Anarchic Practices In the Territory Dominatred by the Chilean State

  • Posted on: 22 October 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Its Going Down

By Way of Introduction

To get a picture of the anarchist movement in Chile and, further, to understand the phenomenon of its impetus, resurgence and persistence over time as an irreducible practice, threatening capitalist normality and unchecked of any negotiations with bourgeois legalism, one must understand the ongoing tension between the mechanisms of repression applied by the STATE and the liberating and uncompromising response by the ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN network throughout its history.

The various manifestations of the Chilean anarchist movement over time arise from the result of this tension, growing accustomed to the repressive context and at the same time spontaneously proposing tactics of confrontation with its irreducible enemy: STATE-CAPITAL. Thus various forms of resistance have been developed, from fervent proletarian struggles based on the workers´ organizations of the early twentieth century to the emergence of an informal anarchist movement. The latter has even gone so far as to distance itself from the organized labor movement, seeing that it was largely mimicking their reformist logic, but also recognizing this type of approach as a stumbling block and in many cases tactically ineffective for the development of a social war to unveil and overcome the contradictions between the needs of the production-accumulation of the state-capitalist system and the real needs of human and natural community.

Thus, the basis and tendency of anarchist actions in Chile has sought to overcome its own ideological condition (i.e. static, stagnant and therefore dead word) to develop and evolve to match the times and conditions imposed by the holders of power and enemies of freedom, as well as impose permanent conflict, being more than a reactionary body that acts to the extent that is beaten and repressed, but rather taking charge of their historical negationist role and not expecting ripe conditions for action, creating the same conditions that decant the possibility of a revolt without turning back.

In this way, this article intends to approach issues that we believe are substantial in the development of the anarchist movement in the Chilean region, in order to depict the present state of the movement, leverage its strengths, overcome its weaknesses and to project its potential as a negationist force that denies the reality of compliance and spectacularity. Thus we humbly hope that every comrade who receives this can add to their reflections the historical component of anarchic becoming, feeling that the sensation and the impulse toward destructive percussion and the achieving of a new beginning is a legacy of many people with different nuances who decided to bet for the destabilization of the existent through no mediation of bourgeois legalism, nor the construction of a non- immediate revolutionary project, but built from everyday life, direct action and permanent conflict.


Anarchism had a strong and visible presence in Chile in the late nineteenth century until the first two decades of the twentieth century, as a spontaneous tendency of the proletarian side in the class struggle with its basic organizational forms of defense and attack (resistance societies, ateneos [cultural associations] and revolutionary unions). That history has been written extensively in recent years, from more academic books like the studies of Sergio Grez [1], focusing anarchism as it relates to the workers’ movement and “classic” trade union practices. There are also other works dedicated to the long history of the anarchist movement in Chile up to the present day: the articles of Del Solar/Perez [2] and Victor Muñoz [3] being the most remarkable. Making a fairly shallow sketch, we can also give great importance to the arrival of European immigrants in the late nineteenth century, who brought anarchist ideas and propaganda. And, also, workers’ participation in unions of marked anarchist trend as the FORCH and the Chilean section of the IWW.

As it could not be otherwise, that story has important pages dedicated to repression against the libertarian movement (increasingly studied these days by young historians related to anarchism): the 1907 Santa Maria school massacre in Iquique as a military response to a massive nitrate workers’ strike supported by their whole families; the “Subversives Process” and the imprisonments of Voltaire Argandoña and his companions, identified as guilty of bombings against churches and other symbols of power; the murder of the rocket-poet José Domingo Gómez Rojas, imprisoned and sent to a mental hospital at the height of libertarian-inspired student protests. These are but a few among many episodes, not all of them so well-known, that are inserted into the long and continuous process of struggle and permanent antagonism between, on the one hand, the state and its repressive apparatus, and on the other, various forms of expression of a movement always characterized by its combativeness and the use of direct action.

This significant movement was just wiped off the map when for different reasons (some more structural reasons, and other more “ideological”) the “workers’ parties” of the authoritarian and supposedly Marxist left came on the scene (mainly the Communist Party, founded in 1922, and Socialist Party in 1936) [4]. In fact, in not a few official histories of the workers’ movement written by intellectuals of either of those parties, this libertarian phase is not mentioned, or it is treated in less than a couple of pages showing that it was an “underdeveloped” form of expression of the proletariat, which only began to manifest seriously once the parties appeared. [5]

100 Years Since

It would seem that the 1990s is where anti-statist ideas had resurgence, mainly through the youth—no longer a movement, but rather a current, since its diversity seems to show us that there exist as many anarchisms as there exist anarchists.

