Remove Military Troops from Chile's Streets

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natalia neira
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This petition was created by: Exile Members of the Chilean Navy, Wallmapu Support Committee, La Peña Cultural Center, Ex Political Prisoners from Chile (San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland), University Students, Professors, Artists, Union Members, Cultural Workers and Activists in Northern California.

We, a community of Chileans and allies living in the United States, many of whom experienced first-hand the atrocious consequences of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, are deeply worried about the human rights violations perpetrated by the police and, especially, by the military against the people in Chile.

According to the information provided by the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) in Chile (as of October 22, 2019), there are more than 2400 detainees; 200 of them are children or teenagers. There are more than 50 lawsuits presented by the agency against illegal detentions, 14 of which are habeas corpus, and nine are for sexual violence against female detainees. But even worse, there are more than 20 human beings that have lost their lives, five of which were perpetrated by state agents. 

We are also dismayed by the impressive and bleak inability of the government to respond to the people's demands and manage the crisis.

We express our total rejection of the government's decision to deploy military troops to respond, fight, and repress their own people and we demand their immediate return to the barracks. 

We demand that President Piñera ends the state of emergency, the curfew, and the war strategy it has imposed by criminalizing the peaceful demonstrations. 

It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure a space for dialogue in which the Chilean people can express their legitimate demands. Those include, but are not limited to, a new Constitution drafted and adopted through a democratic process and significant reforms to the tax, pension, health, transport, and educational systems, among many other institutional and social changes that need to be implemented.

The world is watching and we will not hesitate to denounce injustices.