Again the state has acted in its own interests. This time, motivated by the pressure of the extreme right, allied with the high command of the Chilean police, the social democrat president has promoted a law that, basically, gives free rein to the use of firearms, in response to any situation in which the police believe their lives to be in danger. This is already provided for in the current laws, but the change is that «legitimate defense» is now allowed as a justification, even though in the past it has been an open door to impunity.
We have witnessed for a long time the use and abuse of lethal and non-lethal weapons in Mapuche communities, as well as at a number of social demonstrations, with a heavy cost in terms of deaths and injuries. We also saw how this rose significantly during the outbreak of social protest in 2019.
This law, which arises as a result of the death of police officers at the hands of organized crime, has been an excuse that has given settlers, farmers and businessmen full permission to use the police forces as white guards in defense of their interests. It will not reduce crime or drug trafficking, but will act as an incentive for increased repression against the popular movement, considered as the real enemy according to Dipolcar’s (police intelligence services) own investigations, in which leaders of various unions, environmental activists and leftwing parties have been followed.
We will see a greater, not a lesser, capacity of criminal organizations, which act as an executive arm of security policies, as we have seen in the armed attacks on the “Blue Tents” – informal street vendors that have been attacked by criminal mobs hired by shop owners who accuse street vendors of unfair competition – or in the investigations where active police or state security officials have provided weapons and protection to criminal gangs. The objective is to demobilize the popular anticapitalist movement and to exterminate those who stand up and fight big capital.
We call on you to be attentive and to denounce forcefully the true objective of this law. The easy trigger is not a fancy invention, it is a reality against the social movement. Prepare the popular response to the abuses of state power through its armed forces: the Carabineros, the PDI, and the military.
— Various Trades Union of the Biobío Border
Solidaridad Obrera – AIT Chilean Region
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