In concrete terms, the year 1989 sees the founding of the organization Anarquista Coordinadora and the publication Acción Directa, a turning point that marked the reappearance of Anarchism on a national level.

We will risk claiming that this ‘rebirth’ of anarchism in Chile, particularly in Santiago, can be understood within a wider context that is as related to global phenomena as processes particular to Chile. In the global context (as will happen in Chile as well) there is a hitherto unseen emergence of an underground network between sectors that reject the capitalist system and the economic globalization it perpetrates, who, in an intuitive manner and based in the exercise of common practices, will gradually comprise an opposition to the neoliberal model of globalization. In this process in which voices surge forward, critical of the unlimited capacity of transnational corporations to do as they wish and the management of our world by large economic blocs with the complicity of the most powerful states, where struggles, motivations, and inheritances of different kinds are present, as varied as they are specific, those that from fragmentation and dispersion begin to articulate themselves around general positions, with anticapitalism being the common denominator. In this context, different sensibilities come together, from those that have expressed violent eruption to protest and confrontation, but also that have demonstrated from their conviction that the rejection of the capitalist system necessarily carries an implicit transformation in the forms of conceiving of life itself, human relations, and ways of understanding organization.

From the return to democracy onwards, the political parties lose their preponderance, thus the emergence of new forms of organization of a more horizontal and autonomous nature, something that fits well with anarchism. These experiences are called ‘collectives.’ Nevertheless, in this early era anarchism is mainly related to counterculture, punk, and certain university environments in Santiago and Valparaiso. Of special importance is the birth of the group La Vanguardia (from the conflicts in the university neighborhood Cordón Macul[1]), who dedicated themselves to street conflict. La Vanguardia appeared after, but with equal importance to, the collectives RAE and La Punta.

More important than reviewing certain practices and experiences is focusing on the accumulation of experiences of each one of the individuals, who will see in these instances a field where they can cultivate their ideas. For this reason, there normally existed a mixture of ideas and practices in certain territories (student protests and poblaciones—ghettos and shanty towns—for example) understood as coordinations of autonomous individuals and more vertical forms stemming from authoritarian Marxism, for example.

The year 1992 marks an important milestone: la Coordinadora Anarquista was formed in 1990, but it’s just in 1992 that it achieves its biggest growth. This year marked 500 years since the “discovery of America,” and on the date of the anniversary a considerable crowd gathered in the streets. All the left participated on this day of protest. Nevertheless, what made this protest special was the gigantic presence of punks and the considerable participation of anarchists.

Then emerges the collective CAE, who edit the publication “Duende Negro” (Black Goblin), and the collective Estigma (Stigma) who were openly anarchist and dedicated to agitation and street conflicts.

From these experiences, in 1994 the FAL was born between students of different universities, but this formation did not endure and the organization split, making way for the CRP (with their publication “El Francotirador”) where once more anarchist ideas converged with Marxist ones. The CRP existed until the death of the comrade Claudia López in September 1998, during the nighttime protests and confrontations against police on the commemoration of the military coup.

Carrying out this exercise of memory is important because in doing so we realize a process where there start to emerge differences between anarchists, forged especially in the heat of street conflicts, where there start to emerge the figures of the “anarchist of the barricades” and the “anarchist of the desk.”

In 1999 the first anarchist congress is organized, resulting in the Congreso de Unificación Anarco Comunista (CUAC), where there start to appear marked differences between so-called formal or platformist anarchists and so-called informal anarchists. The congress lasted until 2003, where once again it separated into two groups with platformist character: la Corriente Revolucionaria Anarquista (CRA) and la Organización Comunista Libertaria (OCL). Although this parte of our history corresponds to a strand of anarchism that we, the authors, see as closer to Leninist practices of order, and therefore dissimilar to the essence of anarchic practices, it is nevertheless part of an important process of taking positions, actions, and ideas that undoubtedly are key to understanding our regional expression of the global phenomena of the re-emergence of anarchism.

Now, to understand anarchist activity and action without organization (understanding this as a natural limit of individual will), we must forcefully refer to the relation of anarchist practices with the law and state persecution, actions that interrupt society’s supposed social peace as much as ideas antagonistic to its inherent nature.


