Bachelet and Her Police Stands Against the Students and the Mapuche People


By Carlos Aznares on May 20, 2015

A 20 year old Chilean fascist could not tolerate that two youth like him had painted the front of his house with a slogan calling for free education; so he killed them with a pistol on the spot. Exequiel Bovarán, 18 and Diego Guzmán, 24, died for this trivial offense in Valparaiso shortly after a massive protest took place in that city. Meanwhile in Santiago thousands of young people were being violently repressed by the infamous police there known as the Carabineros.

No one should mistake these events as isolated incidences but rather as part of a prevailing climate of Pinochet like behavior coming from a sector of the Chilean population. Shortly after the double murder in Valparaiso messages on twitter and Facebook were celebrating this as “educational punishment for vandals” and comments like, “people like these don’t deserve to live”. Those that are really responsible for the deaths are the successive so called coalition governments that allow these atrocities to happen.

President Bachelet and her Interior Minister Jorge Burgos hurried to condemn the new deaths of Valparaiso. However what they did not explain was why in all the administrations since the dictatorship, including theirs, that the response to just protest of students, workers, and the indigenous Mapuche is always one of repression. These administrations have relied on the Carabineros, a body of police that the dictator Pinochet unleashed at the end of every popu-lar demonstration. This recipe of brutal gassing, beatings, shootings and im-prisonment continues to be implemented by presidents who proclaim themselves to be “democratic” or from the “left”. Not only have they not destroyed the old structures of Pinochet but have incorporated them like what happened in Spain with the Moncloa Pacts after Franco when his authoritative bureaucratic machinery lived on after his death. This is the same pattern that President Ricardo Lagos pursued and now Bachelet is doing the same by pretending to make democratic changes but in the end finding herself entrenched in the same neo-liberal policies of the 90’s. And the only way to maintain this path is through state violence.

If anyone needed to see new evidence of the course taken by the current ad-ministration all they have to do is look at the violent waves of repression against the protests that followed the death of the two students. In her two terms Bachelet has blood on her hands from the direct action of her unifor-med assassins who are protected from justice by the State. The majority of those killed during Bachelet’s presidency are indigenous Mapuche, “accused” of demanding land or for protesting against the multinationals and the militarization that is destroying their environment.
Now from their position of power they are trying to blame these two new deaths to the “reprehensible behavior of an individual” as a way to hide their own complicit guilt and responsibility and to continue to ignore the demands of the students criminalizing them in the process.

It is important to remember other similar crimes carried out against the Mapu-che during the Bachelet period. They include Juan Collihuin Catril (71 years old) killed at his home in August 2006 by a police Sergeant, Matías Valentín Catrileo (22 years old ) Mapuche youth and student of Agronomy at the University of La Frontera who died on January 3, 2008 when he participated in the takeover of a property in Santa Margarita and was killed by police, Johnny Cariqueo Yañez (23 years old), died on March 31, 2008 from a cardiac arrest after being detained in the police station 26 of Pudahuel, where he was sa-vagely beaten, Jaime Facundo Mendoza Collío (24 years old) assassinated in 2009 during the takeover of San Sebastián in the Ercilla commune. On that occasion the unarmed Collio received a bullet in the back by Special Forces police officer Miguel Jara Muño. José Marcelo Toro Ñanco (35 years old) who committed suicide in 2009 because of the obsessive persecution of him by the office of the Prosecutor, Rodrigo Melinao Licán (26 years old) Mapuche youth killed by gun shots at his own house in 2013.

All these deaths, from the past and the new ones, are the consequences of a policy that has nothing to do with a government that calls itself “progressive”. On the contrary it confirms that those who oppose a solution to an outlet to the sea for Bolivia also maintains intact a police force made up of a number of assassins from the time of the dictatorship. This is the same government that represses those who protest and is also full of corruption while following a foreign policy linked to the pro-U.S. Pacific Alliance. It is a government that is not socialist, much less communist, but instead responds to a reactionary policy fed by capitalism. The same capitalism whose main principles is to defend private property, and that today has claimed the lives of two young peo-ple.