Eight months it took the Executive to fulfill the commitment to the Inter-American Commission of human rights (IACHR) in the case of Alex Lemún Saavedra, the young mapuche killed at a police station in Angol. Finally, the Ministry of the Interior published this Tuesday, December 4 in the official journal «Decree laying down provisions relating to the use of force in police interventions for the maintenance of public order».
However, its content is considered as ‘insufficient’ Lemún family representatives and experts as former Undersecretary of Carabineros, Neftalí Carabantes.
The provisions of the Decree the decree establishes, inter alia, that «in its actions police forces shall comply with and shall comply with the law at all times». In this regard, it notes that «law enforcement officials shall avoid the intentional use of lethal weapons, must prefer the use of elements or less harmful measures to achieve its objectives».
«In case it is necessary to use a firearm, and wherever possible, appropriate and useful, the police officer will notice clearly their intention to use it», explains.
With respect to the police action in the event of demonstrations, when it comes to «meetings not authorised by the competent authority and not violent in nature, law enforcement officials shall avoid excessive use of force», designates the standard.
Also States that police must be delivered within 90 days the new protocols in interventions for the maintenance of public order. Also it is necessary that the content of these protocols should be revised every four years as minimum time coverage.
Another provision that establishes the decree is that Carabineros de Chile must submit six-monthly reports to the Ministry of the Interior and public security, through the Secretary of the Interior, containing statistical information relating to the use of force and violent episodes.
The delay in the publication of the Decree was due to a series of corrections, then that the Bachelet Administration entered a preliminary document on 9 March, that Comptrollership objects by deficient. Finally, on November 13, a day before occurs Camilo Catrillanca killing at the hands of the jungle command in Ercilla, the Minister of Interior, Andrés Chadwick, signed Presidential Decree required by the IACHR.
Deficiencies in the light of the Catrillanca case but the Decree published in the official journal arouses no consensus. For Sebastián Saavedra, family lawyer Lemún, the performance of the Chilean Government in the matter «fully» contradicts what had been demanded by the IACHR, especially in the light of the crime of Camilo Catrillanca.
«The unusual is that he is demanded Chile to train police in human rights and instead created the jungle command. The results are evident. Police, such as in the case of Alex, shot in the back at a mapuche farmer which, moreover, did not have anything to do with the facts that at the time were investigating. I.e., killed an innocent by use of quite disproportionate force. «The Commission’s recommendation was just the reverse: adhere to fundamental rights and lead to a tactical group specialized in Colombia to combat guerrillas and with lethal weapons», lawyer told La Tercera.
Meanwhile, for the Director for the Southern Cone’s Center for Justice and international law (Cejil), María Noel Leoni, the decree is insufficient. «While we welcome the adoption of this regulation, so that the State give compliance to agreed with the family of Alex Lemún it is necessary to open a review of it with civil society and the NHDR process to ensure that it meets international standards nales and specific contexts in Chile», told El Mercurio.
According to the Center for Justice and international law (Cejil), other points that must be amended by the decree are «not talking of proportionality in the use of force» or «the discriminatory use of force, in a very particular context as in L Araucanía and against the mapuche community». «The events of a few weeks (about the death of Camilo Catrillanca) demonstrate that the State continues to have a very serious problem and a deficiency (in the use of force) that needs to be improved», said.
The other outstanding points other criticisms come from the former Undersecretary of Carabineros Naphtali Carabantes, who said how «insufficient by the IACHR is regulated in a single Supreme Decree of the Ministry of the Interior, at the level of guidelines «.» In his view, the provisions required by the IACHR on the rational and legitimate use of force, must necessarily be included in the constitutional organic law of police, «otherwise is dead and without force of Empire lyric.»
The current general Secretary of the Central University raises another point that must be incorporated is to grant powers to the auditor’s Office to intervene in the summaries of Carabineros, to avoid what is happening today – for example in the light of what has happened even with case Catrillanca-where internal investigations are left to the discretion of the police institution. «The Comptroller should flood transparency to police. We have witnessed as the Comptroller’s Office is doing its job correctly, in current Codelco», argued.
Carabantes recalled that «this instance previously existed for the armed forces and would give greater transparency and would decrease the risk of lack of objectivity, that is, misdemeanors are punished excessively or shaped little unbiased, cutting thread by the thinnest»or before larger failures»you get off them profile or turn a blind eye is done».
Finally, he stressed the need that the Government comply with the IACHR and I adapt to international standards, recalling that «is not the first time the IACHR to hit hard at the State of Chile by the responsibility of their police forces and their» Armed forces. Let’s not forget that Chile has already been convicted on these grounds, and consists in the jurisprudence of the Court, judgments as the case of Palamara or the agreement in case of the Valdes out of police and now last the case of Alex Lemún. In addition, already from the case of Palamara, the Inter-American Court ordered the State of Chile adopt the necessary measures to repeal or amend, within a reasonable time, any internal regulations which are inconsistent with international standards».
Also – read column of Naphtali Carabantes: the essential structural reengineering of Carabineros