Meeting on Dec. 15, the Communist Party of Canada’s Central Committee condemned the brutal violation of human rights taking place in Chile since massive demonstrations began on October 18 against the government of President Sebastian Piñera.
According to the Dec. 6 report of the National Institute of Human Rights of Chile (NHRI), 26 people have been killed, more than 15,000 arrested and 11,000 injured. The NHRI also reports 352 eye injuries (due to the indiscriminate use of riot guns against demonstrators by the Military Police-Carabineros), as well as 192 victims of sexual violence and 405 cases of torture. The scale of state repression today in Chile is the worst since the years of fascist dictatorship following the US-backed coup in 1973, yet it took almost two months for the federal Liberal government of Justin Trudeau to respond. Even now, the federal Liberals claim that both the Piñera government and Chilean protesters “share the blame” for the situation, and urge the Chilean authorities to “seek an integrative approach” to the crisis, rather than to admit their guilt.
The Piñera government bears full responsibility for the violence against protesters, both due to its deployment of heavily-armed police and troops, but also by failing to submit to the mass public demands for a new constitution to replace the fascist document imposed by the Pinochet military regime nearly 40 years ago. The popular rejection of the Piñera government in the wake of these events is proven by opinion surveys which show that almost 80% disapprove of the President and his cabinet.
The past two months have seen huge public involvement as the people of Chile to debate the necessary changes to bring real democracy and freedom to their country. This popular movement aims to finally overcome the impact of decades of neoliberal austerity attacks against pensions, health care, labour rights, and wages and salaries. The eruption of popular anger in October, like the massive student protests which rocked Chile in recent years, are proof that the fascist coup of 1973 did not improve the lives of working class Chileans, but instead served to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the country’s corporate elite. Despite the desperate maneuvers of the government, millions of Chileans continue to mobilize around demands to establish a Constituent Assembly to carry out fundamental democratic change and progressive social reforms.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada expresses full solidarity with our comrades in the Communist Party of Chile, with the movement for a Constituent Assembly, and with all the popular struggles to end the legacy of fascism and bring a new, progressive future for the working people.
Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada