A march will take place on Saturday in Antofagasta, northern Chile, against the country’s rising levels of immigration and specifically the influx of Colombian immigrants to the north of the country.
The proposed march has been denounced by human rights organizations and also Chile’s tourism sector as a dangerous spectacle that will fan the flames of xenophobia.
According to Caracol radio, there is “a profound national rejection of the immigrant population, particularly of Colombians.”
But the Colombian consul in Antofagasta, Julio Riveros, denies that there is a specifically anti-Colombian character to the march, saying: “We already have information on the subject and the march is not against Colombians, the march is against foreigners.”
Last weekend, on Columbus Day – marking the date that Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas – 15,000 Mapuche Indians marched through the streets of Chile’s capital, Santiago, to protest against the stealing of their ancestral lands.