Prisoners in Chile are reporting that three anarchist women detainees have been brutally beaten at San Joaquin Penitentiary.
The incident, which happened earlier this month, began with jailers harassing Tamara Sol, currently serving seven years having been jailed in 2015 for allegedly shooting a bank guard who had previously shot and killed insurrectionist anarchist Angry.
The next day they escalated the violence and two comrades, Natalia “Tato” Collado and Claudia* rushed to her defence. All three were badly beaten and moved to punishment cells.
Tamara and her comrade Tato have been a perennial thorn in the side of the screws, organising in the prison and holding a hunger strike in solidarity with Juan Flores, Nataly Casanova and Guillermo Duran in 2015. They were moved to the prison’s high-security wing in July last year. Describing their treatment at the time, they noted:
Unlike the rest of the prison population, we cannot get out of the section unless handcuffed and with a guard at our side to control us. Likewise we are prevented from participating in learning or recreational activities apart from going out a couple of days to play women’s football at the field. This highlights the fear that institutions have for libertarians, anarchists and people who collide with the system and civilization. This in the women’s prison at least.
Family and friends of the trio were quick to respond with solidarity protests against the attack, with banners displayed outside the prison and slogans painted on the walls. Riot police eventually attacked the demonstration with water cannons and arrested five comrades.
In a joint letter, published in Contra Info and translated by Insurrection News, anarchist prisoners Fabián Durán, Enrique Guzmán, Nicolás Rojas and Joaquín García said:
From the modules of the maximum security section we salute each of the compas kidnapped by the state, who day by day, with dignity and pride, face the prison reality in each of its expressions and forms.
A few days ago we learned in a more or less partial form of the cowardly attack by the prison guards against the compañeras Tamara Sol, Tato and Claudia. We are fully aware of how repetitive these actions have become, whether as punishment, isolation or an eternal package but the recurrence prevents normalization, this gives us more strength, to ourselves and to our convictions. Each day we become more acutely eager for revenge against the prison society and those who defend it.
We know the personal motivations of many prison guards and the truth is they do not worry us, because we know how they feel about subversive prisoners and we know that each cowardly attack is due to their frustrated attempts at defeating us, therefore they are nothing but reasons for us to feel proud.
We greet each of the compañerxs and relatives who with their solidarity and unyielding attitudes held a rally outside the prison in support of the compas.
We end these words sending much love and strength to the compañeras.
We are attentive to their decisions and we will not hesitate to join them in whatever actions they deem necessary.
Insurrectionist anarchism in Chile saw an upsurge in the 2000s in the face of years of hardline crackdowns against the movement by Chilean authorities, but took a serious hit in 2010 when the notorious Operation Salamandra closed down 14 anarchist social centres. More than 200 bombings have been blamed on anarchist cells and hundreds of people have been arrested in the last two decades.
* Freedom was unable to confirm Claudia’s identity.