The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, condemned this Monday the xenophobic attack against migrants that occurred last Saturday and insisted on stopping the irregular entry of foreigners under the slogan of “Tidy up the house” in the face of the worsening migratory crisis in the north.
“We categorically condemn the brutal aggression that an uncontrolled mob committed against a group of irregular migrants, we are doing everything necessary so that this crime does not go unpunished”Piñera said in an audiovisual message.
The event took place at the end of a massive march against irregular migration in the city of Iquique (north) that drew around 5,000 people, after which a group of protesters burned the tents that were used by foreigners to spend the night in squares and beaches .
North of Chile, on the border with Bolivia, is experiencing a migration crisis that has worsened in recent days with the entry of hundreds of people through clandestine crossings, which has caused the collapse of some border towns and a growing tension between foreigners and the community local.
“As a government we are fulfilling our commitment to put order in our house, promoting legal, orderly and safe migration that protects the rights of migrants, who are often abused by human trafficking gangs and that also protect the rights of the Chileans “the president said today in this regard.
On the same day, the HIM-HER-IT expressed concern about the worsening migration crisis and urged “Support with technical assistance and collaborate in the efforts of national and local authorities”.
“Respecting the sovereignty of Chile, we urge the authorities and the population to act within the framework of respect for human rights and international humanitarian law”the agency’s national office said on its Twitter account.
The Chilean office of UNHCR, the refugee branch of the UN; UNICEF, the children’s fund, and the Mission in Chile of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also joined this call.
Despite the pandemic and the social crisis that lasted for more than a year, Chile continues to be one of the most attractive countries to migrate within Latin America due to its political and economic stability and its high level of vaccination against the COVID-19.
With the aim of discouraging irregular migration, the Government this year approved a new, stricter Migration Law, and announced a deportation process with which it intends to expel 1,500 foreigners during 2021.
This measure has received harsh criticism from various promising organizations such as Amnesty International or the UN, who warned that expulsions do not have judicial guarantees.
According to the Department of Immigration and Migration, there are 1.4 million migrants in Chile, which is equivalent to more than 7% of the population and Venezuelans are the most numerous, followed by Peruvians, Haitians and Colombians.