News Americas, SANTIAGO, Chile, Weds. Nov. 27, 2019: International rights organization, Human Right Watch, is calling for a review police powers of detention in Chile.
HRW made this and nine other recommendations to the Chilean government after stating Tuesday that Chile’s national police, the Carabineros, committed serious human rights violations, including excessive use of force in the streets and abuses in detention, after thousands of Chileans took to the streets on and in the weeks following October 18, 2019.
From the beginning of the demonstrations through November 21, the National Human Rights Institute filed 442 criminal complaints on behalf of victims with prosecutors, regarding injuries, cruel treatment, torture, rape, killings, and attempted killings allegedly committed by security forces, HRW said.
The country’s emergency services treated 11,564 people injured during the demonstrations from October 18 to November 22, the Health Ministry told Human Rights Watch. Of those, more than 1,100 had moderate or serious injuries.
Human Rights Watch executives met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera yesterday, November 26th and recommended a series of reforms directed to help prevent police misconduct and strengthen oversight in the wake of compelling evidence of excessive use of force and abuses against demonstrators and bystanders.
The protests in Chile began over an increase in the price of public transportation and have continued for over a month. The demonstrations broadened to reflect anger over serious deficiencies in the provision of social services and economic inequality.
The Attorney General’s Office in Chile is investigating 26 deaths. Among them are a demonstrator who died after an alleged police beating on the street, three protesters allegedly fatally shot by military forces using live ammunition, and one who was run over by a Navy vehicle.