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  • A performer wearing an eyepatch covers her face as part of a protest supporting people who have lost an eye during protests in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 12, 2019.

    A performer wearing an eyepatch covers her face as part of a protest supporting people who have lost an eye during protests in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 November 2019

Citizens rallied in front of Chile’s presidential palace to support those who have lost their eyes.

Chile's Coordinator of the Victims of Eye Traumas (CVTO) announced Thursday that it will file a lawsuit against President Sebastian Piñera as directly responsible for human rights violations.

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"We seek justice. People responsible for serious injuries to citizens should not go unpunished. That's why we aim at Piñera, who is the main responsible," said the CVTO spokesperson Marta Valdes, a woman whose son was hit by a tear-gas bomb canister in his left eye.

"Over the last weeks, citizens have been asking that the Military Police no longer use pellets; however they continue to use the same methods," Valdes recalled and added that "every time the President makes an announcement, he announces more repression."

In support of the actions undertaken by CVTO, citizens rallied in front of La Moneda palace to demand that the Military Police stop attacking people with pellets shot directly into the face.

This is the "democracy" they want to introduce in countries like Cuba, where the Army and the Police are people wearing uniforms. Where will we get in the 21st century? This is Chile: watch barbarism against a young man. How many Carabineros hit him with guns in his head? They want to take his eyes off with their fingers.

On Nov. 15, the Chilean Ophthalmology Society reported that at least 267 people suffered eye injuries due to actions of the Military Police, which has tried unsuccessfully to intimidate citizens to not participate in demonstrations against neoliberalism, which started on Oct. 18.

This week the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) also filed a complaint of thwarted homicide against the Military Police for the launch of a tear gas bomb against Fabiola Campillai, a young woman who is now totally blind.

Previously, college student Gustavo Gatica totally lost his sight due to a police shooting.​​​​​​

Despite the violence of police repression, Chileans who were shot in the eye announced that they will continue their protest against Piñera’s state terrorism.

"In Plaza Italia, I faced them because they were spraying tear gas to people, I faced them alone... they shot me straight in the eye. It was intentional," Carlos Puebla denounced.

"Officials who were hiding behind a business appeared and started shooting. Unluckily, one of those pellets hit me in the eye and I lost all my right eye... now I am waiting for a prosthesis to be able to live 'a normal life' again. I know that it might not be the same, but we must continue fighting so that this does not remain in impunity and that they are guilty of all this," Marcelo Herrera stressed.

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