A sum of factors has led to another resurgence of anarchism with force, above all in the youth, expressing itself in multiple forms and tendencies, and once again the dialectic of repression/revolt has been the order of the day, reincarnating in some of the more famous repressive episodes (the first “caso bombas”[2] bombs case as well as others) and thus as a permanent (and even methodical) concern of the “State Intelligence,” as well as a permanent concern for the topic in the bourgeois press.

The state has acknowledged the presence of the anarchist current, and we have even seen it forced to carry out measures from interinstitutional coordinations to legal reforms in order to be able to confront what is, for them, the “new internal enemy.” This includes one sinister character who works as a “Social Psychologist,” and who plays lapdog to the police, providing pseudo-expertise. On his website, called Anarchism Watch in Chile (Observatorio del Anarquismo en Chile), he signals that, “Anarchism has reemerged with force in Chile.” He adds:

“Initially, it has been underestimated by the authorities, in turn treating it as antisystemic, antisocial, lumpen, and other descriptors that don’t do more than caricaturize a mostly youth-based movement that reemerged with oppositional force against the APEC conference in 2004 and reaching a high-profile impact in 2006 with the incendiary attack against one of the windows of the presidential palace.”[3]

In a similar sense, one could talk about a few years ago in the times of the Chief of the National Agency of Intelligence, showing a mix of concern and fascination equal to Marín, but in this case more specifically with anarchists of the insurrectionary[4] variety, who they compare to jihadists. This comparison was developed and “theorized” by the Spanish police intelligence, who show much sympathy with the Chilean police and channel this alliance through various forms of collaboration.

Bomb attack against La Moneda: the beginning

Beginning from 2006, there began to exist operations on the part of the Chilean police after the “bombing of La Moneda.” This attack took place during a march commemorating September 11 and, in the middle of uncontrolled revolt, a molotov cocktail was thrown against one of the windows of the presidential palace, causing a “great terror” in society…according to the press. A couple suspects were arrests, and the police and media linked them to anarchist groups.

In the aftermath, in the early morning of September 26, a squat in the center of Santiago was raided in a high profile police operation and they arrested 6 people, accusing them of constructing Molotov cocktails (this is right before a planned march during a national strike) and keeping them all in preventative detention in the High Security Prison and the Women’s Orientation Center, despite the fact that the state’s attorneys could not prove illegal conspiracy nor sustain their argument that the squat was a “Molotov factory.” A perfect scene that was clearly put together to clam down society while at the same time alarm them with respect to squatted and anarchist houses.

As a consequence of all this, various tricks began to be employed to intimidate squatted spaces that already existed for many years in the center of Santiago, in which anarchist ideas were put into practice, from the day-to-day existence and through multiple self-organized activities like workshops, libraries, discussions, cafes, forums in which one could feel and live the mutual aid, solidarity, horizontality, and comradeship.

Caso Bombas, Bombs Case 1, and later ones

Starting from 2009, we begin to see the attempt by the directorship of the repressive apparatus to criminalize the anarchists under the Anti-Terrorist Law: a legal offspring tied to the times of the Pinochet dictatorship, with fragments and repairs added on by the subsequent democracy (regardless of the ruling coalition’s leftwing or rightwing orientation).

This attempt finally failed in the trial phase, but all the repressive and intelligence maneuvers directed against the diverse expressions of antiauthoritarian antagonism during the investigation beforehand were not in vain, especially in Santiago but also in other cities such as Valparaíso, Temuco, Iquique, and Concepción.

The state couldn’t prove their antiterrorist charges against the anarchists, but they still kept many comrades in long periods of preventative detention and began to always harass many spaces, dispersing projects away from a physical, territorial presence and proximity that hasn’t been recovered since.

The arms and explosives control law

The arms and explosives control law (LCAE) was created during the Unidad Popular government of Salvador Allende (1970-1973). Although the Allende government is so important in the global leftist mythology, this law clearly reveals their intention to disarm the proletariat, which expressed a tendency towards autonomy in the workers’ councils of the “cordones industriales.” Of course, in sharing this intention, the dictatorship of Pinochet did not only not repeal the law, but adapted it to the new context in the late 1970s as one more repressive tool in the fight against subversion. In the 1990s, the government of the democratic “No” coalition decided to change the LCAE again, expressly incorporating language of “molotov bombs” for the first time.

