Chile: Three Months After The Anti-neoliberal Rebellion

Chile: Three Months After The Anti-neoliberal Rebellion

Above Photo: From

From there on began the collapse of the myth of the successful Chilean model. The oasis was just a mirage. The main window of neoliberalism was broken and surrounded by barricades, erected by high school students and an entire people who had been in debt and humiliated for decades.Yesterday marked three months since the social outburst of October 18.

That day a Chile woke up from an overdose of sedatives and painkillers. It woke up and started to meet again. A society fragmented into a set of individualities that were mostly squeezed and excluded, recognized itself and began to be a people once again. The historical memory woke up with the joy, creativity and music of the youth as the main engine of this ongoing transformation.

In the marches flags of political parties aren’t seen, but you do see the historical symbols of justice; the Mapuche flag as a symbol of resistance and struggle is joined with the Chilean flag. Immortal slogans such as “The people united will never be defeated” are one of the most celebrated.

These three months have shaken Chilean society like few other historical moments.  The indignation and anger, mixed with the joy of people gathering remain intact in the streets all over Chile. The mobilizations and direct actions still keep all the institutions and governability based on the Constitution of 1980, inherited from the dictatorship, in suspense.

The model cannot be touched.

In the face of this, the government of Sebastián Piñera and the neoliberal status quo have responded in the most brutal and ruthless way. A state of emergency and a curfew with the military in the streets during the first week. Subsequently, and to date, it has been the militarized police of the Carabineros of Chile who have been responsible for the worst repression, comparable only to the worst years of the Pinochet military dictatorship. The figures, as of January 15, from the National Institute of Human Rights reports: 412 cases of torture and cruel treatment, 191incidences of sexual violence, among these many consummated rapes. At least 3,649 people have been injured (not counting thousands of others who have been treated on the ground by the volunteer health groups that are part of the Health in Resistance Movement), including 269 children and adolescents. Eye injuries stand at 405 (33 with bursting or total loss of vision, and others with partial loss of vision in the affected eye) along with another 2,063 people wounded by shots from different types of firearms and 253 wounded by tear gas bombs fired into the body.

This systematic, serious and massive violation of human rights on the rise shows the government’s refusal to listen to the popular clamor and that the neoliberal model is defended by state terrorism, just as it was imposed. It has also become clear once again that the Carabineros of Chile and the Armed Forces are mercenary institutions of capital and that their function is to protect the privileges of wealthy minorities.

The great social explosion on the streets of Chile cannot be understood without referring to history. The causes of this crisis are closely related to the neoliberal economic model and the privatization of social rights, which began to take hold after the military coup against the popular government of Salvador Allende. The current demonstrations are against this model, which generates obscene inequalities and injustices. Last October, started the end of the cycle that began with the coup d’état of 1973. Right now it’s only sustained by the criminal use of force.

In the realm of ideas, only a blind right denies the real causes; in a very absurd and clumsy way, it maintains that the rebellion is the product of a Castro-Chávez international plot.

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