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Given the serious facts that we have witnessed in recent days, the Council of Rectors has considered an institutional duty to be part of the reflection that the country is doing or should start in the coming days.

Specially taken care of our mission to train professionals and contribute to the generation of ideas for the various areas of national life, we believe that the observed facts and behaviors, both for their massiveness and violence, are giving unpublished signs of a severe deterioration of legitimacy social and political that implies any effective institutional order. It is, therefore, a civic and moral interpellation that universities cannot and should not ignore.

It is up to the universities for their character as autonomous institutions, which represent the diverse intellectual and cultural traditions of the country, to express their ambiguous recognition and valuation of the right to social protest by peaceful means within the framework of democratic institutions, as their categorical and energetic rejection of the actions of violence and intolerance that we have observed in the social mobilizations initiated last week.

The situation is already serious enough and uncertain in its consequences to treat it as a simple alteration and threat of public order. Certainly, restoring that order is a priority. In the same way, it would be unfortunate and, above all, irresponsible not to make a serene and shared effort to identify the social, economic and cultural causes that can explain what is happening.

Our vocation for dialogue and respect for the diversity that every democratic society should welcome, drives us at the same time to express with the greatest emphasis that now more than yesterday we need a genuine and virtuous democratic deliberation, without opportunism or badly earned advantages of one or more other side. The institutions of democracy require precisely our most loyal commitment today. To this purpose we want to contribute, putting at the service of Chile and the various political actors the capacities with which we can contribute to this deliberative process, as well as the care and development of our democracy.

For these reasons, we call on everyone who integrates the national community to restore as soon as possible a climate of civic trust and peace in social coexistence to achieve a more edifying dialogue and a more inclusive democracy.

Monday 21 October of 2019