In the 4 or 5 bombs cases between 2009 and 2013, the courts always reassessed the cases from antiterrorism charges to arms control charges, given that they couldn’t prove the defendants’ intention to terrorize the public. Further, in only one case did the state apply a prison sentence: 6 years that the comrade Hans Niemeyer is currently serving. So, after a brief period in which the government was in the hands of the right, the old democratic coalition, now reinforced by the incorporation of the “Communist” Party, has returned to power and assumed a much more seriously repressive agenda. Among other things, they have modified and strengthened the old LCAE. For example, the crime of placing an explosive device under the LCAE now carries sentences equal to or even worse than the same charges under the antiterrorist law. Furthermore, this new version of the law carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years and does away with the possibility of any alternative punishments. Thanks to this there are over a dozen young comrades in preventative custody (jail) at the moment, and some have already begun to be sentenced to prison terms of 3 or more years.

An antiterrorist law for new times: the horizontal terrorist organization

At the beginning of the second presidency of Michelle Bachelet (2014-) critical opinions of the Chilean antiterrorist law prevailed, especially from human rights organizations. Because of this, a special expert commission was formed and charged with the task of proposing a new regulation that wouldn’t have the same problems of legitimacy.

During this process, new explosives attacks took place against a variety of targets, including two bombs in Santiago’s metro system, the second of which injured various commuters. (This second attack is being referred to as a sequel to the bombs case of 2010, in that the state is carrying out various repressive measures thanks to it.) This was enough to bring on a new anti-anarchist witch hunt and to allow for a much less rights-based character for the new law they were working on, which was finally presented at the end of 2014. With the arrests from these attacks, the pressure to do something about the anti-terrorist law took a backseat.

In spite of this, what stands out about this law is its legal innovation of considering that a terrorist organization can be “horizontally constituted,” in contrast to the old antiterrorist law that considered traditional “illicit associations” static and hierarchical. This clearly demonstrates the concern that the state’s intelligence has for updating its legal framework to the new times, in which the “internal enemy” no longer assumes the forms of the old authoritarian left, but rather expresses itself as a decentralized, multi focused, multiform, and autonomous subversion.

Preventative identify control and harsher punishments for abuse of on-duty officers

Another important repressive measure, aimed directly at legalizing the police state, is the approval of the short term anti-crime measures, which initially were designed to harden the state’s reaction to crimes against property (with which it is estimated there will be a serious increase in the already high prison population in Chile: 313 prisoners for every 100,000 people, a record level in Latin America), but in the end increases the police’ power to arrest whomever they like on the street, without need for evidence whatsoever.

This measure is called “pre-emptive identity control,” and it harkens back to the old days of “arrest for suspicion,” [5] although it is even harsher than the old laws. Naturally, taking advantage of the repressive atmosphere and being a “left” government, these measures aren’t confronted with a fraction of the “progressive” opposition that was seen when similar legislation was proposed during the right-wing presidency of Piñera. For the third or fourth time in the last few years, they are increasing the penalties against people who abuse police officers or prison guards. Thanks to this law, they’re legalizing the already normal practice of police controlling the identity of who they want when they want, above all in areas where they know demonstrations take place, or other kinds of activities that, thanks to this law, will be impeded from the beginning.

Anti-Encapuchado Law (Anti-Masking Law)

On May 21, 2016 in Valparaiso, during street conflicts on the national holiday commemorating Chile’s victory in the War of the Pacific, a molotov attack on a pharmacy got out of control and left a security guard dead[6], under circumstances of suspicious police inaction and negligence of the business’ owners. Since then, the media attacks by the forces of criminalization have been against all levels of the new, libertarian, autonomous subversion. A few days after the demonstrations in Valparaiso, a masked horde attacked the National Church of Gratitude in the middle of a student march, pulled out a wooden crucifixion of Christ, and destroyed it in the middle of the street. This was enough to provoke bipartisan action across both political blocs to propose a law that would criminalize the act of masking up during demonstrations. In its own language, the legislation intends to, “end the presence of anti-socials who, shielded by masks, vandalize public space.”

The result of all these repressive updates and new mechanisms of control tends to consolidate the position of the state in a social war that completely indicates the levels of radicalism and confrontation will continue to rise. Anarchy is here to stay, and the state knows it. Therefore, just like an old 19th century socialist said, the only law that really matters to the state is that of its own survival.

