I translated, or rather, corrected Google’s translation of an extract from a longish article by -ex politician Jorge Schaulson for the benefit of expats who still seem unaware of the depths of Chile’s problems.
The government of President Gabriel Boric enters the seventh month of his mandate with totally red numbers. The so-called “rural violence” that does not let up in the south is now expanding to the central zone of the country with the burning of trucks in
the O’Higgins Region and in the Metropolitan Region, in the most populated commune in the country (Puente Alto).
To the “rural violence” we must now add the “urban violence” that devastates all the cities of the country, generating a climate of insecurity never seen before in Chile. Citizens live in fear that they could be assaulted, beaten and even killed in their living rooms, to steal a car or a cell phone when they go to work or drop off their children at school, at any time of the day, or be assaulted on public roads, on the bus or in the subway; forced to run away while hooded men set their bus on fire.
Every day in Santiago there are violent demonstrations by students who interrupt traffic, destroy public and private property, impede the normal development of economic activities, especially small and medium-sized businesses.
From March to date, 50 Transantiago buses have been burned, most of them while they were circulating with passengers.
Barricades have been erected, motorcycle bombs and accelerants were thrown from inside the schools to burn vehicles, and a military compound has suffered numerous attacks from rocks and incendiary bombs thrown from the neighboring INBA that can only be countered using fire hoses.
All this takes place in the most absolute impunity; To date, no student has been sanctioned for criminal behavior, despite being identified. A guarantee judge had the audacity to impose house arrest on some offending INBA students - with permission to attend classes! Neither the minister of education nor the mayor of Santiago have been able to adopt any measures to sanction the acts of violence.
Even though it is hard to believe, the government has classified violent students as “vulnerable groups”, so Carabineros must direct water jets above body height or to the ground,
This seems to be the “new normal” we Chileans have to get used to, thanks to a “benevolent” government allergic to the use of public force and repression.
In which country in the world are a group of students able to
repeatedly attack a military compound? How is it possible that the Minister of Defense has not ordered the custody of the compound by soldiers who are equipped to prevent students from approaching the building?
A few days ago in Alameda a police vehicle was attacked and had to turn into traffic to flee as if they were criminals, and in Alto Hospicio a couple of Carabineros were beaten up by neighbors for trying to detain a criminal. Incidents like these are very common and it is worth wondering why the police refrain from using their service weapons to defend their physical integrity. Unfortunately, the police are inhibited by the lack of support from the authorities and fear being accused of violating the human rights of their attackers, preferring humiliation and risking their lives