25 November 2021
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today concluded its consideration of the combined twenty-second to twenty-third periodic report of Chile, during which its Experts asked about indigenous peoples’ inclusion in public and political life, and about migrants’ access to rights and fundamental guarantees.
On the issue of indigenous peoples, a Committee Expert asked what measures could Chile put in place to narrow the glaring gaps in the socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples as well as increase their numbers and overall participation in local and national representation positions? Another Expert was particularly concerned about numerous reports of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, in particular in the context of demonstrations, and in particular concerning members of the Mapuche indigenous people. Was there an ongoing dialogue with indigenous communities to address the issue of the use of force?
As for the situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, an Expert noted that an Immigrants Committee had been established as part of the Inclusion Agenda 2015–2018, with the aim of helping to improve the quality of life of migrant families by facilitating their access to adequate housing solutions and encouraging their participation in neighbourhood and city programmes. Could the State party inform the Committee about the results of that process? A Committee Expert asked what measures were being taken to ensure migrants were informed about their rights, and knew about the procedures in place to determine their status.
Responding to those questions and comments, the delegation of Chile noted that in 2015, a consultation process had been carried out with indigenous populations across the country, and an agreement had been made whereby a Ministry for Indigenous Peoples had been greenlighted. The Ministry was equipped with designing public policies, while the Council had indigenous representation, and the National Service for Indigenous Persons implemented the public policies to benefit indigenous communities. In Chile’s legislation, a victim was a rights-holder. In the case of migrant victims, there was a strengthened statute for their protection, in particular when it came to trafficking or people smuggling. Migrant victims were extremely vulnerable, and it was important to be proactive when it came to providing protection. Crimes against migrants were particularly of concern for the Public Prosecution Service due to their effect on the protection of fundamental rights.
Andrea Balladares, Vice-Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Family of Chile and head of the delegation, presenting the report, said the 2021 law on migration and aliens contained the fundamental rights of migrants and their access to social benefits. The Chilean State recognised the existence of 10 indigenous peoples, and the census stated that around one tenth of the population considered itself to belong to an indigenous people. A fundamental aspect to guarantee participation and respect for indigenous peoples was the exercise of prior consultation, and public officials had received education and training in consultation processes and implementing intercultural dialogue. A law granting legal recognition to Chilean Afro-descendant tribal people established obligations for the State of Chile toward the Chilean Afro-descendant population.
Manuel Valderrama, Minister to the Supreme Court of Chile, said that various instruments had been adopted by the judiciary to facilitate access to justice, including a policy for court user support, as well as a protocol for the protection of unaccompanied and separated children and adolescents in the context of migration.
The delegation of Chile consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Social and Family Development; Araucanía Regional Prosecutor, Public Prosecutor's Office of Chile; the Supreme Court of Chile; the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Presidency; and the Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Summaries of the public meetings of the Committee can be found here, while webcasts of the public meetings can be found here. The programme of work of the Committee’s one hundred and fifth session and other documents related to the session can be found here.
The Committee will next meet in public on Friday, 3 December, at a time to be announced later, to formally close its one hundred and fifth session.
The Committee has before it the combined twenty-second and twenty-third periodic report of Chile (CERD/C/CHL/22-23).
Presentation of the Report
ANDREA BALLADARES, Vice-Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Family of Chile and head of the delegation, presenting the report, said Chile was participating in the dialogue as a demonstration of its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. Highlighting some key actions in preventing any type of racial discrimination, she said that Chile had made headway in terms of its public institutional framework, creating the Undersecretariat for Human Rights, a body which promoted and coordinated public policies and legislation in that area. An Inter-ministerial Human Rights Committee had also been established, which was an advisory body to the President of the Republic. The Ministry of Women and Gender Equality was the governing body which designed, coordinated and assessed policies, plans and programmes for gender equity and equality.
