Chile: New Communique from the compañer@s on Hunger Strike

From War On Society:

Hunger strike against the Anti-Terrorist Law:

Background, Objectives, and Needs

The placement of around 130 explosive devices at public and private entities from 2005 until today has involved the operation of four prosecutors dedicated exclusively to clarifying the facts; they handed the investigation over to the intelligence units of the carabineros and the investigative police (BIPE y DIPOLCAR), who developed at least 8 lines of inquiry after the possible participants in the attacks, namely: GAP-BLP, ex subversives, CRA, organized sectors of Villa Francia, Occupied Social Centers, popular libraries, Anticapitalist Brigade and Mapuche; they spent in the tens of millions of pesos in resources in order to follow and spy on some hundreds of suspects, on not one of whom, incidentally, were they able to prove a crime, such that the process went without arrests until August 2010. This scenario led the actors and agents of the supposed “State of Rights” to collude within their class with the goal of redesigning their repressive strategy to make use of State terrorism practices inherited from the military dictatorship; planning also a powerful policing-media show that would point to supposed suspects and presumed culprits. Just prior to delivering the blow they recruited an ambitious prosecutor lacking in ethics, unlike the previous investigators who had not let themselves be intimidated by domineering functionaries and producers of television sensationalism.

In this way, by recruiting a con artist, the government took another step toward achieving its aim in the person of Hinzpeter, Minister of the Interior, who in June 2010 petitioned the federal prosecutor Sabas Chahuan, indicating that “we need concrete results in the investigation,” and the reply was, “it is necessary to give the investigation a new approach” (6/13/10). Thus — and as a direct result of this pressure, which puts into question in an unprecedented way the supposed independence of the different branches of government — the prosecutor Armendariz was dismissed and the chief prosecutor of the southern district, Alejandro Peña, appeared on the scene, who drags reports of domestic violence and anti-union practices along with him. Now he operates under the sponsorship of the Minister of the Interior. His first step was to transfer jurisdiction from the 8th Court of Santiago to the 11th of San Miguel, the prosecutor’s last true stronghold, the place where one is instructed to turn a blind eye to the inconsistencies of the evidence; the next step was to leak law enforcement information to the newspapers “El Mercurio” and “La Tercera” dealing with fabrications about the profile of the alleged bomb-setters, the subversive history of their leaders, their habitation of squatted houses, their commitment to anarchist ideology, their dark clothing and transportation on bicycles, among other absurdities. Following this plot, 58 days after taking office Peña and company unleashed a fierce repressive attack named “Operation Salamander” in the early morning of August 14th. 14 people were arrested, four of whom had been previously interrogated by the prosecutor Armendariz, which had resulted in their release due to their merits after those proceedings. On the 23rd of August the government through minister Hinzpeter congratulated Peña; the same thing that the president Piñera did a few days before to signal “a changing of hands” and that “this government is not going to allow them anything.” This lays bare the collusion between the Southern prosecution and the government, a situation that will publicly reward A. Peña with a prominent post inside the Ministry of the Interior, from which he will be able to continue and improve his as well as the government’s repressive actions, his missions will be (amongst others) to monitor and dismantle all social movements of resistance including strikes, blockades, marches, and diverse conflicts by which it will be possible to affirm that Peña has come to be “judge and jury.”

Today after over 8 months of being kidnapped by the state, we find ourselves carrying out an indefinite liquid hunger strike since the past 21st of February, based in two principle claims: immediate freedom for the defendants in this so-called “Caso Bombas” and the repeal of the anti-terrorist law. So far, we have known the generous and conscious support of diverse expressions of solidarity, individuals as well as organizations, through marches, forums, discussions, diverse activities, and many steps, all of them are concrete expressions of solidarity of necessary mutual aid amongst the exploited and marginalized, support without which this mobilization would not have feeling.

Today our complete and total rejection of the anti-terrorist law, and its implications and consequences, also manifests in the specific modification of some of its most disgusting and repressive aspects, such as the figure of “protected witnesses” and the requirement of a unanimous vote to grant a release in the appeals court, as articulated in article 7 of section 19 of the Political Constitution.

Because of this we call for you to take a stand in relation to the urgent necessity that the Minister of the Interior withdraw the anti-terrorist charges in this case, in light of the spectacular dealing and collusion that have recently revealed the corrupt appointment of prosecutor Peña directly to the the office of the ministry in order to take charge of monitoring social conflict. As a corollary they will reward his unethical and questionable management. This is how the plot of the “Caso Bombas” farce becomes clear and evident.

We believe it is necessary to present the vicious shortcomings and irregularities of the judicial process that we have been subjected to, all of this is denounced under the Interamerican Court of Human Rights (CIDH); in this way we aim at the legitimate doubts and questioning we are presented with surrounding the impartial process that supposedly guarantees a fair trial.

We also believe it is necessary to make the necessary efforts to work toward establishing a concrete application that allows our demands to be known and debated by all parties, that they be given the specific characteristics of this penal process, so that everyone who can contribute toward this end are invited to do so.

Finally we demand an end to the continual harassment on the part of the gendarmerie against the defendants in this so-called “caso bombas,” exemplified by the lack of communication they seek to impose between us by placing us on different floors of a single module of the CAS. Now, to put every thing in its place, every solidarity effort is welcome.

We announce that if our appeal is not heard, beginning on April 27th we will radicalize and intensify our mobilization, adopting whatever measures we deem necessary.





Andrea Urzúa
Mónica Caballero
Rodolfo Retamales
Felipe Guerra
Camilo Perez
Carlos Riveros
Omar Hermosilla
Vinicio Aguilera
Francisco Solar
Pablo Morales


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