Los de Abajo

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For other uses, see Los de Abajo (disambiguation).


Los de Abajo ("The Ones From Below") is the official supporters group of Universidad de Chile. They are one of the biggest groups of supporters in Chile.

History[edit]

The group initially was formed around 1988, in the worst times of the club, when the youth members of the official group at the time (Imperio Azul, or Blue Empire) started to make a change in the way of supporting the team that was more related to the barra brava style from Argentina. In 1989, when they stole a banner from the archival ultras group, the group was expulsed from the official group after they refused to give the banner back. After that, the youth group moved to gate 18 of the National Stadium, where Universidad de Chile played its home games, and they started the new group called Los de Abajo ("The Ones from Below"), because they used to be below the official group before moving to gate 18.

When Universidad de Chile returned to the first division, Los de Abajo began to be more active, mainly as a result of confrontations involving fans of Colo-Colo and Universidad de Chie during the derbies.

In 1994, Universidad de Chile won its first title in 25 years. The final match was played in the city of El Salvador, a mining town of 10,000 inhabitants in the desert or Chile. The stadium's capacity was of 20,000 but 25,000 supporters of Universidad de Chile (football club) travelled to witness the end of the title drought.

Criticism[edit]

From the beginning the group have been criticised for the being violent. The press have been very critical and claim that the barras bravas are the reason for the lack of fans at matches. Although, Los de Abajo never fight fans of Universidad de Chile, or normal rival fans. The fights are only with other ultras groups, an unusual characteristic of ultras groups in Chile. They have been also been involved in scuffles with the police.

Los de Abajo is the only supporters groups that has registered members. Normally, those involved in violence are the same registered members and are considered to be outsiders of the "barra" that just go to the stadiums to cause conflict.

Social and political activism[edit]

Los de Abajo are well known for their left-wing ideas. They were born in the Pinochet dictatorship, and the majority of the Universidad de Chile fans were known for their opposition at the dictatorship. On the other hand, Pinochet was honorary president of the archirival Colo-Colo, and many universidad fans think that he helped on the building of the stadium with government funds, though they have no proof of this and actually that was only a presidential campaign promise. So for every game played in the Colo-Colo field they like to destroy the "Pinochet Stadium", as they call it.

The group is mainly formed by working-class men, lower-class teens, and students. Los de Abajo make several charity events, and recreational activities. Also, in 1999 they opened the "Escuela Libre Los de Abajo", a free school for teens of low-class and people that didn't finish their basic grades. In 2006 they also open a free pre-university, so the students can study to achieve the university aptitude exam.

Politically, in 2003, they were one of the founding organizations of the Juntos Podemos Más, a left-wing coalition that includes the Communist Party of Chile and several others organizations. They had one candidate to deputy on the 2005 parliamentary election.

External links[edit]