The 2021 law on migration and aliens contained the fundamental rights of migrants and their access to social benefits. The text created a new migration institutional framework to ensure the protection and promotion of those rights and guarantees. The Chilean State recognised the existence of 10 indigenous peoples, and the census stated that around one tenth of the population considered itself to belong to an indigenous people. A new National Agreement provided for the strengthening of Mapuche medicine and complementarity with the health system, among other measures. A fundamental aspect to guarantee participation and respect for indigenous peoples was the exercise of prior consultation, and public officials had received education and training in consultation processes and implementing intercultural dialogue. A law granting legal recognition to Chilean Afro-descendant tribal people established obligations for the State of Chile toward the Chilean Afro-descendant population.
One of the major challenges facing Chile was the drafting of a new Constitution, said Ms. Balladares. As a precursor to the current constitutional dialogue process, Chile had published a constitutional reform that would reserve seats for representatives of indigenous peoples. It was hoped that the draft text of the new Constitution would enjoy constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples. The proposed new Constitution would be submitted to a public vote for approval and would respect the international treaties ratified by Chile.
Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Balladares said Chile had implemented a successful vaccination process, making a special effort to ensure that the indigenous populations had access to vaccines. Testing and vaccination had included the migrant population under the same conditions as the national population. Chile was participating in this constructive dialogue and recognised achievements made as well as challenges. It was only through constructive and sincere dialogue that headway could be made for better policies for the eradication of any type of racial discrimination.
MANUEL VALDERRAMA, Minister to the Supreme Court of Chile, said that in order to meet people’s needs and provide a justice system capable of protecting peoples’ rights, Chile had implemented an online interpretation and translation service aiming to facilitate communication between justice officials and those using other languages, including sign language. Various instruments had been adopted by the judiciary to facilitate access to justice, including a policy for court user support, as well as a protocol for the protection of unaccompanied and separated children and adolescents in the context of migration. Projects to combat discrimination against women and improve their access to justice included a handbook for the use of gender-inclusive language by the Chilean Judicial Branch. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a writ had been implemented which regulated the use of technological means, among other measures, aimed at ensuring continued access to justice. The judiciary was committed to the elimination of racial discrimination and access to justice for all persons, regardless of their nationality and ethnic or racial background.
Questions by Committee Experts
VERENE A. SHEPHERD, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Country Rapporteur for Chile, welcomed the delegation, noting that it included members from the executive and judicial branches, as well as delegates from specialised agencies. She further took note that the State party’s report was compiled through an inter-Ministerial process and that it benefitted from the input of the National Human Rights Institute and civil society through the information, communication and dissemination activities undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The issue for the Committee was that it was hard to gauge the impact of all the policies, programmes and constitutional provisions as they related to the most vulnerable members of the society.
How did Chile propose to generate reliable data on people of African descent in the population? The Committee had found a lack of information on Roma people even though it had received information that there were between 15,000 and 45,000 Roma people in Chile. Could the State party provide reliable statistics on the Roma population?
Turning to the Convention in national law and the institutional and policy framework for its implementation, she noted that the Committee in its last concluding observations from 2013 had encouraged the State party to consider establishing an Ombudsman’s Office with a section specialising in issues of racial discrimination, whose staff would include intercultural facilitators at the local level. When would the required legal modification be made to implement that recommendation? Had advancements been made in creating an Ombudsman's Office?
Next, Ms. Shepherd turned to measures to combat racial discrimination and the dissemination of messages that promoted the spread of racial stereotypes and prejudice against indigenous persons, people of African descent and migrants. Would the State party consider taking measures to verify whether the small number of complaints on racial discrimination matters were the result of victims’ lack of awareness of their rights; fear of reprisals, including migratory reprisals; limited access to the police; lack of confidence in the police or judicial authorities; or the lack of attention or sensitivity to cases of racial discrimination? What measures could Chile implement to combat the use of racist stereotypes in the media? How could the State party support media run by indigenous peoples, in particular radio stations?
Turning to the situation of human rights defenders, the case of environmental human rights defender, Alberto Curamil, was troubling. Could the State party update the Committee on his situation? Specifically, what were the charges against him and how were they being dealt with? Under the rubric of multiple forms of discrimination, reports coming to the Committee indicated that medical treatment offered to Haitian/Black women/migrants were at times affected by stereotypes of their ability to endure pain. How could health workers be trained to avoid such contravention of their duty of care? Could the State party provide the Committee with further information about the circumstances under which Wislande Jean, Rebeka Pierre and Monise Joseph from Lampa Camp died?
