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Nearly 12,000 fugitives in Chile

In an investigation report, Radio Biobío states that over 12,000 fugitives run free. Their crimes range from theft to murder. Sentences also expire after a certain amount of time.

 An investigation by Radio Biobío revealed that as of April 2021, 11,783 detention warrants are still outstanding, meaning the people convicted still haven’t been arrested. Of the total, 4,371 have been sentenced to jail, but are still free.

 The region with the largest number is the Metropolitan region, with 1,403 fugitives, followed by Antofagasta, with 489. The region with the lowest is Aysén, with 28.

 The list consists of people who have either been sentenced but haven’t been found after trial in absentia and people subject to cautionary measures, such as house arrest or pre-trial detention, who have escaped. The information, requested by Radio Biobío through a transparency law, does not match the judicial branch’s records.

Also read:

“Worrisome” Conditions In Chilean Prisons According To INDH

 National Fugitive Record 

The National Fugitive Record was created in 2012 by President Sebastián Piñera, during his first presidential term. It is managed by the Civil Registry, which is supposed to maintain an updated list of every fugitive convict in the country.

However, according to the Radio Biobío investigation, sources related to the Civil Registry said that the record was not that reliable, and that it wasn’t updated very often. They also said that it was managed manually: the index is filled out with data provided directly by the tribunals or through email. 

According to this index, the number of convicts with prison sentences who are currently fugitives is actually much higher – closer to 20,000.

Another issue Radio Biobío investigated was sentence prescription (expiration): imprisonment, confinement, or seclusion sentences expire after 15 years; and common offenses expire after 10 years.

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