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News > Chile

Chile: Top Court Overrides Decision Banning Police's Riot Guns

  • Citizens protest against police brutality, Chile, 2019.

    Citizens protest against police brutality, Chile, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @GrupoNoticiasRD

Published 25 February 2021

In 2020, the Valparaiso Court of Appeals ordered the Carabineros not to use percussion pellets under any circumstances.

Chile's Supreme Court (SC) overturned a ruling that prohibited the use of riot guns by the Military Police (Carabineros).


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Previously, in June 2020, Valparaiso's Court of Appeals unanimously approved 15 protection recourses against Carabineros due to the police brutality exercised during the protests unleashed in October 2019.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled that the protection recourses filed by human rights defenders were not "the appropriate way" to rule on the legality of the police's actions, including the use of certain equipment to contain the demonstrations.

The SC ruling also highlighted new conduct protocols approved by the Interior Ministry that regulated the use of force by police officers.

From Oct. to Dec. 2019, the military police attacked at least 1,300 citizens, 147 of whom were injured by riot shotguns.

The Valparaiso Court resolution banned Carabineros from using percussion pellets through riot guns "at all events" and ordered the implementation of a security protocol for their use.

Carabineros' Justice director Jaime Elgueta pointed out that the lifting of the prohibition "will have an important influence" on pending judicial processes submitted to the Public Prosecutor's Office and other criminal courts.


Jaime Elgueta
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