Chile: State Violence Leads to 1,420 Arrests and 11 Deaths

Oct.22, 2019

Chile’s National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) presented on Monday night the latest statistics of detainees and injured since the social protests began on October 17th. According to its report, there have been 1,420 arrests and 84 people wounded by gunfire so far.

In the Metropolitan region of Santiago, 587 people were arrested, 113 of whom were women, 340 are men and 63 are minors. In the rest of the country, 883 detainees are reported, 187 of whom are women, 528 are men and 118 are minors.

The NHRI also announced that there have been several cases of sexual abuse and excessive use of force during detentions. Therefore, this humanitarian institution filed legal charges of violence against eight military police (“carabineros”) and soldiers.

Regarding the death toll, Chilean authorities have officially reported 11 people have died since the start of the protests.

“The official death toll, which we have to regret in these last two days, is three dead on Saturday and eight on Sunday,” the Metropolitan Region mayor Karla Rubilar confirmed.

“While the world is a silent accomplice of the murderer Sebastian Piñera, the Chilean people live through repression and human rights violations.”

On Friday, Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera declared a state of emergency to try to control the massive protests which have increased the metro ticket price. Just a day later, however, he announced the suspension of the subway fare hike.

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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday called for an independent investigation into the deaths that occurred during violent protests over the weekend. She also mentioned “disturbing” allegations of excessive use of military force.

For its part, Chile’s Unitary Central of Workers (CUT) slammed the human rights violations and called for a general strike on October 23.

This demostration will be also supported by other social organizations such as the National Association of Fiscal Employees, the Confederation of Trade Unions and Financial Services, the Confederation of Banks and the Teachers’ Association, among others.

“President Piñera is not understanding the underlying reasons for the widespread citizen protest. His attitude shows that he is not in a position to continue leading the country,” the CUT said.