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  • Police detain an injured demonstrator during a protest against President Sebastian Piñera in Santiago, Chile Nov. 4, 2019.

    Police detain an injured demonstrator during a protest against President Sebastian Piñera in Santiago, Chile Nov. 4, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 November 2019

Murders, illegal detentions, torture, sexual assaults and shooting at protesters are among the accusations.

Chilean NGOs Popular Defense, Vergara Toledo Bros Defense Committee and Legal Cooperative filed Monday a lawsuit for crimes against humanity against President Sebastian Piñera so that Santiago's 7th Guarantee Court investigate his political responsibility for human rights violations which have taken place over the last two weeks amid massive unrest in the country.

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The Chilean government's human rights violations "are framed in a systematic and widespread attack against civilians who have taken to the streets demanding structural changes to neoliberal policies which the right has strengthened for almost 30 years," the plaintiffs argue. 

"These human rights violations have been verified by both international and national organizations, as well as by lawyers who have denounced the enormous amount of crimes against children, young people, women, senior citizens and the people who have exercised their legitimate right to protest."

The human rights defenders also claim that these crimes have been committed by police, military, and other public officials.

"Daniela Carrasco, the Mime, 36, was found hanging from a fence at the Pedro Aguirre Cerda area, with her clothes badly placed and with serious signs of having been tortured and raped. Her body was hanging on a fence for hours as a spectacle by the military."

One of the most outrageous cases of human rights violations was Daniela Carrasco, a street artist who joined the protests and was arrested, as the local witnesses said.

“She was hanged at the Jarlan Park, displaying her so that the neighbors get scared... since she showed her face in the rallies, we should not forget her... We, as feminists, demand that justice be done and her death be investigated," Paty Aguayo said through social media.

Murders, illegal and selective detentions, physical and psychological torture, sexual harassment and assault, shooting at protesters and ocular mutilations are among the accusations against Piñera.

"Instead of controlling and condemning the high number of attacks against the civilian population, the President of the Republic and the police and military authorities have publicly declared their support for the security forces and congratulated their actions."

In an interview with the BBC, Chile's embattled President Piñera rejected the notion of resigning and said he believes he will reach the end of his term in just over two years despite intense anti-government protests that are roiling the country.

Pinera said he was "democratically elected by a huge majority of Chileans," and that while he accepted responsibility for entrenched inequality that was driving the protests, he was not "the only one."

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