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The court determined a 30-day period for the investigation against the military, who were part of the Fundamental Emergency Unit that operated to counteract the 2019 protests.
On Wednesday, the La Serena Department Guarantee Court established preventive detention for the Army Captain Jose Faundez, Carlos Robledo, and Jose Arenas, who are accused of murdering Ecuadorian student Romario Veloz during the October 2019 social uprising in Chile.
The court determined a 30-day period for the investigation against the military, who were part of the Fundamental Emergency Unit (UFE 1) that operated in the La Serena department to counteract the advance of the protests.
On Oct. 20, 2019, Faundez ordered his underlings to shoot the demonstrators twice. One of the bullets hit the 26-year-old protester Veloz, who died shortly after being transferred to the hospital. "The shots cannot be imputed to my represented," Faundez's defense attorney Nicolas Oxman claimed, arguing that his client ordered to use the ammunition to blank.
"Based on ballistic surveys, Robledo and Arenas fired knowing that they were taking a risk," Oxman assured, stressing that a massacre would have occurred if the over 50 soldiers under Faudez’s command had fired at their will.
A security camera shows when Military men shoot at the group of demonstrators among whom the Ecuadorean Romario Veloz was.
According to the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH), only 4 out of over 3,000 complaints filed against State agents for crimes committed in the framework of the protests have been prosecuted so far.
Faundez, Robledo, and Arenas are charged on simple homicide, attempted homicide, unnecessary violence, and grievous bodily harm. Authorities assured that they are likely to be convicted for over 10 years.
"Authorities finally sent the killers of my son to jail. I am more than happy. We have achieved a lot, but we will not rest until all the investigations are concluded, and there is justice for all the victims of armed violence," Veloz's mother Mery Cortez stated.