Get the military forces off the streets in Chile #NoEstamosenGuerra

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Hello. We are a group of Chilean students convinced of how urgent it is to stop the violence in Chile.

The Chilean population today is facing a dramatic scenario of crisis due to a multiplicity of factors. The rejection of the rise in the subway tariff, in which big media has been focusing, is only the tip of a huge iceberg that hides decades of exacerbated social inequalities and increasing loss of legitimacy of the political system.

Last Monday 14th October, a group of about 200 school students started to protest. Soon they got the support of other segments of the population, always through legitimate and peaceful demonstrations of protest. The government's response to this was, once again, cold indifference and mockery against the claims of citizenship ("you have to wake up earlier", said the Minister of Transportation).

Thus, in a period of 4 days, the demonstrations grew in magnitude, encompassing more and more sectors of society, acquiring the shape a massive spontaneous mobilisation, horizontal and transversal in their demands. In the face of this new scenario, the government decided to take action.

With a leader still visible until that moment, his solution was to go to the Constitution of 1980 (made during Pinochet's dictatorship) to get the military out of their barracks and turn them against their neighbors. On the morning of October 19th, President Piñera came out in the national TV channel to leave power in the hands of the Chief of the Army for the purposes of "reestablishing the internal order". After that, the democratically elected President disappeared until today when he declared to the whole world that "We are in a war".

Since these inflammatory statements, the President has disappeared from the public scene and who are directed to the population are local authorities, ministers and mainly the Chief of the Army, a person we are just beginning to know (Gral. Javier Iturriaga).

Without generating dialog forums, there are still no answers about the citizens' demands and, on the other hand, repression is increasing. Since Saturday 19th, the government has declared a state of emergency in 2 regions and more than 10 municipalities across the country, with a curfew in most of them starting 6 or 7 pm. 

There are plenty of videos on social media showing police and soldiers firing at point-blank range, using drugs before going to suppress people, hitting children and young people, robbing shops, enabling looting, bursting with deterrent weapons in peaceful demonstrations with families, etc. 

After a week of demonstrations and almost 80 hours of militarized streets, Chile has not recovered order nor dialog. With police and military repression, the government has complicated a conflict that was never about public order but rather of a political nature.

This can only be fixed in a dialog and opening the government to citizens' participation. For that to happen, we ask that the military return to their barracks and stop repression on the will of a people that ask only that: the chance to truly participate in their democracy