Chile: APEC and COP Summits Cannot Go Ahead Under State of Emergency

The ITUC has called on the government of Chile to end its repression of people protesting against the government’s austerity policies, to remove the military from the streets and to open a genuine dialogue with trade unions, student groups and other civil society organisations.

“It is inconceivable that major international summits such as APEC and the COP Climate talks can go ahead with the military in the streets and the hugely unpopular government imposing unbearable hardships on its own people. The government urgently needs to change course, first and foremost in the interests of the people of Chile and also to restore its international reputation and be a viable and acceptable host for such important events,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

President Sebastian Pinera has extended a state of emergency and nearly 1,500 people have been arrested. Several lives have already been lost and a military curfew is currently in place.

“The popular discontent is a direct result of the regressive policies of a right-wing government, which have deepened inequality and massively undermined vital public services including health and education. There is no future for a government that follows the diktats of international finance and forcing ordinary people to carry the burden,” said Burrow.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit is scheduled for 16-17 November, and the COP climate summit for 2 – 13 December.