We will not grow tired of denouncing that Chile is experiencing the deepest social and political crisis of recent years. It is a crisis that has its origin in an economic model imposed by force, that generates wealth for a few and many needs for the vast majority. It is a crisis that is based in a political regime sustained by the Constitution that, despite modifications, does not generate mechanisms for true participation of the peoples that inhabit our territory.

We insist that it is a deep crisis that has fed on injustices, abuses, illegal financing of politics, the lack of trust in institutions and abysmal social inequalities. Social indignation has its explanation in social exclusion and marginalization, in precarious work and in the absence of social, economic, cultural, political and environmental rights for everyone.

It is not a crisis of public order. It is a social explosion against the pride of those who hold political and economic power. And if there has been violence, this is not just a police issue, nor is it resolved by deploying the Armed Forces. In Chile, there has been widespread social violence that has marginalized and punished vast popular sectors. In addition to making them invisible, they do not find opportunities in the society we have built.

It would be a mistake to assume that all excluded social sectors hold specific ideologies or that they are affiliated to criminal organizations. Marginality and social exclusion are the product of a society that has prided itself on being an example and an idyllic oasis, but that actually has generated indignation, rage, precariousness, low wages, miserable pensions and impoverished health, education and housing sectors.

Hence, to us, it is of grave concern that it is argued that the main problem facing the country is public order and security or that the crisis can be resolved with security agendas or by protecting critical infrastructure with the Armed Forces in the streets.

The government initiative that intends to grant powers of public order to the Armed Forces can be challenged constitutionality, a constitution which everyone agrees requires change. To give the Armed Forces the task of keeping public order means establishing a state of permanent exception which requires modifying the current constitution and is not possible to approve via a simple law.

But it is even more serious to provide an exemption from criminal responsibility to personnel who use their weapons. This is to pass a blank criminal law, which is forbidden by the current constitution and denotes the merely repressive nature of the proposal.

The latest reports from international organizations have condemned the serious and massive violations of Human Rights. The thousands of detainees, the wounded and injured, the abused, the mutilated and blinded as Fabiola Campillay and Gustavo Gatica, are crimes committed by state agents, who respond to a direct chain of command and political leaders.

We sincerely believe that a path of social control does not resolve the deepest crisis Chile has experienced in recent years. Nor is the imposition of public order by resorting to the Armed Forces. The urgent solution that Chile needs must go the way of dialogue and by listening long-ignored social and popular demands. Social justice and a new Constitution, elaborated through a Constituent Assembly, defined by its true name, of sovereign and representative character of our peoples, constitute the bases on which it is possible to build a country that includes everyone. That is the only possible way.

CODEPU, November 28, 2019