MEHRDAD PAYANDEH, Committee Member and member of the task force for Chile, asked if the delegation could elaborate on how far institutional reforms had been conducted on the basis of participation of civil society organizations? What was the mandate of the Office of the Undersecretary for Human Rights, and did it exercise oversight functions? Noting that the Office had a focus on human rights training, could the delegation elaborate on that and explain if part of that training was on racial discrimination?
With reference to constitutional developments, could the delegation provide further information about the current status of the new drafting procedure? How was it ensured that the interests of minorities were adequately addressed? Concerns had been raised with regard to the lack of legislation dealing with hate speech and the dissemination of racist ideas. Could the delegation comment on plans to legislate hate speech and incitement to racial hatred? Could the Committee have information on the regulation of hate speech as it concerned the media?
Turning to the general anti-discrimination law of Chile, could the delegation provide further information about the numbers of cases? The Committee would like to know more about the National Council and Council of Indigenous Peoples, and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples. What was the current state of those endeavours? Turning to access to justice, could the delegation provide further information on the qualification of specialised defence counsels? Could the delegation comment on information about prisoners not being able to live according to their culture and tradition?
On the matter of racial discrimination and law enforcement, the Committee was concerned about numerous reports of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, in particular in the context of demonstrations, and in particular concerning members of the Mapuche indigenous people. Could the delegation provide disaggregated data on the use of force by law enforcement agencies? What measures were being taken to prevent excessive use of force? Was there an ongoing dialogue with indigenous communities to address the issue of the use of force?
The Committee was concerned about the continuation of the state of constitutional emergency, and the militarisation of the conflict with the Mapuche, which had already led to the death and bodily harm of members of that community. Could the delegation provide information about a demonstration against the state of emergency which had taken place in the Bio Bio region?
GUN KUT, Committee Member and follow-up Rapporteur, noted that the Committee’s concluding observations from 2013 had included recommendations on issues including racial discrimination offenses and racist hate speech; and the absence of a national law in full conformity with article 4 of the Convention.
A Committee Expert asked what was understood by the concept of arbitrary discrimination; could the delegation clarify the use and scope of that concept in Chile? Another Committee Expert asked the delegation to provide information on Chile’s Business and Human Rights Plan. Was it correct that Chile had a new migration law, and had the warnings of the National Human Rights Institution about it been heeded? One Committee Expert asked if the delegation could clarify whether people of African descent were included in the census? Another Committee Expert asked for further information and statistics about the Roma community in Chile.
Responses by the Delegation
In response to questions regarding statistics, the delegation explained that most of the indigenous population was of working age, and that this population had lower incomes compared to the non-indigenous population. In response to questions about Chile’s human rights plan, and the business and human rights plan, the delegation explained that the Undersecretariat of Human Rights was the government body which provided advice to the Ministry of Human Rights. The United Nations Guiding Principles related to the duty of the State to protect human rights, the responsibility of the business sector, and the provision of remedy. The National Action Plan helped the State coordinate actions to support the fulfilment of national and international commitments.
Turning to questions on statelessness, the delegation explained that from 2014, the concept of statelessness and irregular status had been reinterpreted. The children of regular migrants were recognised as Chilean, pursuant to a ruling of the Supreme Court. The new law on migration and aliens stated that nationality was a fundamental right. Any individual born within Chile, if they were considered stateless, would be considered Chilean because they were born there.
In response to questions about human rights defenders, the delegation said that in addressing that question, the purpose and goal of the Public Prosecutor’s Office needed to be sketched out. The Prosecutor’s Office sought punishment for crimes where they had occurred, at all times respecting the dignity of the person being charged. Various situations lately had necessitated prosecutions; the investigations into those criminal acts by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, where they involved human rights defenders, needed to be based on the principles of independence and impartiality.
