Impressions from the Struggle against Evictions in Chile

Featured image: hundreds of demonstrators against against eviction orders and criminalization of land occupants outside of the Presidential Palace of Chile, 2nd of April. Source: Periódico El Pueblo

We share some impressions from a housing struggle in Chile which we recently reported on. The residents of the “Toma 17 de Mayo” land occupation in Cerro Navia, Santiago, Metropolitan Region, Chile hae been struggling against an eviction order decreed for the 24th of April. During five years more than 200 families have built their homes on the land which was previously vacant and used for illegal landfills. There are also several other struggles against evictions of land occupations in Chile, which are connected in their common struggle for land.

On the 28th of March Periódico El Pueblo shared a video of popular struggle against the eviction, and called for the active solidarity of all popular organizations.

On the 2nd of April hundreds of residents of land occupations in Cartagena, San Antonio and Santiago protested in front of the Ministry of Housing and the Presidential Palace, against eviction orders and criminalization of land occupants.

On the 12th of April residents of “Toma 17 de Mayo” met with the Ministry of Housing to present a proposed solution involving temporary relocation while road works are performed. However, after more than 40 meeting over two years, the State has not accepted anything else than evicting the residents.

On the 18th of April it was reported that another land occupation “Luna Bella” in El Noviciado, Pudahuel, received an eviction order. The land, which was previously unused, was occupied last year by familes who were evicted from another land occupation.

On the 20th of April residents of different settlements and camps, as well as artists and popular organizations came together in solidarity with “Toma 17 de Mayo”. A documentary by @desobediencia.apostrofika and @sparkamedio presents the testimonies of some of the residents collected this day.

Periódico El Pueblo has also publish several videos of residents and others who attended the event:

On the 24th of April, the day the eviction was decreed, an event took place denouncing the criminal eviction order.

On the 25th of April a Day of struggle of occupations and camps for decent housing was marked by mobilizations in Antofagasta and Valparaiso, and several universities were occupied by students.

On the 25th of April Popular Defense lawyers presented a complaint on behalf of the residents of “Toma 17 de Mayo” to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

A spokesperson of “Toma 17 de Mayo” denounced the eviction order and the State who has not been wiling accept any proposals of the residents after more than 45 meetings.

The Guzmán-Nieto family, a big landlord family who owns the most land reserves in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, including the land of “Toma 17 de Mayo” was also denounced.

A resident also brings up the campaign promise of Chilean President Gabriel Boric that there will be no eviction without a solution. Despite this empty promise, the resident has not found any solutions after years of negotiating with the State.

On the 10th of May, the residents again attended a meeting with the Ministry of Housing. A Popular Defense lawyer denounced police harassment of the representatives of the residents, and the proposal of the State which would waste money to force the residents into overcrowding and confinement.

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