Reconstruction, diversity, and (in)visible activity within anarchism

Perhaps one of the most disastrous consequences of the dictatorship of capital for communities of negation, imposed by the United States and the national bourgeoisies across Latin America and particularly in the territory dominated by the Chilean state during the 1970s, was the production of a generation lacking in almost all senses: emotionally lacking, lacking a sense of belonging, lacking existential paradigms, and thus lacking passion, lacking will…castrated in the broadest sense of the word.

Our parents were the children beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered by the imposition of first world shock necessary for the violent mutation from the “Chilean way to socialism” to the kingdom of commodities; here, where STATE-CAPITAL showed itself naked; here, where Christ-Lord-Father lowered the lights, then stabbed us with his nine inch nails.

This was our crib: to sleep with eyes wide open, with the aftertaste of cold, rotten milk from our mothers, burdened with the purest fear in our mouths. And our inheritance, our American dream that we lived—and we did live it—we carry it in our bodies: the insecurity, the terror, the impossibility of recognizing ourselves as a community or continuity from the past, not to mention as a community in antagonistic struggle and negation against the dictatorship of value and commodities.

Along with our intestines, they cut us from our history and here we are, improvising, relearning, reinventing ourselves. Because without a concrete sense, without a worldview that sustains our rejection of the existent, the projection and the potentiality of our acts will be limited to our material conditions. We won’t be like the, “wild duck that migrates home with the seasons. The duck that nothing and nobody can stop. The duck who, if his wings are cut off, will swim; who, if his feet are cut off, will propel himself with his beak, as if it were an oar in the current…”[7]

And today, we are basically in a process of identification and recognition of our identity as individuals that have accepted the priority of confronting and subverting reality, this is our negationist gamble—we know what we do not want, but what is it we seek? That which feeds the flame of our individual and collective revolt; the gasoline that fuels the fire of this rebellion. This construction of an ideology, worldview, spirituality, or whatever it may be called, within the anti-authoritarian spectrum is recent and, like everything new, is complex and is constructed basically from experience, ergo beginning from trial and error.

In this sense, one thing that characterizes the anarchic environment in Chile is the great diversity and proliferation of “radicalized” currents that, in one way or another, seek to define themselves in opposition to each other, thus generating multiple false dichotomies: individual vs. collective, social vs. antisocial, man vs. woman, human vs. nature, etc. The lack of clarity in their discourses and definitions of concepts brings into practice a ridiculing of the different sides, as well as a practical inapplicability. For example, nihilism taken to the point of postmodernist relativization of everything and inaction in areas that are fertile for revolt; individualism taken to the point of vindicating selfishness; primitivism taken to the point of misanthropy; feminism taken to the point of separatism; affinity groups taken to the point of “friendism,” organization taken to the point of platforms; and so on and so forth.

The process of identitarian rupture left by the dictatorship left us like an emotionally lacking being who falls in love with the first person that so much as winks at them, simply affirming their existence. With this, we have imported many a passing European “radical” fad-tendency to satisfy our existential vacuum. More than using different theories as tools for understanding and transforming reality, we tend to both view and shape our social reality to the hypotheses given by this or that current. In other words, we have inevitably tended to convert ideas into ideology: “instead of swinging the hammer of freedom, we have placed it in a display case to better adore it.” In a best-case scenario, this process is a normal stage of growing pains; of the constitution of a “negationist identity,” of the necessary overcoming of “false truths,” false dichotomies, and, therefore, of fictitious communities of struggle.

Thus, in both visible and discursive practice, one can appreciate a disperse movement, not cohesive and incapable of generating a comradely and constructive encounter when it comes time to surpass its own limitations, whereas synthesis and rising above its own forms of diversity based in spaces of “friend-ism” and comfort, more than in diversity based in affinity groups and/or differences based on geopolitical contexts that make them more effective and even empower the confrontational practice against power.

In the face of this overwhelming proliferation of concepts and tools, the anarchic environment, more or less conscious of its therapeutic process of regeneration and reconstruction, has determined to open the necessary spaces of debate as a pillar of surpassing its limitations and contradictions. In visible practice, this has meant a solid tradition of permanent activities, open to the more-or-less fraternal confluence of this diversity. Examples of this include the proliferation of autonomous, occupied, and anarchist spaces—permanent or sporadic—where there is a convergence of anti-authoritarian libraries, propaganda and solidarity activities, libertarian distributors that circulate a large quantity of material at cost, workshops of skills and knowledge for individual and collective development, and other things. Instinctively, the diverse anarchist currents with their peculiarities have understood the importance of these spaces as visible, non-exclusive instances that could even empower insurrectional practices of destabilizing the system of representations—raising, maintaining, regenerating, and reproducing these spaces, even under attacks from power.

