Model motion

Branch notes: 

  1. The deep social, economic and environmental wounds felt today by ordinary people, directly relate to the economic model and subsequent privatisation of public services – education, health, water and pensions – established under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Chile is one of the countries with the highest levels of inequality in the world
  2. The mass fare dodging protest by secondary school students on 18 October 2019 over transport fare hikes, has led to nationwide demonstrations with social movements and unions calling general strikes and ordinary people taking to the streets to make noise over years of inequality and corruption.
  3. In response President Sebastian Piñera on 20 October 2019 announced that Chile was “at War” against its own citizens. 
  4. Secondary and University staff and students are being targeted by the state’s security forces e.g. On 4 November armed policemen dispersed a protest at Pontificia Universidad Católica’s largest campus (one of Chile’s catholic universities) in Santiago using teargas canisters, a water cannon and rubber bullets. Furthermore, leaders of Secondary School student unions face criminal charges for leading protests. 

Branch believes:

  1. That there are grave human rights violations taking place, with over 30  fatalities to date, 26,000 have been detained (including minors) and an estimated 2,500 people have been injured. The Red Cross believe the numbers to be higher given the cases that they have come across on the streets. Furthermore, there are allegations torture, sexual violence, rape and mutilations, with an estimated 2,500 political prisoners.
  2. The shooting of rubber encased bullets by police and the military have led to over 400 people suffering serious eye injuries or eye loss; a figure unprecedented by any place of conflict in the world. 
  3. The Constitution put in place by dictator Augusto Pinochet is being used against ordinary citizens exercising their democratic right to protest; from the state of emergency and curfew declared, to the Anti-Terror legislation, drawn up in 1984 by the dictator. 
  4. Pinera’s government has enacted seven repressive laws since the unrest began, and is accused by international human rights organisations of criminalising protests. 

Branch resolves:

  1. To link to Chile Solidarity Network and support and promote local/national activities and events organised in solidarity with the Chilean people.
  2. To send a letter of protest to President Sebastian Piñera via the Chilean Embassy in London calling on the Chilean Government to:
    1. Ensure that there is no impunity, and human rights abusers are brought to trial 
    2. Release all political prisoners detained during the social unrest. 
    3. End the use of repressive force by the state’s security forces, and adhere to the recommendations by the international human rights organisations.
    4. Enter into meaningful dialogue with the social movements leading the protests.
  3. To make links with universities in Chile and support the academics and students in their calls for a new constitution and the end of political repression.
  4. Write to the Foreign Minister Dominic Raab to call for the cease of sales of crowd control weapons until the human rights situation is resolved.