Just a week after the protests in Ecuador, the last six days in Chile have seen mass protests against the inequalities that have plagued the country for years. Below is a statement from our local network in the country.
Statement by the Slow Food Chile Movement
October 22nd 2019
Following the massive social mobilization of the Chilean people and the serious political crisis which it has brought to light, we, the Slow Food Community in Chile, declare:
- We are taking an active part in the social protest against the practices of depredation and evasion of the national elite, which hide behind laws that have, for many years, protected their interests related to theft of land, water, seeds, nature, wages, pensions, health and education, and adherence to treaties like TPP11, among others. Furthermore, we protest against the evasion of fiscal, criminal and political responsibilities. We are particularly affiliated with the numerous creative forms through which many families have expressed their respect and affection for life and solidarity.
- We demand that the strictest respect of human rights and individual liberties which have been severely violated in recent days and particularly at night. We demand that the rights of every citizen and the rights of the indigenous peoples of our country be protected.
- We demand that the legitimate right to social protest be respected, and that it not be criminalized by the media or repressed by the police.
- We denounce the majority of the media that has chosen the dangerous and irresponsible game of over-emphasizing violent protests, looting and fires (whose authorship remains unclear), having depicted only superficially the multitude of angry but creative people who have been building a communal life in the streets.
- We need a change in the national agri-food model, today managed by the technology transfer programs of the Ministry of Agriculture, towards a model based on agroecology, which recognizes the right of rural communities to decide what, when and where to sow—based on the fundamental principles of production, relationships and interaction—in order to safeguard local biodiversity.
- We recognize that the quality of life and food are central elements of social demands. Urban families do not have access to clean, healthy food at prices proportionate to their spending capacity. On the other hand, farming families are unable to sell their produce at a fair price. At the same time, a lot of food is lost post-harvest, in warehouses and along the distribution chain. This demonstrates the inability of the agricultural system and large retailers to meet these needs. This crisis underlines the urgency of making important changes to our country’s food policy.
- We recognize that the “strength of this awakening” is alive and active in the hundreds of community and social organizations that, “despite the prevailing economic system”, continue to work and exchange knowledge in solidarity and with respect for nature; these actions have also allowed the safeguarding of knowledge, world-views and positive relationships. We refer to those who have protected the waters, territories, and forms of trade, among other practices which are strengthened and empowered in this time of crisis.
- We request as free citizens the immediate withdrawal of the armed forces from the roads of our land to allow the safeguarding of our human rights.
- As free citizens, we call for a new constitution that includes the political recognition indigenous peoples and their rights.
- Finally, as Slow Food, we are concerned about the evident fragility of the industrial systems of food production and distribution and our strong dependence on them. This situation has increased food shortages in many families. This leads us, in this period of crisis, to learn from experience, to reconstruct local food production and distribution systems, based on economic principles linked to the values of solidarity and respect for nature which can ensure the food sovereignty and food security of our cities. The demonstrations of these past few days open doors of hope for us as peoples and citizens to build a better society.
Slow Food Movement in Chile
Suma Manq`a Arica y Parinacota Slow Food Community
Ayni Iquique Slow Food Community
Queso Compuesto de Combarbalá Slow Food Community
La Higuera Slow Food Community
Salamanca Slow Food Community
Coquimbo Slow Food Community
Slow Wine Valle Marga Marga Slow Food Community
Ocoa Valparaiso Slow Food Community
Melipilla Slow Food Community
Pilgua Santiago Slow Food Community
Frontera Gran Concepción Slow Food Community
Espiga y Pan Ñuble Slow Food Community
Villarrica Slow Food Community
Paillaco Slow Food Community
La Melga Chiloé Slow Food Community