NATIONAL Social Crisis

Chilean Universities Take Legal Action Against Police Forces

SANTIAGO – Seven Chilean universities published a statement in support of their students. The universities encourage the participation of their students in the manifestations in Chile, and openly repudiate police forces misconduct, which has injured over 2,000 people according to the National Institute of Human Rights. The document ends announcing legal actions against such acts of police violence.

Seven universities have expressed their support and students who participate in the manifestations of Chile’s social movement. The universities signed a statement, titled “Presidents of Chilean universities, as well as students,  bring legal actions to secure the physical and psychological safety of students in demonstrations”, in which they condemn the violence and abuse committed by police forces and offering full support to those who need it, “to secure the physical and psychological safety of students who will participate in peaceful protests, given the severe injuries and ill treatment to which they may be subject from police (Carabineros de Chile)”. 

The seven universities are Universidad de Chile, Universidad de Santiago, Universidad Diego Portales, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Universidad Católica of Valparaíso, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, and the Christian Humanist Academia of Santiago.

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Legal Actions

The document also announces legal actions against police forces, holding them accountable for the great number of human rights violations committed during the protests, and the several acts of misconduct they have shown against Chilean citizens, saying that “[it is a] well-known fact that the police, … have acted disproportionately, to the point of ignoring institutional protocols regarding the use of firearms against the population.”

The National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) has clear records of these situations, counting over 2,000 injured people by police violence causes. 643 of them were victims of rubber bullets, while other 345 were hurt by unidentified firearms.

In the legal actions filed before the Chilean Court, the seven universities demand the restriction of the “use of anti-riot shotguns in current protests, given the arbitrary and unreasonableness conduct of [police forces],” or alternatively  “to suspend the use of these shotguns by Carabineros, until (i) a new regulation is issued that regulates their use in strict adherence to the Constitution and international human rights standards; (ii) comprehensive information is provided on the regulations and substantive training measures developed by the institution to ensure that they are effectively respected by the members of Carabineros; and, in any case, (iii) detailed information is provided on the type of deterrent elements that Carabineros will specifically use in future demonstrations.”

The release ends with the explicit purpose to safeguard the safety of their students, and avoid any other serious injuries or eye mutilations, which have become symbolic for the protests, with over 150 cases according to the INDH on Nov. 10.

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