Statement from Chile’s 18 October Movement:
To the people of Chile.
Firstly, as the 18 October Movement, we take responsibility for three explosive attacks against capitalist infrastructure, a sabotage carried out in Valparaiso by the Mauricio Arenas Bejas Command, in Bio Bio by the Lafkenche Pilmaiguen Command, and in Ñuble by the Luisa Toledo Command. Below, we explain our reasons.
A dark period has descended upon Chile, marked by an incipient fascism penetrating the masses, that today has positioned a conservative and regressive right in charge of redrafting the new constitution that will govern the country’s destiny over the next decades, or that—at a minimum— will simply maintain the dictatorship-era constitution. But how did we arrive at this situation, just four years after the popular Revolt began that revealed the structural abuses of the capitalist state, that mobilised millions to reject the AFP [pension reforms], against the privatisation of healthcare and education, in defence of water for human life, protection of the environment, and rejection of precarious work? All of this is must be understood.
Since the signing of the Peace Agreement on 15 November 2019, when Sebastian Piñera’s criminal government was hung out to dry, a saviour appeared that today is in charge of ordering and perpetuating the systemic abuses of the capitalist system. With Boric, the right-wing in conjunction with the political class planned their agenda for the current period, understanding that a young face inherited from the student movement could calm the turbulent waters, along with the addition of constituent promises to change the bases of institutionalism that echoed popular demands.
The legal illusion of the new constitution, as well as the pandemic, demobilised people who today have the chance to see that everything will change so that nothing changes. The disaster of the first [constitutional] convention—that this ruling government and the Communist Party had absolute exclusivity over—paved the way for a well-designed conservative counteroffensive by the oligarchy, the political class, and the media, who have implemented their security agenda over a toothless government, that with no capacity to react, is witnessing how the right positions itself to gain ground among the most deprived masses, before then deploying at will the new constitutional council, where the neoliberal model will be rearranged for the next 50 years under a strong open-door policy that assures the stability the markets need to continue robbing the country as it pleases. Just like the oligarchy did in Lirquen in 1833, in Alessandri in 1925, and the dictatorship in 1980. The design is repeated.
This explains the enactment of the Nain-Retamal Law that now gives retroactive impunity to the criminal cops that violated human rights during the Revolt, and whom now are strengthened as the weaponised arm of both the political class and economic model against any new uprising or mobilisation for popular demands. The best example of the former is the violent eviction of the Marrichiwew [indigenous people] in Viña del Mar, where numerous families were stripped of their right to housing.
All this legal-political framework undoubtedly seeks to consolidate the new process of capitalist accumulation by dispossession, which under the pretext of economic growth, land and water have become the new commodities [of choice] to the detriment of the people. And here again the government, which claims to be on the left, has signalled its approval of TPP11, allows the expansion of the Los Bronces mining company, the contamination of the Quintero-Puchuncavi industrial cordon, and gross omission in the face of the ecological disaster that the forest industry has perpetuated in Wallmapu [the indigenous Mapuche homeland].
It is here where the sabotage of a high-voltage tower in Valparaíso is claimed by the Mauricio Arenas Bejas Command and of the Itata railway line by the Luisa Toledo Command. Only raw materials from the Arauco company’s New Village Cellulose plant—part of the Angelinni group—circulate on this line. People nor citizens ride this route, only the eucalyptus trees of this forestry company that have caused so much damage to the ecosystem, the Itata river, and surrounding rural communities.
The new order designed by the political and business class seek to annihilate the dignified Mapuche resistance that day to day confronts the forestry companies and landlords seizing their historic territory. In recent weeks, we have seen the government, together with the right, have orchestrated to punish Mapuche political prisoners in Angol jail, dispersing them to distant prisons, separating them from the communities and families. We understand that the Mapuche resistance aggravates the status-quo of the capitalists who have their interest in the Mapuche territory and it is for this reason they need to demoralise them to the point of subordination. But we also know that they will not succeed, despite the state of exception, the unprecedented militarisation, and the legislative agenda of the political class that approved a [new] law against the theft of timber and that next will promulgate a law of seizure that seeks to protect the private property of the [timber barons]. Faced with this situation, we send our fraternal greeting to the Mapuche nation people, to their political prisoners on hunger strike, and their communities in resistance. Count on us for future conspiracies.
In this context, the Lafkenche Pilmaiken Command attacked a high-voltage tower in Los Alamos, a village where the Carabineros [Chilean polce] and Navy Special Forces bases are located, a centre planning the repressive policies within the territory. With this action, we also demand the immediate return to Angol of the Mapuche political prisoners dispersed to Rancagua, Concepción and Puerto Montt.
50 years after the coup d’etat [that brought Pinochet to power], we made it clear that there is no place for hesitation. The right-wing, Boric, and his ignominy, try to close this chapter under the pretence of national unity. We remind you that the blood of our heroes has not congealed and that as long the last detainee remains missing, there will be no forgiveness nor forgetfulness. To the people’s criminals who are still on the loose, do not sleep. To the fascists Alexis López, Pancho Malo, APRA, all republicans, and the capitalist political class, be clear that you are our class enemies and we will not let sleeping dogs lie.
This appeal is to the people of Chile. To open your eyes to this new scenario that is upon us. To reorganize again in your towns, your environmental groups, your unions, your student federations, and in the academy. To dispute once again the principles that caused the rage to explode that October 18. To eliminate the AFP. To end the privatisation of health and education. To defend the water. To defend life. To recover Chile for the people.
Freedom for all political prisoners of the revolt, Mapuche, anarchists, and subversives.
A new spectre is haunting Chile.
~18 October Movement
First published in Spanish here.
Translated to English by Rohan Rice.