It was important that those cases were reported, because they were very complex, such as the case involving the death of a young Mapuche individual in November 2018. In that case, sentencing had taken place in January 2021. Human rights defenders were considered by the Public Prosecutor’s Office as being strategic allies and partners. Where they had been subject or victims of actions that might pose a threat to their physical integrity, a system was in place to protect victims and witnesses and to provide care and support to them. A specialised unit within the Public Prosecutor’s Office allowed the assessment of protection needs of human rights defenders, to issue measures or orders for victims’ rights and protection or support, and to ensure that as part of the investigation process and the research process there were regular support measures in place. Those measures included, in extreme cases, re-localisation and safe housing for the defender.
In regard to the application of military justice, laws made provisions that civilians or minors could not be heard before military courts, which did not have jurisdiction. Military courts and military justice could only hear cases where the alleged perpetrator was a member of the armed forces and had carried out crimes in their role as a member of the military. When court martials were constituted, they were military courts overseen by representatives of the Court of Appeal. With regard to the state of emergency in the Araucanía region, the delegation explained that it in no way was intended to target the Mapuche people. It sought to arrest the breakdown in public order in several southern regions related to the presence of organized crime and drug trafficking. The state of emergency allowed the law and order forces to collaborate and cooperate with the police. It was regularly assessed, and the overall assessment was that after the state of emergency had been declared, violence had trended downward. The death of a Mapuche person was undergoing an investigation by the Public Prosecution Office and within that investigation, all the necessary background was being given in order to clarify the facts. One segment of the investigation was into the attacks themselves on the armed forces. The State was doing its utmost to try to protect the Mapuche and non-Mapuche peoples against narco-trafficking and organized crime.
On the institutional framework for indigenous populations, the delegation said that to give context to the current process, the relevant law had been in place in Chile since 1993. In 2015, a consultation process had been carried out with indigenous populations across the country, and an agreement had been made whereby a Ministry for Indigenous Peoples had been greenlighted. The Ministry was equipped with designing public policies, while the Council had indigenous representation and the National Service for Indigenous Persons implemented the public policies to benefit indigenous communities.
Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts
VERENE A. SHEPHERD, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Country Rapporteur for Chile, thanked the delegation for the responses provided. Noting that some seats in the Assembly would be reserved for indigenous people, she asked the delegation to provide further information about how those seats would be filled? Why were the group of Afro-descendants referred to as tribal? In some parts of the world, that would be considered pejorative.
MEHRDAD PAYANDEH, Committee Member and member of the task force for Chile, asked whether the Anti-Discrimination Law provided for remedies? Was there a possibility of collective action?
One Committee Expert asked if there were further indigenous communities which had yet to be recognised in Chile? Another Committee Expert asked for more information on the status of protection of witnesses and victims, particularly when it came to undocumented migrants. Were they protected from expulsion?
VERENE A. SHEPHERD, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Country Rapporteur for Chile, asked about the situation of indigenous peoples. Could the delegation supply comparative figures in the areas of basic services in the home, schooling, access to higher education, healthcare and representative politics, especially in the Araucanía Region, which was the region with the highest poverty rate? What measures could the State party put in place to narrow the glaring gaps in the socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples in Chile as well as increase their numbers and overall participation in local and national representation positions? On education, recognising that Chile had founded a Secretariat of Indigenous Intercultural Education in 2014 and was making efforts to promote inclusion in schools, how successful had the Secretariat been in promoting inclusion and respect for diversity concerning the indigenous peoples at all levels of the education system? What had been the effect of the 2019 review of educational texts, and did history textbooks contain information that explained the origins of the various indigenous groups in Chile and the reasons they were marginalised in their own country?
On the matter of free, prior and informed consent, there were still complaints that actions were taken without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of communities regarding the implementation of activities and projects that generated serious damage and environmental pollution. What could the delegation tell the Committee about the cases of the Collipulli landfill and the environmental evaluation of the incinerator project in Lautaro?
Ms. Shepherd next turned to mechanisms for the recognition, restitution, preservation and protection of lands, territories and natural resources traditionally occupied or used by indigenous peoples. What comprehensive approach to the problem could the State party implement in order to overcome the public security approach that had prevailed so far, and intervene in structural causes through political solutions? What measures had been implemented to compensate the Mapuche communities affected by landfills and sewage treatment plants in the Araucanía region? How had Chile been able to guarantee environmental non-discrimination at the time of the implementation of activities and projects that generated pollution in the territories of the original peoples?
