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News > Chile

Chilean Navy Represses Fishermen Protest

  • The right banner reads,

    The right banner reads, "Fishermen demand answers since 2015," Valparaiso, Chile, Oct. 20, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ResistenciaDDHH

Published 21 October 2021

"Rubber bullets injured three comrades in the head, chest, and arms. We were treated like animals!” fisher Marcelo Veliz condemned. 

On Wednesday, Chilean artisanal fishers denounced that Navy officers repressed their demonstration at Prat Dock, in which authorities have prevented them from working for over eight years due to ongoing repairs.


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"The Navy officers shooted rubber bullets at us and severely injured three comrades in the head, chest, and arms. We were protesting for our right to work but were treated like animals!,” fisher Marcelo Veliz told CHV News.

Although the agreed deadline for repairs in Prat Dock expired two months ago, artisanal fishing is still not allowed in it. While waiting for this situation to change, some fishers moved temporarily to Quintero Port to work but were intoxicated by its highly polluted waters.

"This situation is completely unfair. To counteract it, President Sebastian Piñera must pressure Chilean Port Companies to expand production in safe ports and increase our wages once we reincorporate to work,” Veliz insisted.

Valparaiso City Presidential Delegate Jorge Martinez assured that the Piñera administration will construct new secure fishing bays. However, he stressed that the government cannot do anything to increase fisher’s wages.

"This decision corresponds exclusively to Port Companies," Martinez stressed and condemned that the international rating of Prat Dock was lowered and its insurance costs increased because of the protest.

"We will take all measures to punish those who cause damage or loss of any port of Valparaiso City. If necessary, we will seek support from the Navy and the Military Police (Carabineros)," Martinez warned.

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