December 31, 2019 Codepu team, news, publications

Codepu filed a lawsuit against the police’s seizure of Plaza Dignidad (formerly Plaza Italia).

In the lawsuit CODEPU states that the square «has been transformed into a central point, a convergence point in a deeply segregated city like Santiago» and adds that «the name «Plaza de la Dignidad» has begun to be used as a way of highlighting the epic nature of the social protests of the last two months. If there is one key place that has emerged it is Plaza Italia or Plaza de la Dignidad. It has been the place of spontaneous carnivals, celebrations, and battles.  It has been the meeting point where thousands of Chileans have expressed their discontent and raised their flags for a more just society. All of these are manifestations of the right to assembly and freedom of expression. Plaza de la Dignidad will probably be the definitive space for the city’s new political identity».

CODEPU’s document expresses its concern given that on December 30, 2019, the Governor of Santiago, Mr. Felipe Guevara, announced, in the same way that he did on December 17, the implementation of a policy of «zero tolerance for unauthorized demonstrations on public national property. He announced that he would deploy between 800 and 1,200 special police forces in order to maintain «public order» and prohibited any authorization for assemblies, meetings, demonstrations of any kind in said place. Whereas, legal arguments establish that the right to peaceful demonstration is not restricted, except in states of emergency, we request that a lawsuit be filed against the Governor of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, FELIPE GUEVARA STEPHENS, and the Minister of the Interior and Public Security, GONZALO BLUMEL MAC-IVER; and against CARABINEROS DE CHILE (Police force), represented by its General Director MARIO ROZAS CÓRDOVA, declaring that the preventive police raids aimed at preventing demonstrations and public meetings in Plaza Italia, in the city of Santiago, are illegal and arbitrary and that they constitute a violation of our rights of assembly and freedom of expression.”

In addition, the lawsuit adds that that due to police intervention, serious damage has been caused.  This is particularly serious as the methods used, which are supposedly non-lethal, have arbitrarily not followed proper protocol, resulting in injuries and deaths. The lawsuit is supported by «attached reports from the University of Chile, from its Major Equipment Center, from the Faculty of Science, which point out that «the metals and metalloids found in the samples present toxic elements, so that they represent a risk to people’s health”.

Translated with (free version)