More than six months ago Víctor Chanfreau and the Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students (ACES), along with other organizations, took over the headquarters of the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH). The pretext of the occupiers to carry out the crime was what they considered an complicity of the director of the institution, Sergio Micco, in the cases of human rights violations from the social outbreak. From the institute who received a request from the protesters in recent daysthey have refrained, since July, from requesting the eviction.

The take its prolongation, to be more precise it does not say so much about Chanfreau, nor about ACES, nor about the organizations that joined the occupation. It says a lot, on the other hand, about the authorities of the entity and the Chilean institutionality.

The discomfort to address certain topics often results in the omission of them. The director of the INDH, his advisers, and a considerable part of the political authorities, are concerned when considering the possibility of a forcible eviction from the headquarters of the institution. That anxiety emerges because, on the one hand, they are not clear about which choice is the correct one in these circumstances and, on the other, they do not want to be singled out as those who evicted “human rights fighters” from the institution that has as a mandate to protect them.

The latter, in turn, reveals a complex issue: the director Sergio Micco and the advisors of the INDH recognize those who have taken over the institution even unconsciously to subjects morally superior to them in terms of the protection of fundamental guarantees. If, on the other hand, they recognized in themselves persons capable of carrying out the work they must carry out, they would have asked for eviction.

What is described, however, is not the only thing that can be read between the lines. The prolongation of the seizure reflects the weakness that afflicts the Chilean institutionality. This decline in organisms is not due to the lack of mechanisms to deal with this type of situation, as there are. Rather, its weakening is due to the lack of power that afflicts the institutions. Micco and the directors of the INDH, despite having the legal instruments to recover the headquarters, are not sure of the consequences that this could entail. A solid institutionality could give them certainties, a weak institutionality, on the other hand, no. And not knowing what they will be facing, despite using the laws, is the most obvious sign of the lack of power that afflicts the authorities.

During December, Víctor Chanfreau assured that the taking would become “permanent.” If the INDH is obliged to formally start operating in another headquarters, this will only contribute to the already unalterable weakening of the Chilean institutionality.

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