Humans Rights Watch and Unicef condemned the attacks against Venezuelan migrants in Iquique, northern Chile, by more than 3,000 citizens who violated their rights.
After a march called on by the migratory crisis affecting the north of the country, a group of people burned tents and personal items of some immigrants located in the Las Petunias area near the Airport.
The Director of Human Rights Watch for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, demanded that the Chilean government protect migrants and put ‘sharp brakes’ on acts of xenophobia.
“The images are very serious. It is the first conclusive, unequivocal evidence of xenophobia in Chile. There have been indications in the past, but this has crossed the line, it is super serious,” he said in an interview.
The human rights defender added that the Chilean government has an obligation to protect all people, not only citizens but foreigners, whether or not they are in a regular situation within the country.
“We hope that these embarrassing events will help the government take important initiatives and make serious efforts to root out xenophobia in Chile. It is very dangerous for this to proceed without sharp brakes on the part of the authorities,” he warned.
For its part, UNICEF Chile demanded that the State preserve and take care of the rights and well-being of the minors involved, expressing its concern about the situation faced by migrant children and teenagers.
“We ask the State to guarantee and protect their rights, thus complying with the international treaties signed by the country,” they said.