In regards to the non-visible anarchist practices, a peculiar phenomenon is occurring. It is that moment in which, despite there being difficulties and unresolved matters between different sides, the confluence in the breaking with the normality of the market makes us feel kind of bound together: the destruction of bio-experimentation sites by eco-radicals, the boycott of sex shops by feminists, damage or death to some henchman of power at the hands of a nihilist, the interruption of business as usual by the outbreak of citizens’ protests, and so on are situations of praxis where the hammer begins to swing, and in it the different streams of the anarchic temporarily become a river, with a mouth and a sea that it clearly runs towards, where insurrectionary practice itself is transformed into ideas, and vice versa. It is perhaps a moment of synthesis where all the “visible or public activity” previously mentioned takes forms and materializes; where all the work, useless for some, of propagating the vital necessity of constructing a new natural and human community founded upon the ashes of the existing finally has an effect.

As a kind of conclusion: Our anarchist pulse

There is no objective way to look at our situation. We don’t expect these brief ideas to be the official voice of anybody or anything, nor arrive at some kind of consensus. They simply give an account of aspects and dynamics that are fundamental for those who write about them. It’s nothing more than the transfer of the pulses that move our hearts to letters on a page.

We don’t expect to sum up the anarchist rhythm within the territory dominated by the Chilean state, nor homogenize a vision, only account for what we live through and perceive from our positions, as a result of our choice of life.


The history in the territory dominated by the Chilean state was cut abruptly—particularly, our history as protagonists of the negation of all authority, specifically the system of state and capital. In the face of this reality, we have raised our own answers as well as errors, in a constant experimentation again the dismemory and in search of the ideals, values, and feelings that empower our transition from confrontation with the existent, understanding the existent as the negation of everything flowing, alive, and natural.

Today we can say that we have reclaimed a history, identity, and common language resulting from the path inherent to the confrontation between power and its eternal adversaries: the anarchists. In this way, the coming generations of who feel affinity for the practices towards total liberation will see that there is a history already written, an intense history written with blood—ours and theirs—with prison terms, attentats, conspiracies, escapes from the panopticon of power…in short, with the cumulative individual and collective experiences that, with their answers and errors, satisfactions and frustrations, have shaped our current community of negation.

In addition, there has also been a taking back of the material and direction confrontation with power: the barricades that we burn today, the molotov cocktails prepared with the necessary urgency and patience, the explosive devices and incendiary arms with all the caution necessary—these are not new. We belong to a reality of violence that goes back for years, since decades ago by those who negated the vía chilena al socialismo—the Chilean path to socialism—who, despite the terror, took to the streets while military uniforms entertained themselves with rounds of hunting and torture; of that generation of revolutionaries that decided to spit on the discourse of democracy in the middle of the transition away from dictatorship and carry on with their armed action[8], costing them even extermination by the state; of those youth who decided to set fire to the street corners instead of letting them be carried away by generalized apathy.

Today, it is us, today we dye in black the practices and our history, today we make our own, adding to it new ingredients, new forms and experiences in social war.


After the death of compañero Mauricio “Punky Mauri” Morales on May 22, 2009, during an attempted attack on a prison guard academy in Santiago, the resulting political and media investigations centered around squats, given that Mauri lived in one.

The witch-hunt was let loose. Week after week the mass media circulated their own investigations, releasing some new police report or providing a platform for the supposed analysis of whichever new guru of criminal psychology or expert on sects.

But even as tension was mounting and the police tried to circle in on Mauri’s supposed accomplice, the squats remained active, providing a point of encounter between comrades, despite the trouble it caused them, even from some “anarchists.”

There was no silence in the face of Mauri’s death. There were not attempts to lower the profile of anybody’s anarchist life. Direct action was defended through propaganda, activities, and illegal action itself. This marks a substantial difference with other deaths in combat against authority, and the potential that this staunch option of struggle demonstrates a direction for the insurrectionary path.

The death of Mauri and the subsequent police onslaught could well have become a “perfect argument” to silence any conflict, marking a lowered pulse in the confrontation against power. But various comrades made a decision to not let things decline—every gesture contributed, demonstrating the multiformity of the acts that defy the imposed norms and the peace of the cemetery that is the social order.