The Committee requested information on the extent of racial profiling of the Afro-descendant population. Could the State party inform the Committee about plans to implement action plans and other measures necessary to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the national level? Could the State party inform the Committee of any ongoing plans to address complaints of racial discrimination and ethnic stereotyping in the curriculum and specifically in history texts?
As for the situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, Ms. Shepherd noted that an Immigrants Committee had been established as part of the Inclusion Agenda 2015–2018, with the aim of helping to improve the quality of life of migrant families by facilitating their access to adequate housing solutions and encouraging their participation in neighbourhood and city programmes. Interdisciplinary teams had been formed in regions with the greatest demand from the immigrant population. Could the State party inform the Committee about the results of that process? Could the delegation provide more information on the so-called “humanitarian” return plan that allowed migrants who were in a critical socio-economic state to fly back to their country with the condition to sign a notarised declaration stating that they would agree to a nine years prohibition of entry? The Committee understood that that measure was supposed to have been stopped by the Supreme Court.
MEHRDAD PAYANDEH, Committee Member and member of the task force for Chile, addressed issues on the situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. The Committee noted with concern reports about the rise in derogatory speech and hate speech, xenophobic demonstrations of rejection of migration, and violence against migrants and refugees, including instances of excessive use of force by the police, he said. The Committee would like to have detailed information on measures taken by the State party to react to that development, to protect the rights of migrants and refugees, and to hold people accountable for attacks against them. The Committee had taken note of reports of collective expulsion of groups of migrants and refugees without due process and means of legal redress; could the State party please comment on those concerns, raised most recently by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 2021, in particular in light of the fundamental guarantee of non-refoulement? What measures were taken to ensure that migrants were informed about their rights, and knew about the procedures in place to determine their status?
The Committee was further concerned about reports that many migrants coming to Chile, in particular migrants from Venezuela, did not have the possibility to apply for a regularisation of their status, in particular a status of regular residence or of international protection. The Committee was particularly concerned that the newly enacted Migration Law apparently did not allow all to enter a process of regularisation of their status. Could the delegation explain why that option was only open to some migrants, but not all? The Committee was also concerned that the lack of possibilities for regular migration and legal entrance to the territory of the State party would lead to higher levels of irregular migration, increasing the risk of human trafficking and smuggling and death or serious harm to people seeking refuge. Could the delegation inform about measures taken to address that issue?
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation spoke about the status of protection for victims, underscoring that in Chile’s legislation, a victim was a rights-holder. The Public Prosecution Service oversaw the rights of victims during legal proceedings. In the case of migrant victims, there was a strengthened statute for their protection, in particular when it came to trafficking or people smuggling. Migrant victims were extremely vulnerable, and it was important to be proactive when it came to providing protection. Crimes against migrants were particularly of concern for the Public Prosecution Service due to their effect on the protection of fundamental rights.
In response to a question about the Constitutional convention, the delegation explained that the process was led by a Mapuche woman. Seats were reserved in that Convention for indigenous peoples, but they also had full opportunity to discuss all issues related to the Constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples, including their rights as peoples.
Returning to the migration questions, the delegation said that the humanitarian return plan was drawn up for Haitian nationals, and the Supreme Court had ruled that the plan should not include the element of a prohibition of return. Chile was no longer enacting measures of that nature. With regard to regularisation processes, following an assessment of each application, only those with a criminal record or background were rejected. Persons who had entered the country clandestinely could leave and re-enter the country. With the promulgation of the most recent law, Chile had changed its perspective with regard to entry into the country. Individuals now needed to request the right to residency outside the country. In response to questions about deportations, assessments were carried out on a case-by-case basis. Before a deportation order was announced, the foreigner in question was advised that it would happen, and there were 10 days to resolve the situation with the administrative authority to pursue their right to remain. All guarantees of due process were enshrined in the new law and new procedures as regards deportation.
