In the last days of the first week of June, the Gendarmería de Chile (Genchi) carried out a massive transfer of prisoners from the Cárcel de Alta seguridad (CAS) to the prison of Rancagua, capital of the O’Higgins region, 87 kilometres south of Santiago.
The prisoners include the Anarchists and Subversives: Juan Aliste Vega, Marcelo Villarroel, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, Juan Flores, Joaquín García and Francisco Solar.
The transfer of these prisoners was motivated by modifications in the infrastructure of the CAS, which will last approximately one year. Once the works are finished, the prisoners will be returned to the prison according to the information provided by GENCHI; meanwhile, my comrades will be away from their affective and political environment. In this way, not only is the prisoner being punished, but also their friends, comrades and family members.
It is also important to emphasize that in the territory dominated by the Chilean State, free transit between regions is not allowed due to measures for the prevention of the spreading of Covid 19.
In the Metropolitan region, there are at least three prisons to which they could have taken my comrades, perhaps the powerful took advantage of this transfer to isolate and further segregate the prisoners; perhaps none of the nearby prisons meets the security conditions to guard high-risk prisoners, or it could simply be just another form of revenge.
The transfer may be justified with this and other arguments. What is clear is that no movement of power is haphazard. Each change in the infrastructure of the prison, as well as the transfer of prisoners, must be carried out with caution and detail.
On the one hand, the possible changes they are making in the CAS, cannot bode well for the prisoners. I could make endless speculations on possible new control measures and I would probably be coming up short.
To foresee what could change in the CAS, it must be taken into account that this prison is not and was not conceived like any other; the CAS is the prison of Democracy. This was devised using the German and Irish model in the fight against revolutionary organizations.
In the year ‘94, it was inaugurated as an unprecedented and “good” prison complex in which it was tried to implement a strict internal regime that contemplated visits through call centres, one hour in the courtyard, among others.
In addition, the prison is practically imperceptible from the outside, so it achieves greater isolation and invisibility.
From another perspective it is not clear under what prison conditions or regime the prisoners will be transferred.
La Cárcel de Rancagua is a concessioned prison, meaning that a large part of its operation depends on external companies, unlike the CAS, which depended almost entirely on State entities. This translates for example, among other things, that the prison food is brought in by an external company such as Sodexo, and does not meet even the most minimal nutritional conditions. In addition to this, in concession prisons, the entry of parcels by friends and family is restricted for practically every kind of food, books, etc.
Currently all the transferred prisoners are being kept locked in their cells for 24 hours, to be continued for fourteen days due to possible contagion of Covid, a completely unjustified measure since they would not have contact with any other prisoner who is not from the same module, nor would they have contact with the rest of the prison population. Faced with this scenario of total isolation and a new prison regime, the prisoners have begun a liquid hunger strike, demanding an end to the conditions of total confinement and improvements in their quality of life.
Among the mobilized prisoners are the anarchist and subversive comrades whose health condition could become more complex, as it is just over a month since they ended a fifty-day hunger strike.
With these words I make a call to all anti-prison, antagonistic, anti-authoritarian individuals and groups to be aware of the situation of the anarchist and subversive comrades transferred to Rancagua prison; our prisoner comrades can never feel alone.
Hand outstretched to the comrades
Closed fist to the enemy
Active combative solidarity
Mónica Caballero Sepúlveda, Anarchist prisoner
First days of June of 2021