The Plurinational Gathering of which Luchan brings together 3,000 women as the cry “the rapist is you” continues to spread. Chilean women will call a productive and reproductive strike on March 8.
“The oppressive state is a male rapist.” The phrase is repeated over and over again in multitudinous performances around the world. It is so powerful because it is so synthetic. It points out the aggressors and the complicity of the States with conjunctural and systemic violence on the feminized bodies. A violation that in Chile is not a thing of the past but is told in close anecdotes. “The rapist is you,” shouts the Thesis and many of us repeat with fiery rage. An exercise in historical memory that longs for respect for the autonomy of bodies -territories against the continuities established by the dictatorships- and the patriarchal world.
On October 18, Chile woke up and began an uprising that could give way to a social and political process of profound change or, as they chanted slogans say, “with everything if not for what”. After the student evasion call in the city of Santiago due to the increase in the price of the subway ticket that was repressed with beatings and arrests by members of the Carabineros, a collage of precarious lives began to protest for dignity from the towns to the centers, in a collective rebirth that brought together millions of hoods in the face of the cruelty of a system of exclusion that has been more than 30 years of pseudo-democracy.
It was the “goats” (the young women) who organized in the student movement and took over university campuses in 2017 against sexual violence; who joined the “green tide” for free abortion in 2018 and who called for one of the largest mobilizations of the post-dictatorship on March 8, 2019, in the first Feminist Strike that brought together one million in their mobilization.
It is the young women who are driving a struggle that finds three generations linked together against the inequality of the former neo-liberal “oasis” in Latin America and the Caribbean
They are the ones who energize a struggle that finds three generations linked together against the inequality of the former “oasis” of the neoliberal economic – and cultural – model in Latin America and the Caribbean. Today, those who lived through the terror of 17 years of dictatorship in Chile, those who see their lives made precarious by debt or the expropriation of their pension funds, and those who were born without fear but see a future without basic rights such as health and education, are in the streets.
Last Friday, the latest opinion poll measuring the approval rating of the right-wing government of Sebastián Piñera was released. It was conducted by the Center for Public Studies (CEP), which has as one of its directors a former Education Minister who is close to the president. The result states that only 6% of those surveyed approve of how Piñera is running the government and only 5% have confidence in him. The data was collected between November 28, 2019, and January 6, 2020, with a total sample of 1,496 respondents in 117 municipalities in Chile. The discredit also extends to the repressive institutions of the State, the Carabineros (17%), the Investigative Police (25%) and the Armed Forces (24%).
Piñera is a businessman who was elected president and who orders the repression of the Chilean people with a poor 6% of legitimacy. In this regard, three months after the social uprising, the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) made official the figures of arrests, violations, injuries and complaints that have been presented as a result of the violence of state agents. From 17 October 2019 to 15 January 2020, 1,445 rights violations have been reported (191 acts of sexual violence, 412 torture and other cruel treatment and 842 accusations of excessive use of force). The agency found that 3,649 people remain injured; 269 are children and adolescents. In addition, 2,063 people were wounded by gunshots, most of them with buckshot, and eye trauma from 405 projectiles, 33 of which meant a burst or loss of one or both eyes. Also, 253 people have been injured by tear gas bombs during these three months of demonstrations.
In this regard, Sebastián Piñera is being accused by multiple political actors and social references. He is accused of homicide, torture and illegitimate physical, mental and sexual coercion, rape, arbitrary detention, illegal arrests, deprivation of physical liberty without regard to the provision of information concerning the fate or whereabouts of the persons detained, and mutilation of eyes. Approximately 2,000 people continue to be detained and almost 200,000 are undergoing legal proceedings in the framework of the criminalization of protest that is the policy of your government. Only since the institution of Human Rights have presented 1,080 judicial actions, 770 complaints about torture and cruel treatment and 158 for sexual violence, which include accusations of nudity, touching, to