The situation generated by these comrades circulating ideas, staking positions, spreading propaganda, acting in solidarity with prisoners, organizing street activities—all this had to be beaten and silenced because it was the practical, alive propaganda of anarchy in the here and now.

This is the context in which the repressive advance of 2010 took place: the bombs case “caso bombas” and specifically Operation Salamander, in which they raided more than a dozen houses, many of them squats, and arrested 14 comrades.

Some spaces were evicted and the historic, well-known theater of repression against any anarchist demonstration was imposed. Even dressing a certain way or reading a certain kind of material was a crime in and of itself. We don’t appeal to the legalism of such arguments, we mention them only as a barometer of the ridiculousness of the police. We couldn’t care less about what power may think of us or what we are permitted to do, feel, think.

The whole repressive choreography behind the arrest of the bombs case comrades y the duration of the process with the petitioning for inflated sentences, even without achieving a guilty verdict for any of the defendants, does mark a difference in certain dynamics in anarchism here.

Since then the squats in Santiago have been more oriented towards resolving housing questions for comrades, while there are less and less social centers, making a notorious lack of spaces for comrades to find each other, meet new comrades, discuss, nourish themselves, and grow in the practical exercise of confronting authority.

But as anarchy is not static, it seeks channels through which to flow, finding and creating fissures, cracks through which to filter. In these last years we have rebuilt trust and fostered other spaces where we can share and polish our affinities—whether they be street activities, antiauthoritarian distributors, book fairs, propaganda projects, forums and discussions, workshops and whatever else we can imagine to break with the routine of everyday life, with the goal of combating it.


What remains after years of conflict, with ebbs and flows of intensity, is a presumed relation (clearly enforced) with prison. Though judicial processes (and their well known police and media venom and defamation) can end in absolutions, sentences, or juridical instances cut off from the outside world, what is certain is that the anarchist community keeps on getting to know and understanding the world of prison (but still without normalizing it), its consequences, wounds, and the righteous choice of continuing to struggle from behind walls and locks.

There is an undeniable sacrifice because the comrades in prison remain united with the rhythm of the streets, where they are not forgotten and it is understood that the relationship with those in prison isn’t just to resolve their basic needs, but rather it is a comprehensive process and they must be regarded as comrades who have been kidnapped by the state. Prison, then, is not a break from the conflict, but rather they are one and the same.

Through various repressive waves, we have been learning the difference between acting clandestinely and living in clandestinity. Even though every experience has its own particularities and differences and approaches, there are some essential elements common to all the diverse cases. In this land since 2009, different anarchist comrades have gone underground to escape the police, whether it be evading a judicial process or escaping during a change in preventative measures.

Some of these comrades have gathered their reflections, in this way contributing to a qualitative development for the rest of the comrades. Others have opted for silence. Some have been imprisoned after some years, while still others have achieved finishing their processes without giving up or regret. Even today, some are evading the crosshairs of the hunter.

Another point that is left tattooed on our skins with the passing of time is the relationship with death, perhaps different or misunderstood at first glance by those who live in other lands. Here, we walk with our dead. They are always present, enjoying their healthy relevance amongst comrades.

These years have not been in vain. The anarchists looking to deepen the conflict with power have confronted repression head-on, costing them the lives of many comrades. On September 11, 1998, compañera Claudia Lopez died under police fire on night-time protests; on March 31, 2007, the young anarchist Jhonny Cariqueo died from a heart attack caused by the torture he received days before in the 26th Commissary of Pudahuel when arrested during activities leading up to the Day of the Young Combatant; on May 22, 2009, as we mentioned before, Mauricio “Punky Mauri” Morales died after the accidental detonation of an explosive device that he was transporting; On December 11, 2013, compañero Sebastian Oversluij is killed by a security guard during an attempted bank robbery—add to this a dozen prisoners who have been in different prisons of the Chilean state, some of whom have been released, while others remain, serving long sentences.

There is not silence with our dead and there has been an effort to gather their experiences, life lessons, analysis, creations, errors and wisdom, in a fruitful process that serves to transfer their stories and knowledge to the new generations, still sharing and getting to know those who they couldn’t physically meet.

