Mr. Gabriel Boric Font
President of Chile
Dear Mr. President
We draw your attention once again as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues to unfold on the eve of a counter-offensive and the death toll and destruction increases.
As long as the United States and NATO continue to send arms and do not push for peace negotiations, the conflict will inevitably drag on.
Likewise, the attack on the Kremlin is a very serious development and further upwards the risk of a nuclear escalation that our country and the world cannot rule out.
In addition to the above, in March the press reported that the UK will send depleted uranium munitions to the war in Ukraine, which could have long-term negative consequences for the health of the population and the environment.
The deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, told a press conference in late April that “The UN is concerned about the use of depleted uranium munitions anywhere in the world, including Ukraine”.
We recall that since the 1990s, the United States has fired munitions containing hundreds of tons of depleted uranium in Iraq, Serbia, Kosovo and Syria, as well as at the former Vieques Naval Training Range, a US military base located in Puerto Rico, with regrettable consequences for the population.
In a research article entitled “Depleted uranium, devastated health: military operations and environmental injustice in the Middle East”, Sydney Joven points out that “depleted uranium can pose a risk to both soldiers and the local civilian population” because of its toxic and radioactive potential.
On the other hand, we are also concerned that the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union against Russia have had negative consequences for the entire world population and, especially, for the countries of Africa that continue to live in poverty as a result of the plunder and destruction left by European colonialism and the permanent injustice and selfishness of the global North where power and wealth are concentrated.
If, in July 2022, the UN, Turkey, Ukraine and the Russian Federation agreed on the “Grains from the Black Sea” humanitarian initiative in order to help the poorest African countries, the truth is that 2.6% of Ukrainian grain is reaching these countries and 97.4% is still being received by developed countries.
It is also known that many Russian fertiliser ships are blocked by the sanctions and that the lack of fertilisers “is bringing millions of African families to the brink of starvation”, according to a February 2023 article in the Spanish newspaper El País.
In addition to all of the above, the efforts of the President of Brazil, Luis Ignacio Lula Da Silva, to promote peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have not yet yielded the results we all hope for, due to the indifference or rejection of the peace negotiations by the US and NATO.
Finally, we ask again that the State of Chile can be a proactive actor and support the efforts of President Lula to form a group of countries to promote dialogue, diplomacy, and reach peace negotiations that will put an end to this war and to the economic condemnations that are damaging the whole world.
Avoiding a third world war is the responsibility of all of us!
We look forward to your response.
Alicia Lira, president of the Agrupación de Familiares de Ejecutados Políticos (Association of Relatives of the Politically Executed)
Hervi Lara, Comité Oscar Romero, SICSAL-Chile
Carlos Gonzalez, Corporación Campo de Concentración 3 y 4 Alamos
Pablo Ruiz, Observatorio por el Cierre de la Escuela de las Americas – Chile