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  • Detentions in chile reached a total of 21,911 people since October.

    Detentions in chile reached a total of 21,911 people since October. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 February 2020
Opinion

In addition to the total number of detainees, the NHRI noted that some 1,100 children and adolescents were arrested.

Chile’s National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) released Wednesday a new report revealing the number of people arrested in the country over the popular protests is increasing.

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Based on observations officials from the NHRI made in the police headquarters, the report shows that from Oct. 17 to Feb. 3, at least 9,794 people were arrested.

“In addition to the total number of detainees, the NHRI noted that some 1,100 children and adolescents have been arrested. The report includes complaints, in some cases, of torture, severe mistreatment, and sexual violence, ” the Head of the NHRI Rodrigo Bustos said.

Cities with the highest number of arrests are the capital Santiago, Antofagasta, Copiapo, and Concepcion, according to the NHRI. 

“What has worried us the most, is that in all these cities, where the compliance with the basic rights of persons deprived of liberty is not respected, there are more than 1,000 detainees registered,” Bustos added.

Additionally, police figures of all the detentions since October, when the anti-government protests started, reach a total of 21,911 people.

More than half of the arrests are said to be due to crimes of public disorders, followed by crimes of looting, which represent 23.7 percent of the arrests.

Massive demonstrations against the Chilean government and his right-wing president Sebastian Piñera began in Santiago on Oct. 14 due to a 30-cent increase in the subway fare.

While this measure was revoked by Piñera, social unrest increased in magnitude as the Chileans began to question "30 years" of neoliberal policies, which have implied a systematic withdrawal of economic and social rights for millions of people.

Since the start, the response of the security forces has been internationally condemned for its blatant disregard of human rights. Currently, prosecutors are investigating a number of deaths in the context of the crisis, including assassinations by the military and police forces.

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