The government of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera considered that the triumph of the candidate of the extreme right, Jose Antonio Kast, shows support for the decision to have militarized the area due to the acts of violence. However, the immediate antecedents of the police assemblies, one of them the murder of the young Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca at the hands of the Carabineros, ended up breaking the trust between the institutions and the Mapuche communities. On Wednesday the Chilean congress will vote to extend the measure that Piñera has extended since last October 13. Kast defends the strong hand in the southern regions of Chile, and on other occasions accused Argentina of stealing Chilean territory in Antarctica.
Following Sunday’s results, the far-right candidate, Jose Antonio Kast, and the leftist candidate, Gabriel Boric, will contest the presidency of Chile in the ballotage on December 19. Kast obtained 27.9 percent of the votes, and Boric, 25.8 percent. The government of Piñera took the opportunity to equate Kast’s triumph in La Araucanía, a historic bastion of the Chilean right, with citizen support for militarization.
The Undersecretary of the Interior of the government, Juan Francisco GalliOn the one hand, he affirmed that, “it is not the responsibility of the Government to make interpretations about the votes of a certain candidate or another.” Although, on the other hand, he added that “clearly” the result of the presidential elections in La Araucanía, where Kast tripled Boric in votes “It ratifies the decision of the Government to take all the measures, to make all the capacities of the State available to be able to face the violence in that area”he said in statements to the media.
“What many of these citizens, who attended to exercise their right to vote, express is that they require a State to take all necessary measures to avoid violence,” he added.
The militarized Araucanía
Last month, the outgoing president, Sebastián Piñera militarized two regions by decree: La Araucanía and Biobío. The state of exception began to take effect on October 13 and was initially decreed for 14 days and again extended by the president. Piñera is empowered to extend it without the endorsement of Congress as long as it does not exceed 30 days. The new extension went into effect on November 11 and expires on the 25th of this month. This Wednesday the government will receive a response from Congress on the request for a new extension.
Galli justified the extension of the militarization and assured that there is sufficient precedents to expand the measure. “The way to guarantee that the rule of law is applied throughout the national territory is that the courts of Justice can act with total independence, and that independence necessarily requires that no judicial official is intimidated or frightened by taking a decision against those who are exercising violence, “he said.
South American Right
Meanwhile, Kast publicly thanked Javier Milei for his support, who celebrated the triumph of the ultra-right candidate, stating that “it moves Chile away from impoverishing socialism.” “Long live freedom in Argentina and Chile damn it”, Kast tweeted in response.
In july last year Kast described the Argentine government of the Frente de Todos as a “radical left” when the former chief of staff, Santiago Cafiero released a map of Argentina that includes areas claimed by Chile. “Argentina has already stolen enough territory from us Chileans. I hope that the Government stands firm against the expansionist delusions of the Argentine radical left, “said Kast on his Twitter account.
Among other reactionary positions, Kast, has come to assure that to occupy the presidency will close the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Flacso), an institution that he accuses of engaging in “political activism”, and will remove gender language. Along the same lines, he proposed create a ditch in northern Chile to prevent the passage of migrants and in turn “identify, investigate and sanction Non-Governmental Organizations and civil society entities that are giving them help and guidance”
Kast, the son of a former Nazi officer, was a deputy between 2002 and 2018 for the Independent Democratic Union, a formation rooted in Pinochetism. The presidential candidate was one of the nine deputies who voted against equal marriage in Chile.
His government program seeks to build a “International anti-radical leftist coordination” to “identify, arrest and prosecute radicalized agitators.” Referents of the Chilean popular sector warned that Kast plans to hand over powers to the Executive to “intercept, open or register documents and all kinds of communications and arrest people in their own homes or in places that are not jails or are destined for detention.”