabineros and increasing the salaries of civilian police, who have had in the last few months their salaries increased by 18%.
This is how, the ’Battle against Delinquency’, is an exemplary example that shows how the inefficacy of the alliance of political parties has erupted tragically in our lives. Today we become its scapegoats, displayed like pariahs in an outlandish play, in order to legitimize their ventures and win ’moral sympathies’ among the spectators and the right. In this hunt to cover up facts, which have been intentionally invisible in the media, the hunger strike of 32 Mapuche political prisoners, who fight the adversity of Chilean justice and demand their natural rights, is being hidden. Or another omission, the use of cheap, insufficient equipment to attempt the ’rescue’ of 33 miners trapped only a few days earlier this week.
Today, these 14 comrades, among them, anarchists, communicators and social fighters, show solidarity to unjust causes, are involved in open squatted social centers where they sustain libraries, video libraries, gardens, and people who exchange and question ideas and actions in forums and activities conducted in a horizontal manner. These people are automatically criminalized; prosecutors have enough ambiguous evidence to take their freedom away from them. For example, a tapped telephone call where a mother demanded that one of the accused people be taken care of; this was used as evidence against her. The open squatted spaces and the people who are committed to denouncing and transforming on a daily basis their own lives and their society have become more vulnerable to the apprehensions of the state and its prosecutions, which illustrates that this prosecution is also ideological.
Now…Who are the terrorists? .
We make a call to build an international support network for the people imprisoned on the 14th of August. Today more than ever! Internationalists of the world to solidarity and action, to face the kidnappings and lies of the Chilean state!.
>INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY with the 14 kidnapped by the Chilean ’democracy’.
Posted on August 25, 2010