The Secretary General of one of Chile's left wing parties in exile, the M.O.C., has accused the Chilean government of persecution of trade unions and workers' movements.
GV ZOOM INTO SV Secretary General of Chilean leftwing group Jaime Gazmuri making statement in Spanish
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Secretary General of one of Chile's left wing parties in exile, the M.O.C., has accused the Chilean government of persecution of trade unions and workers' movements. Mr. Jaime Gazmuri, speaking in Rome on Tuesday (15 April), claimed thirteen members of his party were arrested in Santiago last Friday (11 April). The Chilean Government has made no official statement on the allegations.
SYNOPSIS: In a statement made exclusively to Visnews, Mr. Gazmuri said the Chilean military regime was becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. He alleged this isolation had been demonstrated on March 22 when a five-day State visit to the Philippines by Chilean leader General Pinochet was cancelled by the host Government at only a few hours notice. On his return to Santiago, General Pinochet said the cancellation was an intolerable slap in the face for Chile and he would break diplomatic relations with the Philippines. Mr. Gazmuri claimed the Chilean Government's feelings of humiliation over the affair had spurred it on to further acts of repression within Chile.
Mr. Gazmuri claimed the government had instituted an intensive programme of repression against opposition movements in Chile. He said trade union members had been singled out and persecuted by Government security forces. Many trade union sympathisers were preparing for May Day celebrations to demonstrate their solidarity with the international labour movement. Mr. Gazmuri alleged Chilean secret police arrested twelve members of an agricultural trade union on Friday (11 April) because they had been involved in preparations for the May Day demonstrations. Mr. Gazmuri claimed a thirteenth person, Jaime Cuevas, a youth movement worker, was arrested in Santiago on the same day (11 April). Mr. Gazmuri called for the release of the thirteen detainees and for international solidarity in the struggle against the Chilean government.