Xenophobic demonstrations in Chile continued this weekend, after a new day of marches against migrants in the cities of Santiago and Iquique.
Hundreds of protesters participated in the cacerolazo [banging of pots and pans] and waved Chilean flags, shouting “this is not migration, this is an invasion.”
In Iquique, located 1,700 kilometers from the capital, violent events took place over a week ago, as several people burned the belongings of a group of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, who camped there. The port city was the site of xenophobic demonstrations again over the weekend.
In recent days, the xenophobic climate has intensified in Chile, reject the arrival of migrants who enter from Peru and Bolivia.
“We are tired of so many migrants, they occupy the beaches, the squares, the parks, and seriously complicate our lives,” said one of the protesters.
The situation is aggravated because, in the case of Iquique, the migrants are left to fend for themselves with no social programs or aid.
In the demonstrations, posters were visible with violent messages, and signs beseeching the government to take measures to stop the migratory inflow. While the demonstration was taking place, the authorities warned and evacuated a group of migrants nearby to avoid friction and violence.
Aumentan en Chile las protestas por los #migrantes
Entre ataques violentos a cientos de extranjeros y manifestaciones en pro y en contra, al país siguen llegando cada vez más migrantes en busca de un futuro mejor.#DWNoticias /cmw pic.twitter.com/x1Um1TpB5u
— DW Español (@dw_espanol) October 3, 2021
On the other hand, the xenophobic demonstrations in Santiago did turn violent. A group of protesters ended up clashing with a group of locals. The altercation resulted in one person stabbed and 11 arrests, as reported by the Carabineros police force.
The government of Sebastián Piñera has enacted new measures to halt the entry of irregular migrants, in addition to starting mass deportations. With this new deportation spree, the Chilean government plans to expel some 1,500 people during 2021.
This measure has been criticized by organizations such as the United Nations, affirming that deportations do not respect basic judicial guarantees.
Featured image: Xenophobic protest in Chile. Many of these same Chileans applauded Sebastian Piñera when he invited Venezuelans to “escape Maduro’s regime” and move to Chile. Photo courtesy of RedRadioVE.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón
Translation: Orinoco Tribune