Chile: Clash Between Youth Football Team and Police Rallies Country

Notas Al Margen [ES] writes about the incident where members of the sub-20 Chilean National team clashed with Canadian police, but wonders why it takes a football incident to rally the country.


  • I find it incredible that Michelle Bachelet would make such an unfounded statement about “unjustified force”. She had no proof, but rather she was behaving cynically by sparking the populism of her people.

    This is not a time for discussion about women’s hockey in Chile, but rather the reparations Bachelet needs to make with the Toronto police force for helping potentially trash their reputation. Obviously, Bachelet would have been right in simply calling for an investigation, and if that investigation reveals that the force was excessive, given the events, then I’ll be the first to cry foul. But the point is Bachelet, and much of the Chilean press, jumped the gun and, imho, have made fools of themselves.

    Why did Global Voices only link to this blog, which mirrors the unfounded position taken by so many other Chilean bloggers, the press, and congress and the president? Is it to be taken for granted that the Toronto police were excessive, or “racist” as soooo many are also saying (as in “if it were a European country, this wouldn’t have happened”, totally unfounded)? Did “Global” Voices think to get the Canadian perspective?

  • Catherina Perez

    There must be a good reason why she is President of a country and the above writer is NOT. This is not a political issue. This is an issue about extreme violence being used. If police agression were to be use on any of our Canadian team, I’m sure, a Canadian representative would take action. Such behavior is not acceptable.

  • Ouch. I’m not presidential material. Wow, that really hurts. How’d you know I was planning this whole time to weasel my way to the top!

    Bachelet and a slew of Chilean politicians from the right and left spoke WAY too soon and turned it into a political issue. You’re right, Ms. Perez, it’s not. But they made it one. And no, it was not excessive force according to the Toronto police, which actually investigated. Listen, I have an open mind and I’d be happy to hear what a Chilean investigation reveals. But up to now it’s only been accusations – and even confession of Chilean brutality that instigated the whole incident!!!

    They spoke too soon, and you, blindly guided by their wrongheadedness, have followed in their footsteps.

    Furthermore, I think it was grossly irresponsible for Global Voices to air the Chilean opinion, without including the Canadian opinion. It is a text book example of “Latinamericanism” (analogous to Edward Said’s Orientalism, look it up) in which this do-gooder website hopes to promulgate a biased defense of Chile. In the process, it exposes the worst of Chile – hypocrisy which unfortunately didn’t escape the president herself.

    >>>There must be a good reason

    You fail to enlighten us what that good reason is. Because she’s president, she must know. We blindly follow. Bahahah. (sheep sound). No, Ms. Perez, it’s cynical populism. She spoke too soon and made a fool out of herself.

  • I agree with Chileno on this one. Bachelet made a questionable political calculation in jumping to conclusions about a confusing situation, and thus opened up a political flank to be attacked by one and all.

    The Canada issue is a political issue as much as it is a human rights issue. A politician making opinions about a human rights issue makes it a political issue in my mind.

    But, I do think that the type of activity by the police, however it boils down, is unacceptable. If you are from Chile, you may be aware of how incendiary the mere presence of Carabineros is in protests. There tactics and heavy presence make people get angrier..and the conflict becomes protester and police, not protester and issue.

    And kind of to echar carbon, o ser carbonero…does the logic of your ferrea defensa de Bachelet en esta situacion implica que tambien piensa que Allende era un buen gobernador de su pais en los anos leading up to the coup?

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.