Joint Chiefs of Staff anticipated constitutional change during the 2019 outbreak and had the Social Unity Table in its sights

Among the documents leaked from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO), after the cyberattack perpetrated by the group of computer hackers “Guacamaya”, there is a “reserved” report sent to the Ministry of Defense by the Intelligence Directorate, regarding to the demonstrations of the social outbreak of 2019.

The document issued on October 24 of that year gives an account of the marches and rallies in the Valparaíso Region and in Santiago, where, they affirm, “the calls have been increasing, demonstrating greater support for the demands of the Union, Social and Students, reaching a level of transversal call in terms of social strata, allowing adherents to be added”.

The report identified that an approximate number of 24 citizen organizations and movements were grouped in the so-called “Social Unity Roundtable”, which was made up, among others, of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), Coordinator NO + AFP, National Association Fiscal Employees (ANEF), Confusam, Fenpruss, College of Teachers, Confech, Fenats, Cones, port workers and the Federation of Copper Workers, who, according to the document, “mainly demand that President Sebastián Piñera end the State of Exception, attend to the problems that generated the social crisis, and the creation of a Constituent Assembly and a new Political Constitution, among others”.

The Defense Intelligence Directorate, in its interpretation, informed the Government that “unlike previous days, in which the authority faced a social protest without a defined interlocutor, as of today this situation has changed, going on to have a clear and organized front that assumes that emptiness”. It is precisely the Social Unity Roundtable, who —according to the report— “have taken President Piñera’s statements alluding to the ‘War’ as a banner of struggle, which according to the protesters have been aggressive statements.”

In addition, they affirm that the presence of the Armed Forces. in the streets “has also been presented as one of the reasons for the mobilizations in the different cities of the country, demanding together with the end of the State of Emergency, the withdrawal of the military to their barracks”.

A day earlier, on October 23, two unidentified members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shared the ANEF instruction document via mail entitled “General strike, for the right to live in peace. Soldiers to their barracks, an end to social inequality”which included a schedule with the activities to be carried out on October 23 and 24, 2019.

Of course, the leaked document highlights that “a dialogue has been evidenced between the ruling party and more moderate sectors of the opposition, where they recognize in a certain way that the measures promoted by the Executive go in the right direction, but at the same time they consider them insufficient “. In this sense, they point out that “sectors closest to the extreme left insist on holding the government responsible for the acts of violence and deaths that have occurred.”

The report emphasizes that the Communist Party (PC) was evaluating the possibility of constitutionally accusing both President Sebastián Piñera and the Minister of the Interior, Andrés Chadwick, because of their possible political responsibilities in the current events.

Intelligence also detected that on that date there was an increase in citizen self-protection of residents from different areas of the country, who “organized themselves to combat the looting that affects different commercial venues such as supermarkets, free markets, pharmacies and even their own neighborhoods and households”. They complement the following line by threatening actions against the JDN (Head of National Defense) in Valparaíso, they remain anonymous, “protected by impunity provided by social networks.”

Regarding the peaceful demonstrations, it highlights that, during the day, “social groups demonstrate with greater organization, leadership and adherence of protesters, with clear objectives regarding their social demands”, noting that “the holding of Open Councils seeks to maximize participation of adherents and social organizations, in order to give legitimacy before the citizens and political organizations, to the demand for the creation of a new Political Constitution and Constituent Assembly, among other things”.

In any case, the Intelligence report warns that, “despite the efforts made by the Executive through the proposals presented by the President of the Republic, it is estimated that efforts will continue to generate dialogues to reach a mutual agreement between political actors, with the purpose of satisfying the best possible social demand”.

And they reiterate that “the parties of the extreme left will continue to transmit, through social, union, student and other groups, their ideology with more force, taking advantage of the memory of the military government, in order to justify their cause and maintain social distrust towards the efforts of the Executive to restore public order, making use of the forces of order and the Armed Forces.”

In criminal matters, finally, they affirm that “the incidents will continue, through acts of looting of supply centers, producing a sensation of shortages in the population, in addition to direct actions on public and private property.”

Scenarios projected by the EMCO

Days later, the intelligence bulletin of October 29, projected an appreciation with two scenarios. The “most probable” consisted in maintaining the protests “following a planning of calls, in order to maintain a climate of social unrest, under the logic ‘that nothing has been achieved'”, although with the increase in violence a gradual loss of bulk.

The second scenario was the “most dangerous” and was considered as an attempt by the protests not to return to a state of “normality”, that “anarchic groups, lumpen and subversive organizations, will increase their violent actions against private property, public furniture , critical infrastructures, mass transportation, shopping centers and others, maintaining a state of social unrest and permanent chaos”.

EMCO pointed out as a way out a constituent assembly

On November 5, 2019 a daily report from the Defense Operation Center He stated that “given the situation of effervescence and social unrest that the country is experiencing, added to the visible political-social and communicational inaction of the Executive/Legislative power, it is estimated that the actors of Social Unity will deepen the councils in the logic of structuring a demand transversal to call a constituent assembly”.

According to EMCO, the lack of a political response to the demands of the Social Unity Roundtable “would only contribute to the continuation of isolated disturbances at the national level and mainly in the downtown area of ​​Santiago by violent groups, acting in a more radical and coordinated in the actions of street violence, attempting against the lives of police officers”.

The bulletin signed by the Chief of the Red Guard, Colonel Ricardo Santander, concludes that the sustained protests “are intended to create the conditions to reactivate the constitutional state of exception, trying to demonstrate the ineffectiveness and political passivity of the Executive, damaging and affecting the democratic governance of the country. , delegitimizing HE the President of the Republic, to achieve a constitutional change”.

riot report

It is worth mentioning that, without pointing to those responsible, a PDI report sent to the EMCO recounts minute by minute the events that occurred on October 18, when the so-called social outbreak detonated in Santiago. The PDI reports that among the demonstrations there were barricades and looting “in the context of the massive call to evade payment at subway stations due to the rise in public transport fares.” In the description of the events, in addition, the 19 stations of the Santiago Metro that were damaged “with different levels of affectation” in various districts of the capital are indicated.

“On Line 1 República and San Pablo; Line 2 Vespucio Norte; Line 4 Macul, Trinidad, San José de la Estrella, Los Quillayes, Protectora de la Infancia; Line 4A: La Granja, San Ramón and Santa Julia; Line 5 Gruta of Lourdes, Barrancas, Las Parcelas, Laguna Sur, Pedreros, Cumming, San Joaquín and Pudahuel”.

On the other hand, the Metropolitan Transport Directorate (DTPMet) informed the PDI that 16 Transantiago buses were damaged in different parts of the region.

The same report contains the demonstrations scheduled for the following days and ends with a table where the “establishments mobilized by student demands” are counted.

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