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#Chile: Public Statement of the Coordinating Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of October 18

Note from Vamos hacia la vida: We share the first statement of the Coordinadora por la Libertad de lxs Presxs Políticos 18 de Octubre (Coordinating Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of October 18), a coordinating committee in which different solidarity groups converge with individual prisoners from the October-November revolt (and those who will follow, as the struggle in the streets continues), as well as family members, friends and comrades of those who have been subjected to repression. We consider it important to coordinate efforts to show solidarity with our prisoners, especially since the last count of comrades in pretrial detention involves approximately 2,000 prisoners. Solidarity with the people who are suffering repression from the revolt is a fundamental aspect of our emancipation. We salute the efforts of the comrades and make this blog available to disseminate all or most of what should be spread from that coordination.

Originally published by Vamos hacia la vida. Translated by Enough 14.

Public Statement of the Coordinating Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of October 18

For the past month and a half, Chile has been shaken by massive mobilizations against social inequality, privatizations, corruption and looting. On the streets, millions have questioned the economic model and constitution imposed by Pinochet’s dictatorship.

Against this massive popular clamor, the government imposes a violent and systematic repression: about twenty murdered and assassinated, hundreds of mutilated people who have lost one or both eyes because of shots fired by Carabineros, thousands of people injured, illegal detentions, tortures against detainees, sexual abuses, rapes, and a fierce daily repression against a population that does not back down.

Piñera’s repressive policy has sought to criminalize mobilizations by imprisoning thousands of demonstrators, reinforcing the function of prison as a perverse tool of control that seeks to punish poverty, dissidence and social struggle.

According to data from the State Prosecutor’s Office of Chile released on November 30, the number of people who went through a control and detention hearing is 30,102, out of which 20,217 were formalized, and 1,957 have been kept in pretrial detention. Each day of struggle adds more prosecutions and detainees.

As relatives and friends of the political prisoners of the social explosion of October 18, together with different organizations, collectives and individuals engaged in this struggle, we invite you to form a broad coordinating group that will unite the demand for immediate release.

We denounce that these detainees are the other face of the violation of the human rights of the Chilean people. They are, therefore, political prisoners imprisoned by the repressive forces of the Chilean State.

We demand their immediate release, together with national and international recognition of their status as political prisoners; consideration of the prison regime in accordance with their political condition; and immediate compensation for all families affected by the prosecution and punishment of Carabineros and military personnel who violate human rights.

We reject the arbitrary application of the package of repressive laws by Piñera’s government, and we also add to our demands the end to Decree Law 321, which hardens the conditions for parole.

We call upon social leaders, students, labor unions, politicians, feminists, environmentalists, and everyone to sign this declaration, to coordinate a worldwide campaign in support of political prisoners in Chile, which categorically rejects the systematic violation of human rights and the repression imposed by the government.


Coordinadora por la Libertad de lxs Prisionerxs Políticxs 18 de Octubre (Coordinating Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of October 18), December 6, 2019

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