Chile

Chile is experiencing another general strike, as part of the uprising against the regime that has been going on for almost 40 days already. The government continues to intensify the repression (denounced by international organisations) and even modifies legislation by granting itself more powers to use the army “in the protection of public buildings”, without decreeing the state of emergency, while trying to bamboozle the movement through “agreements” and promises of negotiation. The conditions for bringing Piñera down are present, but what is missing?

In his latest podcast (recorded 25 November), Jorge Martin provides an update on the recent strike in Colombia, the month-long uprising in Chile, and the struggle against the coup in Bolivia.

One month has passed since an insurrectional movement began in Chile. The mass uprising has placed the government of Sebastián Piñera, one of the richest men on the continent, against the ropes. In the face of the movement he has proposed minimum concessions that are only a trap to demobilise the working class and youth.

The general strike on 12 November was a huge success that put the government against the ropes. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions marched across the country: 300,000 in Santiago, 40,000 in Valparaíso, 100,000 in Concepcion. The strike was solid in health, education, the public sector, the ports and sections of the mining industry, and had a widespread following in other industrial sectors. It revealed the strength of the working class in a capitalist country, which is able to paralyse the economy. Almost a month after beginning, the Chilean uprising continues to advance and has not been stopped by repression (with thousands of wounded and detained, more than 200 losing eyes and

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More than a million people demonstrated in Santiago de Chile on Friday 25 October, in what was called #LaMarchaMásGrandedeChile (Chile's largest march) – and certainly, it was, being larger than the NO campaign closing rally in 1988 that brought together a million people. The mobilisation on Friday was repeated in cities and communes throughout the country and took place one week after the

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The following is a translation of an article we received about the current insurrectional movement in Chile, which began with youth-led protests against a hike in public transport fares. From a widespread campaign of fare dodging, a mass movement has developed against the government, which was responded with brutal repression. 

On Monday, the Chilean teacher's strike entered its fifth week. More than 70 percent of the teachers voted to reject the latest government offer and want to continue the national strike indefinitely. The strike has involved hundreds of thousands throughout the country, with particularly active participation in the regions. For her part, the education minister Marcela Cubillos has shown great arrogance, and only last week agreed to dialogue amidst controversy over police brutality. After large marches of tens of thousands in the past weeks marked a milestone in the teacher’s movement, the high point was the cacerolazo (banging on pots and pans as a political protest) of the patipelados

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In the vicinity of Ercilla, in the Araucanía region in southern Chile, 24-year-old indigenous Mapuche, Camilo Catrillanca, was murdered by members of the so-called Comando Jungla of the Chilean national police. The young man, a nephew of the local Mapuche chief of Temucuicui, leaves behind his pregnant wife and a daughter of six. Camilo was driving a tractor and was accompanied by a 15-year-old minor when they were showered by bullets, one of which found its way to the back of his head. This is just one more case in the brutal history of police assassinations against the Mapuche people. The lives of dozens of youth and minors are being taken. Meanwhile, the authorities are quick to deem

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Las elecciones en Chile del 19 de noviembre produjeron una serie de resultados significativos. El candidato de la derecha no sacó el resultado que esperaba, pero sobretodo presenciamos la irrupción en el panorama político nacional del Frente Amplio, cuya candidata logró un sorpresivo 20%. Con sus limitaciones políticas y de su propia composición, el Frente Amplio expresa los deseos de cambios radicales de un significativo sector de la sociedad que se ha movilizado en las calles en los últimos años.

46 years ago during Salvador Allende’s government, the Chilean Congress voted unanimously for the nationalization of Chilean copper. During the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, the road was open for foreign investment, which in actuality takes more than two thirds of the benefits produced by the exploitation of this resource and those who work it. Nevertheless, what is left over, still constitutes 13% of Chile’s GDP, and has been called ‘the salary of Chile’. While the state company CODELCO is the largest producer of mine copper in the world, the surface mine with the largest copper production in the world is Minera Escondida, controlled by BHP Billiton.

With 3.4 million votes – 62.16% of the votes cast but only 25.6% of the electorate – Michelle Bachelet has been re-elected for a second term as the President of Chile, an office that she held from 2006 to 2010. Her victory was mainly due to the massive mobilisations that had taken place during the period of the Pinera government as was shown by the election of ex student leaders as MPs – Camila Vallejo and Karol Cariola of the Communist Party, Giorgio Jackson of Democratic Revolution and Gabriel Boric of Autonomous Left.

This article deals with the presidential primaries and the general situation of the workers’ and youth movement and the electoral policies and alliances of the left parties. It provides useful background analysis to the first round of the presidential elections which took place yesterday. It was published in July in issue 8 of America Socialista.

For the last 10 weeks the capitalist media has been whipped into a frenzy by the story of 33 trapped miners in the San Jose Copiapó copper and gold mine in Chile. Though the event has been widely covered, it has not been much reported on, but rather, it has been turned into a narrative that leaves an increasingly unoriginal Hollywood salivating with eyeball dollar signs. The television reporting, as the miners were being rescued, was nothing less than abysmal.

The huge earthquake that struck Chile back in February has revealed all the negative consequences of decades of deregulation and privatisation, as the people come to the terms with shoddy building methods and lack of services to deal with such a catastrophe. Privatisation literally kills!

A recent screening of Part Two of The Battle of Chile (The Coup d’État) in Bolivar Hall in London highlighted the events that led to the September 11, 1973 coup that removed Allende from power. That experience is full of lessons for today’s revolutions in Bolivia and Venezuela, and beyond.

On Friday, October 19, the screening of the first and second parts of the legendary documentary film “The battle of Chile”, organised by Hands off Venezuela, drew a very large audience at the Bolivar Hall in London.

On June 25, miners from El Salvador, Andina, El Teniente and Ventana mines carried out a total strike, which was successful despite brutal police repression. Ever since, the tension at the mines and confrontations with the police have been increasing due to the aggressive and repressive attitude the company and the Bachelet government have adopted.

The death of Pinochet sparked off celebrations in Chile and around the world. He was a hated figure, a living example of the real nature of capitalism. He died without being brought to justice. But his was merely the fate of one man. The task is to make sure that the system that created Pinochet is buried once and for all. That task lies ahead of us.