Monday, January 17

They accuse the policeman who threw a minor off a bridge during a protest in Chile with frustrated homicide

Correspondent in Santiago de Chile



Yesterday he was accused of hattempted murder and was under arrest a Chilean policeman who on Friday threw a protester from a bridge into the Mapocho River in Santiago de Chile. The fall – from more than seven meters high – left the 16-year-old with serious injuries but without the risk of death, but it caused a strong political shaking just three weeks before the constitutional plebiscite called to face the social and political crisis which broke out in October last year.

He young Anthony Araya was part of a protest of about 300 people that on Friday afternoon gathered in the so-called “Plaza de la Dignidad”, in the heart of the Chilean capital, when a strong contingent of carabinieri -The militarized police- attacked the protesters and the 22-year-old policeman Sebastián Zamora Soto, in a maneuver that was recorded, pushed the young man over the railing of the bridge. Several of the videos presented this Sunday in court also show that the police did not provide any type of assistance to the injured.

The event caused the immediate reaction of human rights organizations who requested the resignation of the general director of the police, Mario Rozas, while the opposition to the Government of Sebastián Piñera announced a constitutional indictment for remove Interior Minister Víctor Pérez, who assumed that position only three months ago. The political tension has occurred just three weeks after the plebiscite called for the next October 25, when almost fifteen million Chileans go to the polls to decide the end or continuity of the Constitution drawn up by the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, in force since the beginning of the 1980s.

The Chilean police have been repeatedly questioned – even by international organizations – by “Massive” human rights violations that occurred over the past year, when the social outbreak began. According to a report by the National Prosecutor’s Office presented to the Chamber of Deputies on September 29, in Chile – which is under a State of Exception due to the social crisis and later due to the viral pandemic – 8,575 victims of violations at the hands of the forces of order, for which 919 police officers have been charged, of which 63 have precautionary measures for 28 causes. The justice, meanwhile, is investigating some 30 deaths and 169 cases of police abuse that ended in eye trauma, including two victims who were totally blinded by shots from riot guns.

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