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  • Man next to a car with the coffin containing the body of Jorge Mora during his funeral in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 31, 2020.

    Man next to a car with the coffin containing the body of Jorge Mora during his funeral in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 31, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 January 2020
Opinion

A bullet caused the brain death of a young man on Friday amid protests triggered by the death of another man who was hit by a police vehicle on Tuesday.

One dead person, 124 detainees and several wounded was the balance of the police repression to the protests that Chileans carried out in the early hours of Friday in Santiago.

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On Thursday afternoon, citizens went out to protest the death of Jorge Mora, a fan of the Colo-Colo soccer team, who was hit by a Police truck last Tuesday.

His death intensified popular mobilizations against the neoliberal state, which the Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1990) left installing.

On Friday, the Military Police caused the death of Ariel Moreno, a 24-year-old who was also a fan of the Colo-Colo team.

He was shot in the head while protesting in the vicinity of the Military Police's Subcommissioning Department located in Padre Hurtado, a neighborhood in ​​Santiago.

"In Justice Courts, they are demanding freedom for more than 2,537 political prisoners from the social uprising in Chile." The banner reads, "In Chile, there are political prisoners and murderers who remain free."

The Metropolitan Prosecutor's Office confirmed that he is hospitalized with brain death and that his death is expected on Friday.

Once again, in Santiago and other smaller cities, the scenario was practically the same: the Military Police deploying violent actions in an attempt to disperse hundreds of citizens who were protesting.

Also, in the middle of the protests, a 30-year-old man died of suffocation in a fire in the San Ramon municipality, where people were looting a supermarket in search of food.

Three other people were hospitalized and two of them are in a serious condition due to smoke inhalation.

"Nevertheless, Friday morning's disturbances were less strong than those that took place on either Wednesday night and Thursday morning," outlet Aporrea reported and recalled that those days were described by Chilean authorities as "the most violent days so far of the year."

“Gentlemen of the Chilean Navy: will we continue to defend inept governments that prefer to spend our tax money in repression? When do you honor your oath to defend the country? They are stealing it.” The meme reads, “Neighbors of Santa Maria Island protest requesting better transportation for their more than 2,000 inhabitants. They haven't been able to use the barge that connected them to the continent for 9 days. Over that period, they have traveled in fishing boats or naval ships. ”

This week, a new “Anti-Dry Law” came into effect, which seeks to tighten penalties against citizens of a country where unemployment rose to 7 percent.

Meanwhile, according to the latest opinion polls, only six out of 100 Chileans agree with President Sebastian Piñera, who continues to justify police brutality.

On Friday, the National Prosecutor's Office confirmed that it investigates allegations of 5,558 people who have suffered human rights violations since the protests began on Oct. 18, 2019.

Of that amount, 4,170 victims established direct accusations against the Military Police, 244 complaints are directed against the Army and the others against other security institutions. However, only 38 State agents are being prosecuted for one or more crimes.

So far, the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) records 67 formal complaints against security officers for rape.

Some 3,798 human rights violations took place in public spaces, 582 cases in either police stations or military precincts, and 72 cases of abuse happened inside homes.

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