Source: European Parliament
The announcement at the beginning of October that underground rail fares would rise in Santiago de Chile sparked off a wave of protests. These began as peaceful demonstrations by students and members of the public exasperated by the effects of the incessant rise in inequalities and have since spread in the past few days to the whole of the country. Ever since this started, Chile’s President Piñera has used the term ‘war’ in order to have a pretext for imposing a curfew and martial law, thereby triggering a fierce wave of repression by the police and the army. Notwithstanding the fact that the demonstrators’ grievances have tardily and hesitantly been acknowledged, the situation continues to grow worse, to the point that a number of deaths have been reported as well as hundreds of casualties, attacks on journalists, and cases of arbitrary detention, rape and torture in barracks. Chile is an important partner for the EU, with which negotiations are underway on modernising the Association Agreement.
Given the above, what measures is the High Representative taking in regard to the Chilean Government in order to address this worrying situation? Is she employing all the diplomatic instruments at her disposal with Santiago di Chile, including the human rights clause in the Association Agreement?