In support of young Chilean activists who are victims of judicial repression

, by  Angelo Montoni-Rios

Judicial repression has become a new weapon of States in the fight against social protest. Police strategies often involving unjustified violence do not seem sufficient for the powerful. The current situation indicates that we are witnessing an increased judicialization of policing as part of a modern dynamic of judicial repression.

In this sense, the Chilean case is paradigmatic. Since the end of the dictatorship, social "peace" has been built on the basis of promises of democracy and freedom, while persecuting the groups considered radical and the Mapuche people to whom the State Security Law, an ungrateful legacy of the Dictatorship, is applied.

The last case that prompted our reaction involves the sentencing of 6 young people: Miguel Angel Varela to 15 years in prison, Felipe Rios to 12 years in prison and Hugo Barraza, Constanza Gutierrez, Nicolas Valle and Rodrigo Araya to 10 years in prison for the death in a fire of a 71-year-old worker during a street demonstration on 21 May 2016 (government reporting day). These heavy sentences for a highly publicized case raise many doubts and make it possible to affirm, what is becoming a habit, the existence of a police and judicial structure to find guilty parties.