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Public Prosecutor Files Complaint in Latest Case of Police Violence

SANTIAGO – The Public Prosecutor will open an inquiry into another case of violence committed by Carabineros police. This latest incident occurred earlier this week when police took a detainee to a secluded lot and beat him before taking him to the police station. The event adds to numerous other reported cases of police violence.

Human rights prosecutor Milibor Bugueño filed a complaint against forces of the militarized police, the Carabineros. A 25-year-old man for Puente Alto district claims to have been detained on January 28 and taken to an empty lot where six Carabineros beat him before taking him to the police station, where he received more physical abuse. The victim, who remains in hospital due to the severity of his injuries, also claims he was detained for the sole reason of defending a teenager who was being violently detained.

Pablo Rivera, a lawyer at the human rights institute (INDH), said, “At one moment he was subjected to threats of sexual abuse by a Carabinera who was participating in the procedure… which is clearly a brutal case of police violence.” The victim went to Sótero del Río hospital in Puente Alto, where doctors said  the man had suffered rib fractures that perforated his lung, which had to be drained so the patient could breathe properly.

The human rights institute said in a statement that any act of violence by a state agent to punish or obtain information from a civilian is classified as torture. On the face of it, this latest case would fall in this category.

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Yet, this is only the latest instance of Carabineros violence in Puente Alto. Just last week, police were caught on camera beating up 18-year-old Matías Soto, whose mother said “if the beating had been any longer they would have killed him.” Seven of the nine Carabineros involved in this case were relieved of their duties.

The human rights institute, said it learned of both accusations through its new online contact report system, which facilitates instant access to the institute’s experts.

Violence, especially in Puente Alto, escalated when about one week ago Carabineros ran over a Colo-Colo fan who was leaving the football stadium after a match. A judge then exonerated the Carabinero responsible on the grounds that Colo-Colo fans were supposedly known as violent provocateurs.

Abuse by Carabineros

Chile’s militarized police force has a long history of abuse. But this violence has come on full public display only from October 18, when the social uprising began. International human rights organizations have warned abuses will continue absent any reform of the police force.

Meanwhile, the president and his coalition support the Carabineros and discarded fundamental reforms. Left-wing Frente Amplio, or Broad Front, opposition coalition, on the other hand, proposed a complete overhaul to get Carabineros focusing on the protection of human rights.

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