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International community concerned over xenophobia in Chile

Monday, September 27th 2021 - 09:39 UTC
Full article 13 comments
González Morales described the xenophobic attacks as “inadmissible humiliation”  González Morales described the xenophobic attacks as “inadmissible humiliation”

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) Saturday asked the Chilean Government to guarantee and protect the rights of migrant children, following violent incidents involving foreign citizens in the city port Iquique, which has been flocked by undocumented migrants.

The global entity specifically mentioned in a statement “the situation of hundreds of immigrant children in northern Chile after a march ended with the burning of foreign people's belongings.”

“UNICEF expresses its concern about the situation that immigrant children and adolescents are experiencing in Iquique and asks the State to guarantee and protect their rights, thus complying with international treaties signed by the country,” the document went on.

UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Felipe González Morales – not to be mistaken with former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González Márquez – described the arson attack against the belongings of immigrants as an “inadmissible humiliation,” following the events which took place during an “anti-immigration” march Saturday. “The xenophobic discourse, assimilating migration to crime, which unfortunately has become more and more frequent in Chile, feeds this kind of barbarism,” González Morales said.

Around 3,500 migrants have been reported to be stranded in the streets of Iquique, most of them after having entered Chile through illegal Andean crossings en route to coastal cities.

Most migrants are said to stem from Venezuela. Amid sanitary restrictions, the toughening of Chile's immigration policies and their scarce economic resources, they are trapped without being able to continue their journey through the country, sleeping in shelters or makeshift camps on the streets.

According to Chilean Police, between January and July of this year, 23,673 complaints were filed for entering the country through non-authorized crossings, 40% of the cases filed through all of 2020.

In any case, the truth remains that foreigners are paid worse than Chileans. “What the government wants to do is to continue making the workforce more precarious by bringing foreigners” to Chile, National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women (Anamuri) leader Alicia Muñoz said as the Government of President Sebastián Piñera announced it was considering the creation of a labour visa for migrants.

“Foreigners have a much worse time than Chileans,” Muñoz told the Italian news service ANSA during a break from a meeting with agricultural workers in Santa Familia, 217 kilometres from Santiago. “We know what this means, it is greater labour flexibility,” she insisted. “after they [business owners] brought foreigners into Chile, they left them at the doors of the embassies,” she went on as she depicted the situation of thousands of women and men who had to spend the night outside diplomatic offices, mainly in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

Muñoz also addressed the extreme living and conditions of people -mainly Haitians- in Las Cabras, 168 kilometres southwest of Santiago.

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  • Chicureo

    This has absolutely nothing to do with children being mistreated.

    My Chile has always been a nation of compassion and welcoming to hundred’s of thousands of immigrants — but the illegal influx that include a tremendous number of Haitians has become completely unacceptable.

    Chile has achieved a control over the pandemic with the highest percentage of vaccinations in Latin America. The illegally entered immigrants are not tested for infection and unfortunately many are infected with the deadly variants which have proven very problematic — and many times resort to crime in order to survive.

    Chile is no more xenophobic than Europe or the United States — but the illegal crossings of our border of thousands of immigrants needs to be stopped.

    ¡Saludos cordiales desde Panquehue!

    Sep 27th, 2021 - 12:33 pm +1
  • SB4

    “supporting doesn't hurt” ...? I support legal immigration. Anyone that supports illegals migrants is a criminal.
    My mother immigrated from Spain to Argentina in 1924 at the age of 18, she hardly had an elementary education but she understood to have a passport to enter legally, within a month she got a job working as a housekeeper and did not complain of anything.

    Sep 27th, 2021 - 05:07 pm +1
  • SB4

    She worked for a physician's family for 4 years and then married my father. The fact that she reached almost 90 years is because she did like vegetables and fruit. Every dinner started with lentils, cabbage, or potatoes soup. Very seldom bought beef except for ground beef for meatballs and spaghetti. Dessert was compote or panqueques de membrillos. She was healthy and strong. For years she washed bed sheets and our clothes without a washer machine, and walk together with my sister and brother to our school when had missed the school bus.

    Sep 27th, 2021 - 05:41 pm +1
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