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Sat Jan 21, 2012, 05:59 PM

Civil rights in Chile: Maid refuses to get on bus

Civil rights in Chile: Maid refuses to get on bus
Associated Press | Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:56 pm

Felicita Pinto arrived early at the gates of the luxurious community where she labors as a maid, but the minibus to her employer's home was late. So she decided to walk six blocks to work, on streets lined with broad lawns and imposing homes.

Security guards quickly chased her down and forced the 57-year-old widow back to the gate. Pinto's employer protested, as he had before, against the community bylaws that forbid servants to move at will.

Pinto's simple stroll helped set off national soul-searching over discrimination and mistreatment of domestic workers across Chile, where leaders ache to be accepted as representing an enlightened, developed nation. Local news media heard of the case and outrage followed when another homeowner in the El Algarrobal II development sought to justify the restrictions.

"Can you imagine what it would be like here if all the maids were walking outside, all the workers walking in the street and their children on bicycles?" neighbor Ines Perez told a local television channel.

Her comments prompted such a wave of insults and threats that Perez was forced to close her Facebook page.

More:
http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/civil-rights-in-chile-maid-refuses-to-get-on-bus/article_30a22d1a-dbdf-554b-9213-3bfc8f5816a5.html

33 replies, 4679 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Civil rights in Chile: Maid refuses to get on bus (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2012 OP
southernyankeebelle Jan 2012 #1
MicaelS Jan 2012 #2
southernyankeebelle Jan 2012 #6
pnwmom Jan 2012 #12
southernyankeebelle Jan 2012 #13
Matariki Jan 2012 #21
southernyankeebelle Jan 2012 #25
Denninmi Jan 2012 #3
txlibdem Jan 2012 #4
BeHereNow Jan 2012 #16
Warpy Jan 2012 #5
MADem Jan 2012 #7
valerief Jan 2012 #8
DBoon Jan 2012 #15
Quantess Jan 2012 #9
Judi Lynn Jan 2012 #10
Judi Lynn Jan 2012 #11
malaise Jan 2012 #22
David__77 Jan 2012 #14
Cleita Jan 2012 #18
David__77 Jan 2012 #20
CreekDog Jan 2012 #27
CreekDog Jan 2012 #26
Bucky Jan 2012 #33
Cleita Jan 2012 #17
riderinthestorm Jan 2012 #19
Bucky Jan 2012 #32
fasttense Jan 2012 #23
carla Jan 2012 #24
Beacool Jan 2012 #28
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2012 #29
Lucky Luciano Jan 2012 #30
boppers Jan 2012 #31

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:03 PM

1. What a crazy rule. I mean the maid is in the house all day. There must be some trust there.

 

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:12 PM

2. Oh but that is THEIR own maid...

The next door neighbor's maid might be just a professional thief.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:37 PM

6. Really crazy isn't it. Why would the an employee want to robb the neighbor and put the job on the

 

rocks. I am sure there aren't that many jobs.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 08:05 PM

12. It's beyond crazy. It's reprehensible. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 08:08 PM

13. If I were the maids I sure start a boycott

 

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 05:08 AM

21. I'm sure it's more about not wanting to encounter someone of a different class on *their* street.

I mean "aawkwaaard", right?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:59 AM

25. Totally right. LOL

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:16 PM

3. Sounds like what the 1% wants for all of us.

Lovely future to look forward to if we don't take back control from the financial elite.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:27 PM

4. +1

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 09:16 PM

16. You see the future clearly.

It is exactly what the elite would like to see here in the US.
That is why the occupy movement has them nervous.
How dare the rabble serfs stand up, eh?

BHN

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:34 PM

5. "The workers walking in the street and the children on bicycles?"

Do they expect the workers to kill the children or do they expect the children to run over the workers?

What an elitist nitwit! I sincerely hope there is some soul searching there about how all workers have dignity, even the ones who clean up after the rich and powerful.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:48 PM

7. Sounds like the south in the years before (and to some extent after) the civil rights movement. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 06:57 PM

8. Pinochet's legacy. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 08:50 PM

15. Exactly!

This is what a "free market" enforced by murder and torture provides

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 07:01 PM

9. As if their neighbor's maid were a dog roaming loose in the street.

She's your dog!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 07:06 PM

10. Unbelievable rationale given by the administration. From the article:

The administration of El Algarrobal II did not respond to requests from the AP for comment, but in an email to Pinto's employer, British shipping executive Bruce Taylor, it argued that maids, nannies, waiters, gardeners, construction workers and pool cleaners must ride the minibus to keep them from "committing robberies or providing information relevant to the privacy of other neighbors on their way to the house where they say they work."


