Forwarded from Chris Brady (Chile CP)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Dec 2 06:50:58 MST 2001


{Please see the two articles following, and the very disturbing link 
to La Tercera. Please know that I disagree with the CPCanada opinion 
that security forces in Chile are under total control of the 
Concertación Government
 as you can see, Gladys Marin seems to agree 
with me from Santiago.}

URGENT -- CP OF CHILE OFFICES ATTACKED!!!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Communist Party of Canada 
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 4:29 PM

Urgent Action Message

Communist Party of Chile Offices Ransacked by Police; Gladys Marin 
and other Party Leaders Beaten, Arrested

Dear Comrades,

We have just received disturbing news of a brutal, planned attack on 
the Central Committee offices of the Communist Party of Chile by over 
300 members of the Carabineros, the Chilean National Police.

According to preliminary reports, the attack took place at the head 
Offices of the CP of Chile in Santiago on November 27. General 
Secretary Gladys Marin, Luis Barria (Head of the International 
Department), and the leader of the JJCC (communist youth league) were 
among the 50 or so party members who were beaten and then detained by 
the police. Some comrades had to be taken to hospital for injuries.

The offices were then trashed, telephone lines cut, and computers And 
other electronic equipment smashed and thrown out onto the street.

Most of the comrades, including cde. Marin, have since been released 
from custody, but a few are reportedly still under detention.

Chilean President Lagos, and the newly appointed head of the National 
Police, Arturo Cienfiegos, have subsequently claimed total ignorance 
of the reasons for the police action, and have promised a full 
investigation. Many doubt their professed ignorance however, because 
it is extremely unlikely that rogue element within the police would 
complete such an atrocity without approval from the highest levels of 
the state

This attack comes only three weeks before nationwide elections are 
scheduled to take place, elections in which the vote for the 
Communists is expected to rise. The destruction of the party national 
headquarters will severely impact on the election campaign, a result 
which without doubt was intended.

The Communist Party of Canada sharply denounces this vicious 
repression,,, [snip] Comradely yours, Miguel Figueroa, Central 
Executive Committee Communist Party of Canada

CIENFUEGOS DENIES PC EVICTION WAS FOR REVENGE Sources: EL MERCURIO; 
PRIMERA LINEA; November 30, 2001 (Via Santiago Times (avec mercis))

In a scene best fit for the Pinochet era, mutual accusations were 
flying Thursday as to who was responsible for the police raid the day 
before on the Communist Party (PC) headquarters in central Santiago. 

The Carabineros police proceeded to vacate the PC premises upon an 
order from the 8th Civil Court judge Pilar Aguaya for the party's 
failure to pay the rent over a period of several years. PC members 
say, however, that not only had they not received an eviction notice, 
but that they were the victims of extreme police brutality. Some 20 
people were hurt during the action, and 37 people were arrested, 
among them PC Secretary General Gladys Marin. 

"Something dark is taking place across this country. There are dark 
forces, de facto forces within Carabineros and justice and they are 
operating," Marin said. 

The events prompted the condemnation of President Ricardo Lagos, who 
said "public opinion has seen images that hurt Chile's image, these 
images belong to other times." After the PC headquarters was seized 
by Carabineros, skirmishes between police officers and communist 
activists lasted until late Wednesday night. During the altercations, 
the police used tear gas and water cannons to repel the protestors, 
themselves armed with stick and stones. 

Alberto Cienfuegos, who on Tuesday took over as general director of 
Carabineros, ruled out PC claims that the violent incidents were 
deliberately carried out by the police as a way to express their 
displeasure in regard to the government's plans to modernize the 
institution. Cienfuegos' predecessor, Gen. Manuel Ugarte, had been 
involved in a heated debate with Lagos over the president's idea to 
place Carabineros under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry as 
well as call into retirement 15 Carabineros officers. 

Cienfuegos added that to take these allegations seriously amounted to 
ignorance about Carabineros and said the operation was commanded by 
the chief of the Carabineros Central Prefecture Sergio Garcia, who 
has been removed from the post pending investigation. 

Lagos commended Cienfuegos' attitude after the Carabineros general 
director personally headed Wednesday to the police station in central 
Santiago where Marin and the remaining activists were detained. 
Cienfuegos met with Marin and ordered a special investigation into 
the events. 

Renowned human rights lawyer Eduardo Contreras, a member of the PC 
Central Committee, filed a lawsuit before the Santiago Appeals Court 
against judge Aguaya, claiming she didn't notify the PC in advance 
about their eviction. 

Contreras is also preparing a lawsuit along with attorney Julia 
Urquieta to be filed Friday accusing Carabineros of unnecessary 
violence. 

According to Urquieta, the legal action seeks to determine why nearly 
300 policemen were used to vacate the small offices, with only a 
handful of activists present at the moment. 

Urquieta added that it's also necessary to verify the rumors that the 
operation was undertaken by Carabineros to protest the government's 
modernizing plans. 

The PC is facing three lawsuits for illegal use of the premises, 
which were acquired by a party member in 1975, during the military 
regime. The reason for individuals acquiring the property instead of 
the PC itself owes to the dictatorship's legal ban on the party. 

The ownership titles were transferred between many activists until 
one, under financial duress, decided to mortgage the offices. 
Eventually, the building was auctioned and acquired in 1993 by a real 
estate firm called JQ, the current owners. While the ownership was 
being legally disputed by the PC, the party decided not to make any 
rent payments until the issue was resolved in court. 

The "improper" police procedure was chastised by Interior Minister 
Jose Miguel Insulza, who said he hadn't been informed and that the 
government was "very upset for having received no information 
whatsoever that this would occur." Insulza pointed out that in spite 
of an order stemming from a court of justice, these evictions are 
usually agreed on with the police so as to ease the tenants' leave. 
He added that the fact that the eviction had taken place just four 
hours after Gen. Cienfuegos had met Lagos to discuss the renewal of 
Carabineros' higher echelons was reason enough to be upset. 

As for the PC claims that Carabineros was protesting for the 
retirement of some of its officers, Insulza said: "I frankly have a 
hard time believing that we're facing an insubordination issue of 
such a magnitude." Before determining responsibilities, however, the 
authorities are awaiting the results of a Carabineros investigation 
commissioned at the behest of Gen. Cienfuegos. 

Marin, herself physically removed from the PC office on Wednesday, 
said the operation was an act of political provocation against her 
party. She added that it was strange that the government wasn't 
informed about the raid and that it accounted for the "dark forces" 
that are currently operating in both Carabineros and the courts of 
justice. 

The PC leader said that it should be investigated whether the 
operation was ordered by one of the police officials called into 
early retirement after Cienfuegos' took power. 

Francisco Huenchumilla, the secretary general of the center-left 
Christian Democrat Party (DC), said Thursday that while he may hold 
ideological differences with the PC and its leader Marin, the DC 
condemned the unnecessary use of force on the part of the 
Carabineros. 

Rodrigo Hinzpeter, secretary general of the rightist National 
Renovation Party, said that he didn't subscribe to Marin's belief 
that the Carabineros acted for political reasons or for retribution 
of any kind, but he did say that an investigation into the incident 
was appropriate.


-- 
Louis Proyect, lnp3 at panix.com on 12/02/2001

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