Call on Canadian Govt to denounce Chilean President Piñera’s human rights violations

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After decades of Chileans losing access to public education, public transportation, public healthcare, and insufficient pensions to ever increasing privatization, citizens of Chile are standing up to demand a more dignified and just system.

Just one week ago, as a response to an increase in transit fares, students across Santiago engaged in nonviolent protest. The Chilean government’s response to these protests was to confront protesters with fully armed military.

This heavy handed overreaction by President Piñera, to what was deemed a legal and democratic protest only served to mobilize more citizens. In fact, the movement was captured by the hashtag #ChileDesperto (ChileAwakens).

As more and more citizens take to the streets to engage in peaceful protests, marching, and banging on pots and pans (#caserolazos), President Piñera aims to shut down civil disobedience by imposing martial law and curfews. And of course, more military. 

The result has been the excessive use of force, tear gas bombs, water canons, even live rounds against Chilean citizens. There exist valid concerns, considering Chile's history, that many civilians have been hurt, violated, detained, disappeared and even killed as a result of this abuse of power.

We ask that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounce, in no uncertain terms, the violent, oppressive and undemocratic actions of Chilean President Sebastian Piñera. Canada has a long history of supporting human rights at home and abroad and we look to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lead the international community in condemning this unlawful behaviour by Chilean President Sebastian Piñera against his own people.

We also ask for PM Justin Trudeau to boycott the United Nations 25th Conference of the Parties on Climate change (December 2 - 13, 2019), to be held in Santiago, Chile, should the oppressive Piñera government continue to violate human rights.