translated from Spanish: Prosecutor Guerra makes hard mea culpa after Baquedano statue retreat: “We haven’t been effective enough”

“Beyond what one might think of the figure of General Baquedano who can suggest multiple different opinions, I find it regrettable that a place that is a public space (…) has been severely damaged to take such a measure. This action was not taken by a political decision, here what is there is a rather violent act of which we witness from October 18 onwards,” said metropolitan prosecutor Oriente, Manuel Guerra, after this morning the statue of General Manuel Baquedano was removed from Plaza Italia.
“In the Plaza Baquedano sector the statue of the general is symbolic, it became almost a political objective to fulfill by some people who – erroneously in my opinion – and by violent means expressed their impact,” he said in Radio Universe. “I find it sad on that side, it shows a significant deterioration in the validity of what is the rule of law in the sense of understanding that public spaces are places that we all have the right to occupy and enjoy, and I find it regrettable.”
Asked if he won the violence, Guerra replied that “there is certainly a space here that has been won by the most violent elements, to say the opposite is to put a blindfold, that does not mean that this is definitive, but if one sees the reality of what has been happening since October 2019 to date in the sector , no doubt there has been a very strong advance of elements that not only relate to the statue of Baquedano, relate to the whole environment of that sector, there is a lot of business destroyed and neighbors that have been affected in their quality of life”.
“It is very common for such circumstances to say things a little when volping, to seek to de-armor responsibilities. We have to separate the roles of the institutions well. (…) Who must respond that citizens must travel quietly through the places where dismantling has occurred is effectively the Executive through its institutions: Ministry of the Interior that has an undersecretariat for Crime Prevention, that is an issue,” he said.
“Now, with regard to crimes that already occur, the responsibility to investigate it is the responsibility of investigating it is from the Public Prosecutor’s Office with the help of the police, we do not evade that responsibility and without a doubt that the results are not what we would like. We would like to have a greater number of detainees, we would like to identify the groups that carry out these demonstrations. We’ve had results, yes. We have had partial results that have not been of the entity to contribute decisively to this not happening again and that is complex that happens because judicial remedies are limited, they are worn out. That’s why I’m talking about shared responsibilities,” he said.
Guerra said that “the reflection that everyone must make is: the state has not to date demonstrated a real ability to take charge of violence and therefore the question is what measures can be taken to try to prevent facts like these from happening again? If I have 700 people in Plaza Italia, pretend that I’m going to be able to identify 700 guys and I’m going to be able to charge them all for a crime and I’m going to put them in jail, and that’s going to end the problem, the truth is, it’s a little illusory.” “So it seems that the first stage is to design a preventive strategy, at the time there were attempts, it seems to have worked, but – to this day – I see unfortunately that every Friday and with some frequency, there are acts of violence that constitute crimes. Then it is up to us to intervene where there is little blatant detainee on the part of Carabineros who face a mass with a number of policemen who are not strong and, for the same reason, it becomes difficult for such situations to be avoided through persecution.”
“The Government has tried to make efforts, it didn’t give it no effort, but the question is whether we’ve been effective or not. And the answer, and we have to be very honest and not try to look good, you have to be honest about this, very transparent: there hasn’t been enough efficiency to prevent this from happening, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about this issue after a year and a half since the problems in Baquedano Square began” , he narrowed war.
“We have not been effective”
“It’s a clear example that different strategies haven’t been effective enough (…) This has not prevented (violence) from happening again and, on the other hand, the territorial co-payment that is being made has not paid off. I have the impression too, and I say it responsiblely, that in this there has been a degree of fear for dealing with situations likely to lead to violent acts that often lead to situations that can lead to persecution for police officers. I’m not saying they’re not acting, but more cautious action has probably been taken to prevent evil from being greater with affectation to people. Rather, it has been protected not to affect people who do not affect property. Undoubtedly, the different strategies have not been effective and that is the bottom line,” the prosecutor added.
“We have also not been effective enough to achieve the results of persecution that we would like, I say for myself, for the East sector,” he said.
Mea Culpa
“I believe that the whole Chilean society must do a mea culpa and certainly, in that, as representatives of Chilean society, the institutions of the State that participate in the different stages of what is the control of crime. There is a shared responsibility, but responsibility after all identifiable, and without a doubt that we are indebted to the neighbors, I speak of Providence. We are indebted to neighbors who legitimately claim that they want to regain their right to live peacefully and be able to enjoy the public spaces that have been damaged, that’s the first thing,” he said.
“Whoever says that is not the case is to de-armor responsibilities in others and act in a small way. The right thing to do here is to address the issue and try to improve this to restore peace of mind to people who live and work in that sector (…) because of the violent action that the state has not been able to stop.”
The detainee
“Absolutely we were not satisfied,” he said of the arrest of only one of the five subjects who on Monday climbed the monument to cut the base of the statue, at the height of the horse’s legs.
With regard to the detainee, the prosecutor explained that he was released because, in fact, he does not risk a prison sentence. “You are charged with a crime of harm, but you have a penalty that entitles you to a substitute penalty. Qualified damages do not have a high penalty,” he explained, and asked to review whether the law should raise a greater penalty for those who attack the country’s assets. “Greater protection of the country’s architectural heritage is lacking”.

Original source in Spanish

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