Anti-Terrorism Law used to repress indigenous group's rights

Association

On 23rd March 2018, President Sebastian Piñera, during a visit to the  La Araucania region, signed reforms to Law 18.314, known as the Counter-Terrorism Act. The changes have generated debate over the potential implications the Act could have for free expression and association. 

The Counter-Terrorism Act has been used against the Mapuche indigenous people who are fighting to recover their ancestral land. 

As reported by Amnesty International, in 2017 "the Attorney General’s Office and the government continued to misuse the Anti-terrorism Law to prosecute Mapuche people in violation of due process guarantees". Amnesty Executive Director Ana Piquer declared that the law needs to be reformed and brought inline with international standards. 

Peaceful Assembly

On 28th March 2018, Chilean university students took to the streets to protest a Constitutional Tribunal's decision that nullified aspects of educational reform.

The march, organised by the University of Chile Student´s Federation with the support of other social organisations, ended in clashes with the police and 17 people were arrested.

video shows riot police dragging a protester by one arm across a street. Students tried to help him while he was surrounded by police. A spokesperson with Confederacion de Estudiantes de Chile (Chilean Student Confederation) stated that the organisation issued an official complaint against riot police for the aggression.