Death of football fan and activist in Chile reignites protests

Jorge Mora, a football fan and a social activist, was run over by a national police truck outside a football stadium in Santiago

January 31, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Protest held in Valparaíso rejecting police brutality and the assassination or Jorge 'Neco' Mora. Photo: RIVAL

On the night of January 28, a truck of the Chilean national police force, the Carabineros, intentionally hit and ran over 37-year-old Jorge Mora, a fan of the Chilean football club Colo Colo, outside the Estadio Monumental football stadium in the capital Santiago. His death caused a wave of indignation against the national government and the police among Colo Colo fans and the protesters who have been mobilizing across the country against the neoliberal economic policies of President Sebastián Piñera since October 18, 2019.

Since his death, demonstrations have been held across the country against the impunity enjoyed by the Carabineros implicated in civilian killings. The Carabineros as usual have been repressing the protests with teargas and live bullets against the protesters.

On January 29, several clashes between protesters and police were registered in Santiago. Police injured hundreds and dozens were arrested. In Santiago, a reported 20 police stations were set on fire as well as several police vans.

On the same day, another Colo Colo fan, 24-years-old Ariel Jesús Moreno, was shot in the head by the police during a demonstration in the city of Padre Hurtado, in the metropolitan region of Santiago.

Yesterday, on January 30, in Santiago, hundreds of protesters continued their demonstration at the iconic Dignity Plaza, which has been the epicenter of the struggle since October 2019, to pay homage to the victims of police repression.

Who was Jorge Mora?

Mora, better known as “Neco”, was a social activist. He was an active member of the Garra Blanca (White Force) youth movement, a football fan organization which played a key role in the popular revolt against the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. He died in the Florida Hospital after several hours in intensive care.

The organization Garra Blanca released a statement on social media denouncing Neco’s death and the actions of the Carabineros, “The message is clear, what happened yesterday is the clearest example that the repressive apparatuses of the state are functioning and being used for a genocidal government which refuses to listen to the people.”

A candle-lit vigil was held for Jorge ‘Neco’ Mora in Valparaíso. Photo: RIVAL

After the incident, at a press conference, the major of Carabineros, Claudio Donoso, said that at the time of the “accident”, the truck did not have optimal visibility, since its windshield had been broken by the protesters with stones. However, the videos circulating on social media of the truck hitting Mora, in contrast to the lies of Donoso and the main-stream media, showed that its windshield was intact and the truck was stoned by the people only after the brutal incident.

The driver was arrested and the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) announced that a criminal complaint will be filed against those responsible.

Chilean State repression

For the past three months, Chileans have been organizing across the country demanding President Piñera’s resignation, a new inclusive constitution and an end to all forms of police repression of social protests.

This is not the first time that Carabineros have run over innocent citizens. In December 2019, a young protester was run over and crushed by two police tanks. Although he miraculously was not killed, he suffered four fractures, poly-traumas and several other grave injuries.

In the last three months of anti-government protests, the Chilean State have unleashed an unprecedented level of repression against protesters, violating all established international standards on the use of force against civilians. Thousands of cases of illegal detentions, torture, sexual abuse, rapes, political persecution, criminalization of social protests, militarization of public spaces, restrictions on press freedom, among other human rights violations, have been registered in the country and have been condemned nationally and internationally.

According to the INDH, between October 17 & January 15, due to heavy police repression, over 27 people have been killed, 10,253 people have been arrested, 3,649 have been severely injured, 412 have been tortured and threatened, 191 have been sexually harassed and 842 have been dealt with excessive force.