UNI Global Union is calling on the Chilean government to end its lethal and immoral campaign of repression against social protesters.
A proposed increase to subway fares sparked discontent that, last week, exploded into widespread unrest in the country.
Since last Friday, 18 protestors have been killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands arrested. President Sebastian Piñera has extended a state of emergency and imposed a curfew.
“Today, we see that vast sectors of the Chilean people are fed up with policies that favour only a few individuals. The neoliberal model implemented by Piñera has deepened inequality and poverty, and is solely responsible for the current social upheaval,” UNI Americas Regional Secretary Marcio Monzane and President Hector Daer wrote in a statement denouncing the government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators.
The United Nations is investigating the government’s potential abuses of demonstrators’ human rights.
“Instead of suppressing demonstrators’ rights, the government should be reevaluating policies that have eroded public services, increased inequality, and undermined labour unions,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. “The Chilean people want a fairer society, a just economy, and a true voice in decision making. We stand in solidarity with them.”
UNI is calling for a return to democratic institutional structures, an end to violence, the withdrawal of the army from the streets, and a dialogue with trade unions and other social actors.