ON THE STATUS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILE
of “on the spot” Observations in
THE STATUS OF OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS
Freedom of Association and the Right of Assembly
Right to Work
Freedom of assembly has virtually disappeared.
No meeting is permitted for any purpose, if authorization has not
previously been requested or if the police have not been informed. Only family
meetings or meetings that might be of interest to the Government are permitted.
It need not be said that no type of meeting that is political or related to
activities more or less tied in with politics in the broad sense is tolerated.
Regarding freedom of association, it should be recognized that, while
some political parties have definitively been banned, all the other political
parties and agencies, groups, factions or movements are temporarily prohibited
from carrying out any activity (Decree-Laws 77 and 78).
Labor unions, on which the Constitution has expressly conferred the
status of legal entities (Art. 10, Nº 14), have been deprived of that status.
(See for example Decree-Law 12 of September 17, 1973). Union activity has
moreover been considerably affected by the reforms introduced into labor
legislation and in labor courts, which place the fate of workers virtually in
the hands of their employers, who, in turn, even if they should wish it, cannot
resist governmental coercion.
The Commission received many statements to the effect that the mere
allegation of sympathy for sectors with Marxist or Christian Democrat leanings
is enough to cause the dismissal of workers and blacklisting which denies them
any possibility to work.
Attacks on Private Property
In some cases, detained persons who were questioned by the Commission and
others who gathered around to make complaints, denounced the fact that, during
raids and searches or in making arrests, those who took part in such activities
destroyed furniture and possessions, or made off with them. This has happened
particularly in homes of modest resources.
This has aggravated the harm and suffering undergone by prisoners'
families, who at a time when they were deprived of their main source of
income—the wages earned by the head of the family—reportedly lost part of
their meager belongings.