Homeless Venezuelans burnt mattresses and toys after anti-immigration march in Chile


In one of the most inhumane scenes seen in Chile in recent times, an anti-immigrant march in the north of the country ended with a big bonfire with the few personal belongings of a group of homeless Venezuelans in the city of Iquique, about 1,750 kilometers from the capital. Tents, mattresses, clothing, children’s toys such as bicycles, diapers, strollers and documents burned in a large pyre after a protest attended by around 5,000 people on Saturday. Residents of Iquique, a coastal town west of the Atacama Desert, protested against the uncontrolled migration crisis that is going through northern Chile with the massive entry of immigrants through unauthorized crossings and which has led to dozens foreign families pitching their tents in public spaces. The United Nations, after the fire, called the events “unacceptable humiliation”, according to the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González.

The atmosphere was hot in Iquique this weekend. On the orders of the city’s administrative authority, the police on Friday expelled dozens of immigrant families who had pitched their tents in Plaza Brasil and who were living in unsanitary and precarious conditions. Many fathers and mothers resided in the group with their minor children. This is an expulsion with incidents and marked by clashes between police officers and immigrants, which resulted in 14 detainees (10 for disturbances, two for mistreatment of the police, one for stabbing a neighbor. sector and one to throw an incendiary element) and five wounded police officers.

“The expulsion is something that had been warned and is in progress,” said Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado. “It is not allowed to use public spaces for recreation, recreation, to install temporary housing,” said the main politician in charge of order and security of the government, who announced reactivation of evictions.

The march for the following hours was organized by social media by the residents of Iquique and brought together around five thousand people, without permission from the authorities. They were protesting against the uncontrolled presence of foreigners and the lack of control that they say exists at the border. Many mobilized citizens carried Chilean flags and flags of the indigenous peoples of Latin America, as can be seen in videos and photographs. The march started in Plaza Brasil and then proceeded to the building of the presidential delegation – the government representative in the city – where those present shouted anti-immigrant slogans and sang the national song. On the beach, a group insulted a Venezuelan family, which was to be guarded by riflemen. Later, some of the demonstrators went to a well-known public space where immigrants live, who had been alerted by the police beforehand and managed to protect themselves. It was at this corner, on Avenida Aeropuerto and Las Rosas, that a group of Chileans built the bonfire and began to throw away the belongings of a dozen families.

“What they did to us is not done to a human being,” said a Venezuelan who set everything on fire with tears. “They burned all our possessions, everything. The papers, everything. They took one of my puppies. About 30 Venezuelans lived in this place. We couldn’t get anything out, ”said the woman, who said there were also around seven babies living there.

Register now MRT to follow all the news and read without limits

Subscribe here

In northern Chile, the largest land gateway to the country from South America, the humanitarian and health crisis has been expressed more forcefully due to the entry of immigrants through unauthorized passages. Through Colchane Pass, on the border with Bolivia, 370 people crossed irregularly in June, while in September the figure reached 1,826, according to government estimates.

According to reports from the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM), “the migratory flows which had increased until 2017 started to decrease in 2018”. The fall intensified with the closure of borders due to covid-19 in 2020. “But although there has been a drop in the incomes of foreigners in Chile, the mode of migration to a more precarious and vulnerable environment s ‘is modified: thus, only between January 2018 and January 2021 there are more than 35,400 entries per unauthorized passage, concentrating 79% of these registrations since 2010 ″. According to the organization’s directory, “it is also the Venezuelans and Haitians who have increased irregular income the most, the first of 134.622% in three years (January 2018-January 2021)”.

According to official data, 1,462,103 foreigners reside in Chile and the largest community is Venezuela, with 30.7% of the total. The government of Sebastián Piñera has been held responsible by certain sectors for encouraging immigration from Venezuela for political reasons, for the creation in 2018 of a “democratic accountability” visa. In January 2019, the conservative Chilean president visited Cúcuta, on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, as part of an operation against Nicolás Maduro that ended up being a big fiasco in his international agenda, among others. because neither the Argentinian Mauricio Macri nor the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro. To the government, however, they explain that what Piñera has done is aimed at “ordering the house” for orderly immigration, as Chile had an old migration law, dating from 1975, under the regime of Augusto Pinochet, which did not not suitable for migratory processes. of the 21st century.

“(…) The migrant population declined to historically low levels in the years of dictatorship, reaching 0.7% in 1982. It was during the dictatorial period that the idea of ​​an unwanted immigrant became radicalized, generating the distrust of all foreigners, ”he points out. the document of the International Organization for Migration, by researchers Nicolás Rojas, Claudia Silva and Constanza Lobos. For the sociologist María Emilia Tijoux, “Chile scares” immigrants, “because of a national and racist way of being” which has been revealed in various university studies and public episodes of discrimination.

The events of this Saturday in Iquique caused widespread disavowal, but at the same time a deep debate on the crisis. One of the mayors of the region, Ljubica Kurtovic, who heads the humble municipality of Tocopilla, assured that his town suffered from historical social neglect and that it did not have great sources of employment to generate income. income for local families. “As mayor and neighbor, I regret the humanitarian situation, but I also regret the deterioration from which our municipality is suffering,” said Kurtovic.

Follow all international news on Facebook and Twitter, o fr our weekly newsletter.

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and is not edited by our team.

Source link


About Author

Leave A Reply