Chile has been ordered to pay Senator Fabiola Campillai and her family $630 million Chilean pesos. They suffered police brutality during the Estallido Social. Campillai was left blind and unable to smell or taste.
An appellate court in San Miguel, a municipality in the Metropolitan Region, has ordered the National Treasury to pay Senator Fabiola Campillai and her family $630 million Chilean pesos (over $780,000 U.S. dollars).
The payment is compensation for police brutality that Campillai and her sister suffered during the 2019 Estallido Social and for the trauma the family endured in the months following the incident.
According to the court, there is sufficient evidence to prove that police officers “violated the protocols and regulations in force regarding the use of gas cannons and the control of public order, as well as their duty to provide assistance to the victim.”
“The State is responsible for lack of service for the acts carried out by Carabineros [police] officers in the exercise of their duties,” the court determined.
What happened to Fabiola Campillai?
Campillai was on her way to her night shift job on Nov. 29, 2019, when she was hit in the face by a tear gas grenade shot by police. The impact caused her eye socket to explode, and broke several bones in her face. The incident left her permanently blinded, and also caused her to lose her sense of taste and smell.
Campillai’s sister, Ana Maria, who accompanied her to her job, went to confront the police in question, but was shot at as well. Another grenade caused her dress to catch fire. The police officers subsequently refused to lend aid to both sisters.
The carabinero pointed at as the one who fired the shot was discharged, and was accused of unlawful coercion resulting in serious injury. Later investigations showed that he was not certified to shoot a gas cannon on the date at the time of the incident.
In July 2022, Campillai filed a lawsuit against the state. In the lawsuit, Campillai, who by then had been elected as Senator for the Metropolitan Area in November 2021, demanded compensation of $2.2 billion Chilean pesos (almost $2.75 million U.S. dollars): $700 million for herself, and another $1.5 billion for her family, who suffered from the consequences of the attack.
At the time, Campillai’s lawyer said that there was no demonstration in that particular sector on Nov. 26, and that the officers involved were therefore not justified to shoot gas canisters in her direction. However, by doing so, they put Campillai “at vital risk and caused her serious injuries of a very serious permanent nature.”
La reparación económica a víctimas de violencia estatal es un paso hacia la reparación INTEGRAL y se basa en tratados de DDHH firmados y ratificados por Chile. Mi demanda de indemnización de perjuicios al Estado Chileno por el daño causado, fue realizada ANTES de ser senadora..
— Fabiola Campillai Senadora (@DignidadFabiola) July 21, 2022
The ruling by the San Miguel court establishes that the senator will receive compensation for moral damages, worth $300 million Chilean pesos, while her spouse, sister, mother, and daughters will all receive compensation between $50 million and $100 million. In total, the family will receive $630 million.
Read the complete court ruling here.
Matthijs is a newly graduated journalism student from Groningen, the Netherlands. As a starting journalist and aspiring foreign correspondent, he decided to extend his 6-month university exchange in Chile to do an internship at Chile Today. He enjoys writing about a broad range of topics, but international relations, politics and conflicts are his key interests.