Kent Spriggs, North American Human Rights Observer in Aysen
” …what I’ve seen looks similar to the Gaza Strip… “

Coyhaique.- Human rights lawyer, Kent Spriggs, who has counseled prisoners detained in Guantánamo and is active in the campaign to close the School of the Americas, is visiting the Region of Aysen to see for himself, on the ground, the situation being experienced by people in the area. He notes that after being in the area only a few hours, that he is overwhelmed by the marks left by the violence, “We saw a vehicle equipped with water cannons burning, cars turned over, houses with blockades in front, covered in order to prevent pellets and gas bombs (Molotovs) from entering. It’s really intense,” he says, adding that the black flags they’ve raised up in the majority of the homes, is a true sign of the “suffering of these people.”

He indicates that what impresses him is “the extraordinary courage it takes to resist the special forces of the Chilean police.

”He said he was traveling through routes with innumerable obstacles (barricades) where, next to fires, you could see “women drinking warm drinks” and that “they stayed there all night in spite of the cold.” He adds that it shows you the level of organization [they have], that just when a police attack starts, with one signal hundreds of people appear coming from everywhere, it’s marvelous, he asserts “I don’t know of any community in my country who could be so unified.”

When asked about the level of repression, he affirms that there should be an international campaign to condemn the State of Chile for “the massive violence exercised over a defenseless community.” The police in the darkness of night enter the houses, causing damage and traumatizing children and pobladores; the levels of stress and fear surely have grave consequences, like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, that some organization or the state itself should deal with. Here “an entire community has been punished; there’s been an indiscriminate violence, surely trying to force the community to stop supporting the movement.” The collective punishment “is very similar to what happens in the Gaza Strip with the difference being that this is not a military occupied zone" stated the human rights observer.

Fuente y Foto:

Traducción: Amanda Jordan

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