There are already 179 legal actions brought by torture, inhumane treatment, degrading treatment and sexual violence, the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) reported. In its balance sheet, INDH detected 1,574 wounded in hospitals in the 16 days of protests and 4,316 people arrested, some 120 more than in the previous day’s count.
We have filed complaints for “four people who were shot dead and we believe there are indications, the courts will determine it, death at the hands of people of the Army and in a case at the hands of Carabineros (Police) of Chile by beatings,” Sergio said Micco, the director of INDH.
The INDH also on Saturday expressed concern about eye injuries suffered by 157 people during the mass demonstrations generated amid an unusual social crisis that erupted two weeks ago.
With crowded protests that have Santiago as their epicenter, Chileans are holding pressure on the government of right-wing Sebastian Piñera with demands for a better distribution of wealth in a country with a free market economic model. According to official data, the protests have led to 20 deaths.
“There is one issue that we have to study because it is of the greatest gravity to have 157 people with eye injuries,” said Sergio Micco at a press conference.
The institution asked for experts to know in detail the structure of the pellets, most responsible for eye injuries, in order to identify whether some with metal structures have been used by supplanting the rubber ones that are commonly used demonstrations.
After the blast, Piñera invoked the “state of emergency” and took military personnel out to patrol the streets until last Sunday in Santiago and other parts of the country, an unprecedented fact from the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
The allegations of abuses led to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, sending a mission to verify the veracity of the allegations.
The UN mission is “very important and is doing its job (…) they’re going to meet with victims of repression,” Micco said.
“It is necessary to objectify and know the truth of what has happened in these two weeks and we also look forward to any recommendations (…) so that this will never happen again,” he concluded.