Urgent Action: Repression Against Demonstrators (Chile: UA 137.19)

Since 18 October, thousands took the streets in Chile in response to a metro fare hike in its capital city. The demonstrations broadened to reflect people’s anger over living costs and inequality. The President decreed a state of emergency, enabling the army to police demonstrations and impose a curfew. Initial accounts report several deaths, massive detentions, and scores of people tortured or ill-treated. We call on the president to address the demands behind the protests and respect the right to peaceful assembly and expression.



  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 137.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Sebastián Piñera
Presidente de la República de Chile
Palacio de la Moneda, Calle Moneda s/n
Santiago, Región Metropolitana,
Twitter: @SebastianPinera
Ambassador Alfonso Silva Navarro
Embassy of the Republic of Chile
1732 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202 785 1746
Fax: 202 887 5579
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr. President,

I am appalled by the reports of military presence on the streets to police massive demonstrations in Chile, which began after an increase in public transportation fees, but that underlines other structural factors of inequality that are causing major social discontent and unrest. Since the establishment of the state of emergency on 18 October, there are reports of at least 15 deaths, more than 1,400 people arrested, including minors, ill-treatment and other actions that could constitute torture against detainees, and violent repression against those who are peacefully demonstrating.

Mr. President, I strongly urge you to implement measures to address the legitimate demands of those currently exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. I also call on you to end the deployment of the army to police the demonstrations, and to guarantee that the police strictly comply with the international standards on the use of force.

Yours sincerely,


Human rights are under threat: