Chile runs out of tear gas and purchases more from Brazil

Santiago de Chile, Dec. 4 (Prensa Latina) As a result of its excessive use against protesters since October 18, Chilean police forces are practically running out of tear gas, and have had to purchased more from Brazil.

According to the daily La Tercera, the force has been instructed to use it 'effectively to achieve the desired objective, which is none other than gradually dispersing non-peaceful rallies through the use of force according to protocol.' The paper indicates that the police made a limited purchase of tear gas cartridges from the Brazilian company Condor, which must be used in accordance with the order to optimize their effectiveness and 'not waste them.'

The use of tear gas also increased after the high command of the Police temporarily suspended the use of riot guns due to the serious injuries caused by pellets to hundreds of people, many of them with irreversible eye injuries.

In recent weeks, complaints of people seriously injured by the direct impact of tear gas canisters have also multiplied.

The most unfortunate case is that of Francisca Campillai, aged 36, who was hit in the face by a tear gas canister, which completely blinded her.

The attack occurred as she was waiting for a bus to go to work. 'I was not participating in any demonstration and was assaulted by the police,' she denounced.

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Chile: People With Eye Injuries To File Lawsuit Against Piñera

Citizens rallied in front of Chile’s presidential palace to support those who have lost their eyes.

Chile's Coordinator of the Victims of Eye Traumas (CVTO) announced Thursday that it will file a lawsuit against President Sebastian Piñera as directly responsible for human rights violations.

RELATED: Chile’s Lawmakers Approve Impeachment of Interior Minister

"We seek justice. People responsible for serious injuries to citizens should not go unpunished. That's why we aim at Piñera, who is the main responsible," said the CVTO spokesperson Marta Valdes, a woman whose son was hit by a tear-gas bomb canister in his left eye.

"Over the last weeks, citizens have been asking that the Military Police no longer use pellets; however they continue to use the same methods," Valdes recalled and added that "every time the President makes an announcement, he announces more repression."

In support of the actions undertaken by CVTO, citizens rallied in front of La Moneda palace to demand that the Military Police stop attacking people with pellets shot directly into the face.


La ¨democracia¨ q quieren expandir a países como donde el ejército y la policía son el pueblo uniformado, a dónde llegaremos siglo XXI, vean q barbarie con un joven, cuántos carabineros le dan con la pistola, por la cabeza, quieren sacarle los ojos con los dedos es

This is the "democracy" they want to introduce in countries like Cuba, where the Army and the Police are people wearing uniforms. Where will we get in the 21st century? This is Chile: watch barbarism against a young man. How many Carabineros hit him with guns in his head? They want to take his eyes off with their fingers.

On Nov. 15, the Chilean Ophthalmology Society reported that at least 267 people suffered eye injuries due to actions of the Military Police, which has tried unsuccessfully to intimidate citizens to not participate in demonstrations against neoliberalism, which started on Oct. 18.

This week the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) also filed a complaint of thwarted homicide against the Military Police for the launch of a tear gas bomb against Fabiola Campillai, a young woman who is now totally blind.

Previously, college student Gustavo Gatica totally lost his sight due to a police shooting.​​​​​​

Despite the violence of police repression, Chileans who were shot in the eye announced that they will continue their protest against Piñera’s state terrorism.

"In Plaza Italia, I faced them because they were spraying tear gas to people, I faced them alone... they shot me straight in the eye. It was intentional," Carlos Puebla denounced.

"Officials who were hiding behind a business appeared and started shooting. Unluckily, one of those pellets hit me in the eye and I lost all my right eye... now I am waiting for a prosthesis to be able to live 'a normal life' again. I know that it might not be the same, but we must continue fighting so that this does not remain in impunity and that they are guilty of all this," Marcelo Herrera stressed.


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Chilean president rejected by 84% of the population

Santiago de Chile, November 29 (RHC)-- Amid the constant popular mobilizations against the country's social and political model, the rejection of the government of President Sebastian Piñera has reached 84% of the population, the Criteria pollster revealed on Thursday.

The Agenda Ciudadana poll, which collects data from November, amid the mobilizations, states that the president's approval ratings continue at the lowest levels, at only 12%, four points less than what was reported by the previous poll, in October.

Assessing these data, Criteria points out that the approval and rejection rates are the worst indicators recorded since the poll was first conducted. As well as the president, his cabinet in November was rejected by 87% of the population (five points more than in the previous month's survey) and only 11% assess positively his government.

Regarding the issue of a new Constitution for the country, one of the main demands of the demonstrations, 91% are in favor of a Constituent Assembly entirely composed of independent people, and 70% is favorable to quotas insured for women and indigenous peoples.

The data was collected between November 19 and 26 through online interviews with 1,014 men and women over 18 years of age nationwide.

Edited by Ed Newman

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Human Rights Watch denounces human rights violations in Chile for police abuse

Santiago de Chile, November 28 (RHC)-- Chilean security forces committed “serious human rights violations” during the now seven-week long protests against the neoliberal policies of President Sebastian Piñera and the lack of social rights in the South American nation, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch.  

"There are hundreds of worrying complaints about excessive use of force in the streets and abuses against detainees, including brutal beatings and sexual abuse, that should be promptly and thoroughly investigated to ensure victims' access to justice," said the Director for Americas of HRW Jose Miguel Vivanco.

The organization interviewed more than 70 people during two weeks of investigation in Santiago and Valparaiso in November, among victims, police officers and authorities.  The evidence collected is "consistent" to assert that the police "used force excessively in response to the protests and wounded thousands of people, regardless of whether they had participated in violent acts or not," according to the report.

Earlier this week, the National Institute of Human Rights of Chile (NHRI) reported that 2,808 people have been wounded during the nearly 40 days of demonstrations.  According to the Chilean agency, 232 people suffered eye injuries (75 percent of the cases of gunshots).

HRW’s director for the Americas added that such factors as “the indiscriminate and improper use of weapons and riot guns...facilitated serious violations of the rights of many Chileans.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) along with numerous other rights groups condemned the constant violations of human rights by police and military against the population in Chile.

The human rights NGO met with President Piñera on Tuesday to recommend a series of reforms such as suspension of all use of pellet shotguns until an examination is conducted by independent authorities, reviewing police powers of detention, ensuring accountability for police abuses and misuse of less-lethal equipment.

Edited by Ed Newman

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Over 2,800 People Wounded in Chile Since Start of Protests

After almost 40 days of demonstrations, approximately 232 people have suffered eye injuries (75 percent from gunfire) as a result of the violence.

The National Institute of Human Rights of Chile ( NHRI ) on Monday reported that 2,808 people have been wounded during the nearly 40 days of demonstrations in the South American country.

RELATED: Spain, UK, France to 'Advise' Chile's Police on Public Order

According to figures provided by the Chilean agency, 232 people suffered eye injuries (75 percent of the cases of gunshots), of the 2,808 wounded that have been found in different hospitals.

As of Monday, 437 people were injured because of firearms, while 1,180, the majority, were victims of pellets shot by state agents, the NHRI reported.

In turn, the number of detainees found by the NHRI amounted to 7,259 people. Ofthe 7,259 detained by the state, at least 867 of them  are children.

In its report, the agency presented a total of 499 legal actions against police and the armed forces, 79 of them being sexual violence.

Chile has been engulfed in nationwide protests for over a month now, as protesters demonstrate in response to a raise in the Santiago Metro's subway fare, the increased cost of living, privatisation and inequality prevalent in the country.

While the Chilean regime has made some promises to the people, very little has been done to fulfill their demands.the 7,259 detained by the state, at least 867 of them  are children.

While the Chilean regime has made some promises to the people, very little has been done to fulfill their demands.

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Chile's police suspend use of pellets after 270 eye injuries

Santiago de Chile, November 21 (RHC)-- The Director of the Carabineros, Chile's military police, Mario Rozas, has announced the suspension of the use of pellets as an anti-riot tool, except in cases of "legitimate defense, when it represents a death threat."

The measure follows a study by the University of Chile that states that these pellets are composed of only 20 percent rubber, while the other 80 percent have different elements, such as lead.  Rozas said the measure will be maintained while the pellets are subjected to other tests requested from laboratories abroad.  "The restriction will be evaluated when we have in our possession the results of the studies," he added.

The Carabineros had rejected the University's report and urged the ammunition supplier to submit a report on its composition.  Previously, the Rancagua, Concepción, Antofagasta, Valparaíso and La Serena Courts of Appeals had ordered the police to refrain from using pellets in public demonstrations, as well as to limit the use of tear gas that affects people's physical integrity.

At least 270 Chileans have been wounded in the eyes as a result of Carabineros shooting directly in the face in anti-government protests, a record in world statistics.

Also, since the beginning of the protests against Sebastián Piñera's neoliberal policies, more than 17,000 people have been arrested and 950 are in pretrial detention.  Massive demonstrations against the Chilean government began in Santiago on October 14th due to a 30-cent increase in the subway fare.

While this measure was revoked by Piñera, social unrest increased in magnitude as the Chileans began to question neoliberal policies, which have implied a systematic withdrawal of economic and social rights for millions of people.

According to the National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI), over the last month, over 6,000 people have been arrested and 2,400 injured in Chile.

In this context, several entities are seeking to hold Piñera accountable for human rights violations perpetrated by state forces in response to massive demonstrations.  After five weeks of protests, the Chilean president admitted last Sunday that "there was excessive use of force" by state agents and that in some cases "the rights of everyone were not respected.”

Edited by Ed Newman
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Protests intensify against neo-liberal policies in Chile

Santiago de Chile, November 19 (RHC)-- Thousands of Chileans rallied in major cities across the country on Monday, marking one month since protests over inequality and injustice erupted in the country.  Despite a series of concessions, protesters have promised to stay in the streets until the government meets specific demands for systemic change and improved social conditions.

The protests initially started in mid-October when secondary students in the capital Santiago protested against a metro fare increase.  Since then, however, the demonstrations have mushroomed, with protesters taking to the streets against the country's political-economic model and the police crackdown on the demonstrations.  The key demands of protesters include ensuring there's a Constitutional Assembly, higher pensions, wages, affordable healthcare and education.

Marches and rallies continue on a daily basis and some have rivalled mobilizations in the late 1980s against General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.  Thousands of people were killed and forcibly disappeared for political reasons during Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule.

An Inter-American Commission on Human Rights team arrived on Monday for a four-day visit.  A team from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will conclude its 24-day visit on Friday.

At least 24 people have died as a result of the unrest, including five killed by police and military forces during a state of emergency in October.  Over the past month, more than 6,000 people have been detained.

The National Human Rights Institute has filed 58 legal actions against authorities, mostly police, for alleged sexual violence, and 246 for torture and other cruel treatment. The institute has also documented 217 cases of hospitalisation for eye injuries, roughly 75 percent of which were caused by projectiles.

Edited by Ed Newman
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National Security Council is held in Chile without major announcement

Santiago de Chile, Nov 8 (Prensa Latina) Without major announcements given the seriousness of the social and political crisis in Chile, a meeting of the National Security Council (Consena) was held this Thursday summoned by President Sebastian Piñera.

The President of the Republic, the presidents of the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Supreme Court, chiefs of the armed forces and police as well as the comptroller general, the ministers of the Interior and defense were summoned by Piñera.

At the end of the meeting, the head of the Interior, Gonzalo Blumel, briefly informed the press that the objective was to inform the main state entities about the current situation at national level and request support of the institutions for the fastest solution to the conflict that is in its third week.

He listed among other issues that the legislative branch was asked to expedite the processing of a series of bills to strengthen public order that were announced in the morning by President Piñera, and the Judiciary, greater diligence in processing of justice.

The strengthening and coordination of police agencies to guarantee public order was raised, and the Armed Forces were only asked to cooperate in intelligence tasks, according to Minister Blumel.

The meeting of the Council raised a great expectation and rejection especially in the opposition parties in full. However, after the meeting, the president of the Senate, Jaime Quintana, described it as 'unnecessary and unproductive.'

Addressed by the press, Quintana said he told President Piñera that 'there are no conditions to return to the states of emergency, which ultimately brought more violence' to the country.

Opposition forces deemed summoning this meeting, as a demonstration of Piñera's blindness to the real problems that demand solution, and a push to repression instead of attending the just demands of the population and summon a Plebiscite for a new Constitution as requested by most Chileans.

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