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News > Chile

Chile: Human Rights Defenders Reject Use of Chemicals by Police

  • Carabineros police repress a protest in Santiago, Chile, Dec. 4, 2020

    Carabineros police repress a protest in Santiago, Chile, Dec. 4, 2020 | Photo: EFE

Published 8 December 2020

The use of tear gas and chemicals in water cannons affected Chilean protesters causing them corneal damage and burns.

Chile's Human Rights Commission (CChDH) filed a complaint against the Military Police (Carabineros) for the illegal use of chemicals to dissuade protests in Santiago between November and December 2020.


Chile Marks Social Outbreak's Anniversary Amid Police Repression

The complaint was filed one month after human rights defender Javiera Monsalves was seriously injured while participating in a protest in the capital.

"On November 8, Monsalves was diagnosed with a chemical infection in both eyes, severe damage to her right cornea, and extensive chemical dermatitis," CChDH President Carlos Margotta reported.

The lawsuit includes photographs and documents that endorse the health condition of the activist and other people also affected by police brutality and the use of tear gas canisters and chemicals.

The document also gathers graphic testimonies of the use of that deterrents in January, October, and November 2020.

According to the report, Military Police Director Ricardo Yañez and Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado allowed the police forces to use chemical agents against the demonstrators.

In October 2019, protests began in Chile to reject President Sebastian Piñera administration's neoliberal policies. Social outrage has continued to date because of the government's mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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