translated from Spanish: The controversy of the curfew for minors: lawyer accuses that the measure supported by mayors is «unconstitutional»

A controversial consultation will be carried out in six communes of the country on June 23, in the context of the so-called curfew for minors who seeks to limit their transit through the streets in hours of the night, an initiative that has been promoted by the mayor of Quilpué, Mauricio Viñambres.
The municipalities of Quilpué, Colina, Antofagasta, Las condes, Lo Barnechea and Peñalolén will be the one to carry out the consultation already found by some critics, such as the mayor UDI of Central station, Rodrigo Delgado. The municipalities noted that they seek to promote «the application of the Icelandic model to reduce the consumption of alcohol and other drugs in minors».
«The application of this model includes, among other things, the generation of agreements with parents and caregivers on the protection of children and adolescents, committing institutions and the entire community. To achieve this, it proposes, among other measures, a recommended timetable for children under the age of 16 not to move on the street at night without an adult’s company, «their promoters Add.
However, the measure that is intended to be applied in these six communes of the country has found detractors. One of them is the lawyer Luis Cuello, who assured the counter that this initiative presents problems of «legality and constitutionality», something that he saw in a request presented to the Regional Comptroller of Valparaiso, together with a group of students .
«The Comptroller responded in March by pointing out two very important things: the first is that the municipalities cannot act beyond the competences of the law to recognize them. The second thing is that the municipality must respect what is established in the Constitution with respect to personal freedom. The constitution says that no one can be restricted in their personal freedom, if not the case in which the Constitution or the law designates it. No Ordinance (…) can restrict a fundamental guarantee such as freedom of movement, and consequently, the intention of the municipalities to establish this curfew to under 14 or 16 years, has serious vices of unconstitutionality, «he said.
The lawyer further noted that establishing a youthful curfew would mean «creating a de facto identity check.»
«I believe that the mayor of Quilpué has been forced to go back on some concepts of the curfew precisely by the opinion of the Comptroller (…) Here there are expectations that are being created to the population that they will not be able to comply. Really no municipality is going to be able to establish an hourly restriction, because no official could control this. It is a decision that tends to stigmatize a sector of the population (…) We are in the presence of a communications pyrotechnics that will not have any results, «he added. 
On the other hand, the mayor of Central station, Rodrigo Delgado, said against the consultation that aims to limit the transit of minors through the streets in hours of the night. In his view, «Children are sometimes safer on the street than at home.»
«I would not do a consultation on that line because the families involved in these consultations are not those of the children who walk in the street at that time,» Delgado added in an interview with the National State program.
UDD: 75% of Santiaguinos support curfew
However, among the inhabitants of Santiago there seems to be a different view on this subject. According to a survey conducted by the Citizen Panel of the University of Development (UDD), 75% of the Santiaguinos agrees to apply the curfew for children under 14 years of age.
The survey also showed that the approval of this measure is defended by the lower socioeconomic level sectors (D and E), with a 79% support, while in the higher strata, a 69% applauds the measure.
In this regard, the lawyer Luis Cuello mentioned that «is the result of a certain communicational approach in the sense that no one can be against protecting minors, and nobody wants a child to be on the street after an hour because certainly can’t And to be in danger, but the mayor of Central station has said that some children are in danger in their homes. »
«I think that citizen reaction responds to that desire, to that common sense that is very legitimate. However, the instrument that is being proposed is not adequate, «he concluded.
What is consulted
The query consists of three questions:
1.-Do you consider that there should be a recommended timetable, which arises from this social agreement, so that children under 16 years of age do not move on the street at night without the company of an adult?
A) Yes
b) No
2.-If there is a recommended timetable for children under 12 years, what do you think should be?
Up to 21.00 hours
b) until 22.00 hours
c) until 23.00 hours
d) until 24.00 hours
3.-If there is a recommended timetable for children between 13 and 16 years, what do you think should be?
Up to 23.00 hours
b) until 24.00 hours
c) until 01.00 hours
d) Until 02.00 hours

Original source in Spanish

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