Repression of protest

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In Chile in October 2019, a historic social uprising took place, unexpectedly for the vast majority. More and more people were joining the protests every day. The current government, tried to soften and ease the diffuse protests that occurred almost every day. Those attempts were so clumsy from a strategic and political point of view that finally a state of emergency and curfew were enforced. This resulted in the presence of the military on the street, reminiscent of the dictatorship era. In March, as these events continued to unfold, the first Covid-19 cases appeared. As the number of cases went up and fear overcame the population, the government saw a great opportunity to move attention away from the protests and toward the health emergency.

FN Herstal (“Fabrique National Herstal”) is a Belgian arms company that specialises In producing rifles and handguns. The company was founded in 1889 and is owned - via a holding company called Herstal Group – by the regional government of Wallonia.

Up to now, Colombia’s response to the pandemic - the Common Enemy - has been one of a familiar nationalist and militarist rhetoric, a staunchly-upheld, militarized response that is unfolding in Colombia’s towns and cities.

The online newspaper Byline Times has challenged the UK's government over arms sales to Chile, after a Freedom of Information request found that 50% of the £164 million worth of arms licensed for sale since 2008 had been granted in the last year.

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