With reference to the questions on ensuring the protection of natural resources and indigenous land during investment projects, there was a consultation process for communities that might be affected. To date, the Service for Environmental Impact had held 44 such consultations. Chile was working on a consultation process specifically for Chilean Afro-descendant people; a regulation was needed which strived to respect their culture. Chile believed that indigenous peoples had their own ancestral lands, which were part of their culture. That was why the Indigenous Peoples Act had two ways of protecting land, one of which was pursuant to a subsidy, and the other a provision for land disputes. Over the years, a loss of land had been suffered due to various reasons, such as the building of roads. Chile was trying to solve those disputes through consultation with the indigenous communities.
Work had been carried out to promote entrepreneurship of indigenous women, pursuing 20 different initiatives focusing on women’s empowerment. The “wise women meeting” brought together the Undersecretariat for Human Rights with indigenous women and the indigenous community to meet with ancestral women to learn from them and their wisdom. The programme was pursued across the country. As for land transfer to Mapuche communities and the use of land for ceremony, Chile was working to ensure those lands were restored to indigenous communities.
Follow-up Questions from Committee Experts
MEHRDAD PAYANDEH, Committee Member and member of the task force for Chile, asked about hate speech with regard to laws and policies, and judicial practices. Could the delegation provide information on that? As for free, prior and informed consent, the issue had come up quite a lot in reports to the Committee. It was understood to be a consultation process; was there information on the results of such consultation processes? Did they lead to acceptance among affected communities?
VERENE A. SHEPHERD, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Country Rapporteur for Chile, thanked the delegation for addressing concerns which had been raised during the dialogue. Could the delegation address concerns about inequality within the indigenous population? In terms of border security, there needed to be training on anti-discrimination for border patrols, as they decided who was let in. On the issue of visa applications in the migration process, there were apparently delays in issuing identification; could the delegation address the timely processing of those applications? The Heritage Draft Bill related to cultural heritage had been the subject of complaints; what measures were taken or planned to make that draft bill comply with the standards of indigenous rights protection?
Follow-up Responses by the Delegation
The delegation explained that the word or concept “tribal” came from the legislative work when the law was being discussed. A process of dialogue with organizations representing Afro-descendant people in Chile self-styled themselves tribal, so that language was used in response to a request from their representatives.
In response to questions on identification checks, the delegation said police officials had the possibility to request the identity documents of any person in certain circumstances. The explicit obligation was for the police to always show their identity document and rank, demonstrating equal treatment and non-discrimination. The preventive identity document checks were not discriminatory, on the contrary, they were used to try to safeguard public peace and security. In response to questions about visa processes, the delegation explained that applications had doubled since 2017. More than 1.4 million foreign nationals currently lived in Chile. The process of regularisation from 2018 had led to individuals requesting permanent residence, and there was a significant number of pending cases. In terms of requests for refugee status or asylum, individuals in a vulnerable situation automatically received a visa.
Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts
A Committee Expert asked for statistics on the number of cases lodged in civil court against military defendants. One Committee Expert asked for further information about groups of indigenous peoples outside the recognised groups. Another Committee Expert asked for further information about environmental racism; in Chile, what challenges were there, and how could the State address those issues?
YANDUAN LI, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation and the members of the Committee for the frank and constructive dialogue.
VERENE A. SHEPHERD, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Country Rapporteur for Chile, thanked the head of delegation and her team for meeting with the Committee and engaging on a wide range of issues, many of them troublesome but vital to discuss. Racial discrimination was ubiquitous. No country was spared, but it was intense in countries in which there were vulnerable minority groups, the result of conquest, colonisation, chattel enslavement, and other forms of unfreedoms.
MANUEL VALDERRAMA, Minister to the Supreme Court of Chile, said that the dialogue had been an opportunity to discuss pending challenges as well as progress made in Chile. The separation of powers and functions was fully alive in Chile’s system, and the role of the judge was an independent one.
ANDREA BALLADARES, Vice-Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Family of Chile and head of the delegation, said that 50 years had elapsed since Chile’s ratification of the Convention, and the issue was approached with a great sense of responsibility. Democracy and the rule of law were the best bulwark to prevent and sanction any type of discrimination, including racial discrimination.