Without icons, laments, fetishization or martyrs, our comrades that have left this world encourage and accompany us in our own advance. Claudia, Jhonny, Mauri, Sebastian (Angry) are unsurrendering seeds that continue to germinate. When we speak about their ideas, we can also be close to them and speak of them with loving complicity and care.

Our dead are one more reason to find each other and continue opening paths where we can confront domination. There isn’t a cult of idols, but rather we circulate their ideas and practices of war. Without a doubt, this has reached across borders and has made it so that some of our dead continue conspiring and attacking, even in far off lands. They continue stubbornly living, and for that power disregards them even more.

Nothing has finished, everything continues. We have a world to destroy and a new life to create. We carry on.

Notes for 1st Section:

[1] See ´Los anarquistas y el movimiento obrero. La alborada de la “Idea” en Chile. 1893-1915´, LOM, 2007. Or shorter texts as ‘Teoría y práctica de los anarquistas chilenos en las luchas sociales de comienzo del siglo XX’, on: Le Monde Diplomatique, Anarquismo: el mundo libertario en el bicentenario de Proudhon, Santiago, Editorial Aún creemos en los sueños, 2009. Págs. 31-53.

[2]Felipe del Solar and Andrés Pérez. ‘Anarquistas. Presencia libertaria en Chile’. RIL editores, Santiago, 2008.

[3]Victor Muñoz . ‘Historia, diversidad y conflictos del anarquismo en la región chilena (1890-1990)’. Mar y Tierra ediciones, Valparaíso, 2013.

[4] ‘Allegedly Marxists’, since there were two varieties of social democracy: the Leninist-Stalinist, and quite flexible coexistence of sects in the Socialist Party (actually born from the unification of various groups, many of them openly bourgeois and/or ´liberal´ militaries). The Communist Party instead has a working class background, and a direct antecedent in the Workers Socialist Party founded in 1912. 10 years later, by the influence of the Russian revolution, they founded the Chilean Communist Party, linking with the Third International. The working class socialism/communism in the years 1912-1924, when its main leader Emilio Recabarren dies, was a unique and almost spontaneous product of the class struggle of that time, and in fact was quite close to anarchism. None of that was when towards the 20’s and 30 historical social democracy through these two games liquidated all workers’ autonomy sticking it forever in the capitalist state, a position where even today has a key role in service of domination functions.

[5] The most important exception to this historical suppression style is found in the “Marxist interpretation of the history of Chile”, work of several volumes of Luis Vitale, an Argentine Trotskyism based in Chile since the 50’s, and the difference is perhaps because the author was an anarchist before embracing Marxism.

Notes from 2nd Section:

[1] Cordón Macul in the nickname of the intersection of Macul with Avenida Grecia, famous for being a site of street conflict and student struggle, where three universities are located (the University of Chile, the Technological University UTEM, and the Pedagogical University)

[2] On August 14, 2010, the police raided various squats and jail various comrades under the anti-terrorist law in the massive repression operation known as Caso Bombas or “the bombas case”

[3] The personality known as Erick Marín. The quote belongs to a text dated in 2008, “Por qué un observatorio del anarquismo en Chile”, or “Why an anarchism watch in Chile?” found at There, Marín shows that his love for his object of study borders on fascination, “in anarchism I have found not just ideas, i have found much passion on the part of those who are carrying the black flags of traditional anarchism. Anarchists in Chile have earned a space that, from my persepctive, requires analysis. My positions is that of a researcher interested in social phenomena, I don’t declare myself in favor of them nor against.”

[4] See extracts from an intervention with this subject, published in the magazine Revolución hasta el fin N° 0, Sección Contracriminalística y Chanchología comparada.

[5] A legal mechanism of detention utilized during the dictatorship through which the stae could imprison any civilian under the police “critertia.”

[6] In this context the Regional Intendent of Valparaíso, Gabriel Aldoney, expressed without reservations what the state has systematically sought with respect to the anarchist movement in Chile: “anarchists are a cancer that we must eliminate now.”

[7] Quote extracted from the movie “La Lengua de las Mariposas”

[8] Particularly leftist revolutionary political-military organizations such as the FPMR (Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front), MJL (Lautaro Youth Movement), and parts of the MIR (Revolutionary Movement of the Left) who carried out armed struggle against the dictatorship and decided to continue their action during the first democratic governments, leading to a series of deaths and high security prisoners. Some comrades from these times have, with the passing of time, adopted the ideas of autonomy, horizontality, and affinity.


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