Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 November 2015

Dictatorship's methods still reign in 'democratic' Chile

Police torture 15-year-old socialist

Students march in Chile, photo by Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Students march in Chile, photo by Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Reporters from Socialismo Revolucionario (the Socialist Party's sister party in Chile)

Social and political convulsions characterise the last decade in Chile. The heroic student movement has been at the forefront, organising periodic mass demonstrations, occupations and strikes. This is part of a wave of radicalisation and struggle as Chile's post-dictatorship 'democratic' system moves into crisis.

The legacy of that brutal dictatorship continues. While formally extinct, the "transition" to so-called democracy left intact the dictatorship's state machine - and even constitution! This has been highlighted by brutal state repression and torture against protestors, including members of Socialismo Revolucionario.

One particular recent case involved TC, a 15-year-old member. For the crime of carrying a 'suspicious bag' - a school bag - he and a friend were arrested. Once hauled into the police van, he was brutally beaten by multiple police officers.


During this beating, police employed a notorious torture technique called 'the telephone'. This involves punching the victim in both ears at the same time, causing them to lose balance and consciousness.

When the van arrived at the station, TC's injuries were recorded officially. However, he was then suspended in the air and carried violently by the throat down flights of stairs, cutting off his breathing.

Our tortured comrade reported that, throughout his ordeal, his abusers shouted again and again that this was the result of protesting and he had better stay home in future.

Members and supporters of Socialismo Revolucionario acted immediately. The progressive parents' and guardians' organisation Opam, launched by our members, demanded and won an audience with the chief of the supreme court within 24 hours.

This one incident is symptomatic of the wider problem of state torture and repression. Torture is not even a crime in Chile, and allegations of police abuse are dealt with in secretive military courts which encourage impunity.

There have also been widespread reports of security forces sexually harassing and abusing young women on protests. And while the focus has been on student demonstrations, workers' organisations and indigenous peoples are subject to the same attacks - and worse.


Socialismo Revolucionario argues that only mass struggle can end this injustice. Such a struggle must demand:

We link the struggle for these democratic demands with the struggle against capitalism, which props up this repressive regime to defend its profits. We fight for socialist change.

Socialismo Revolucionario and Opam are discussing with students', women's and indigenous peoples' organisations - to launch a significant anti-repression, anti-torture campaign.

Socialists internationally will have a key role to play in supporting this.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 25 November 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Back doctors' strikes

Stop the Tories' war on Syria

Autumn statement: bonanza for bosses, pain for us

Police finally own up to spies' relationships with target women

Transgender woman dies after spiteful courts pick men's prison

'Antibiotic apocalypse': profit system holds back research

Sun's racist lie about Muslim support for terror

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

Socialist change not climate change

International socialist news and analysis

Bombing Syria won't stop Isis

Dictatorship's methods still reign in 'democratic' Chile

Myanmar: electoral defeat for the military, renewed class struggle ahead

Workplace news and analysis

Trade Union Momentum launched to organise to defend Corbyn

Lambeth library workers' wildcat strike

"I'm voting for Roger because I believe we need change in our union"

Steelworkers demand government action to Save Our Steel

Firefighters rally to defend pay and conditions

Solidarity with sacked BT worker

Protest demands reinstatement of John Vasey

Workplace news in brief

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Tory MP made me sick with tax credit cut lies

Transgender access to healthcare is worsened by cuts

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Waltham Forest march demands homes for all

Fire cuts cost lives

Save Dorothy Lucy centre


Home   |   The Socialist 25 November 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleWest London Socialist Party: Lessons of the 1973 military coup in Chile

triangleNew pamphlet: constituent assemblies and the revolutionary programme

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Chile in revolt

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: Uprising in Chile - Workers fight back

triangleLambeth & South West London Socialist Party: Revolt in Chile


triangleBritish state complicit in torture and rendition: put Blair and Straw in the dock!

triangleHundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

triangleAsylum solidarity - Justice for Janahan


triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

triangleTV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

triangleThe Socialist inbox


triangleChinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests

triangleTory think tank proposes attack on pensions


triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Capitalist democracy versus socialist democracy


triangleNae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity


triangleEnd repression in Chile - freedom for soldier David Veloso




Hong Kong

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests



Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon



Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race



India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus



Trump puts profit before safety (again)



US: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide


May Day

A CWI May Day 2020 statement



Irish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest



US private healthcare system in meltdown



Rapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus



Coronavirus, capitalism and fighting for socialism worldwide



Amazon workers threaten revolution!



French local elections: CWI candidate elected



United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets



'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020