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News > Latin America

Trial Of Chilean Officer Who Blinded Senator Campillai Postponed

  • Senator-elect Fabiola Campillai, Santiago, Chile, Dec. 27, 2021.

    Senator-elect Fabiola Campillai, Santiago, Chile, Dec. 27, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @gmobastias

Published 27 December 2021
Opinion

In Nov. 2019, a military police officer fired a tear gas at the face of Fabiola Campillai, a citizen who was on her way to work in San Bernardo neighborhood.

On Monday, the Chilean Justice postponed the hearing to prepare for the trial against former Police Officer Patricio Maturana, who is accused of shooting Fabiola Campillai during the 2019 protests.

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On March 7, a hearing will be held against the policeman, for whom Campillai's lawyers ask for 15 years in prison for the crimes of "illegitimate coercion resulting in very serious injuries."

The Prosecutor's Office, however, only requests 12 years in prison for Maturana, who was dissociated months ago from the Military Police (Carabineros), an institution that has been involved in hundreds of State terrorism cases.

In Nov. 2019, Maturana fired a tear gas at Campillai, who was on her way to work in the Santiago's San Bernardo neighborhood. Elected as Senator in the last elections, she also lost her taste and smell as a result of the blow to her face.

This citizen maintains that she "sometimes" loses faith in the Chilean Justice because the trial "is taking a long time, despite the fact that there are over 400 pieces of evidence."

In the last quarter of 2019, high school and college students took to the streets to protest against the rise in Santiago' subway fares. In a short time, thousands of citizens throughout the country joined them to initiate a prolonged wave of protests against the economic, political and social order inherited by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

Human rights defenders and social networks were direct witnesses to the brutal police repression allowed by President Sebastian Piñera, who received strong criticism from the United Nations and other multilateral institutions.

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