Also it's important to note, the mininus is not free. It costs the workers 60 cents each way to their employers' homes from the front gate. Also from the article:

Pinto's latest act of civil disobedience in December wasn't her first. Taylor said that several months earlier, she and his gardener, Claudio Marquez, refused to wait for the minibus and began to walk, "but the guards shoved her into a security vehicle, and kicked Claudio, who decided to quit" rather than submit, Taylor told the AP. Before that, still another gardener had been beaten by the guards and forced into a vehicle, he said in court papers.


The same thing has been in play from the first in the rest of the Americas as well. Also from the article:

Discrimination toward domestic workers is among the more entrenched social ills in Latin America and beyond. In luxury complexes just south of Peru's capital, maids can't swim in the ocean until their employers have left the water. In Mexico City, some luxury restaurants prohibit maids from sitting down to eat and some high-rises force workers to take the service elevators.


Sound familiar?

Marta Lagos, who directs the international Latinobarometro survey, said "Chile is an extremely tolerant country in terms of diversity. But having solidarity with your equals is one thing, and another is tolerance toward people who are different. This country is segmented, segregated: there are workers, the poor, and the rich, and each one of these segments is seen as bad by the other."

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 07:10 PM

11. Remember, in Bolivia, the indigenous Bolivian people were not allowed to walk on the sidewalks.

In 1952 there was a revolution, and this practise was overturned, formally, but the same degree of race hatred by the European conquerors' descendants persists to this day.

It's worth anyone of good will's time to research it. It's horrendous.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 05:47 AM

22. 100% correct

In the then British territories they called it the Vagrancy Law. Manley removed it in Jamaica the 1970s.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 08:29 PM

14. I don't like it, but what's the solution?

That could happen in this country too. Private communities are legal, and there may be restrictions of the like. There is the argument (the devil's argument) that workers aren't "forced" to work under such conditions, and that the roads in those communities are not public thoroughfares.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 09:42 PM

18. Well, if that's the case, then maybe the rich people who live in them can

clean their own toilets and raise their own children. There is no excuse for that.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 11:28 PM

20. They can, and perhaps should, but...

...if they place an ad for employment, there will be a response. Someday, there will be no response to an employment ad promising domestic drudgery, humiliation, and little else, but we're a long way off from that, sadly.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 04:00 PM

27. Someday there will be no response? No, not without our efforts to change how things are

It's not going to happen on its own and in the meantime, this kind of thing may become more frequent, not less.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 03:58 PM

26. Think harder

really.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:18 PM

33. Yes and no. After all, the sidewalks are public accommodations.

Discrimination on the basis of income may not be a protected class, but it ought to be.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 09:41 PM

17. Reminds me of Beverly Hills in the sixties.

All people of color had to be off the streets by sundown. Never mind that in that era most of the domestics were African American.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 10:55 PM

19. Reminds me of Rosa Parks refusing to SIT at the back of the bus.... nt

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Response to Cleita (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:16 PM

32. It might well be LA in the 2020s as well.

The divide between rich & their human furniture poor is still growing.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 06:18 AM

23. It's just the same in fenced off rich communities in the US.

The help is not allowed to walk on the sidewalk of rich enclaves in the US. The help has to pay for and take a special bus. They are dropped off at the appropriate mansion and picked up at the appropriate time for return.

Have you seen some of these mansions? You would have to pack a lunch if you walked down their huge driveways.

In the US, some domestic help jobs require you to hide if a member of the family comes by. At a minimum, some rich families make the help stop working and look down at their feet. Don't dare look them in the eye like an equal.

It's no different in the US, it's just not codified into law yet.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 07:38 AM

24. Is it time

to "Eat the Rich", yet? Despicable, as if the rich were a kind of predator species that eats the poor and middle classes for sustenance. Oh, wait. THEY DO!!!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 04:31 PM

28. No need to go to Chile.

Similar regulations are being enforced right here. I've seen it done in Palm Beach. Workers need a picture ID (looks similar to a driver's license) issued by the PB police department. Without it people are not allowed to work in the town. It affects all sorts of workers, not just domestic types.

I remember years ago visiting one of the Fanjul homes (the Cuban sugar barons). They owned 3 or 4 mansions on the same block. The family likes to live close to each other. The street is open. It is not a walled community (there are none in PB). The Fanjuls have private security roaming around. I parked my car and apparently they had forgotten to let them know that I was visiting. A security guard immediately called the house to find out if the car was authorized on the block. This was on a public street!!! Although albeit a small one. BTW, the two cars on the driveway were red Ferraris.

Ahhhhh Palm Beach, the stories one could tell...........

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 04:45 PM

29. I like the solution by the employer on her side

And so Taylor has committed his own act of civil disobedience: He went to a notary and ceded part of his property to his maid _ it's a lovely corner surrounded with fruit trees where he's building a lake for swans _ to support his argument that Pinto should be allowed to walk freely in the streets.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 07:23 PM

30. Hah! nt

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:08 PM

31. Badass.

If enough folks did this, they'd soon find the "help" outnumbers the wealthy owners in the enclave, even if they all only had tiny shade parcels.

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