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News > Chile

Chile: Human Rights Defenders Claim Justice for Blind Student

  • Paramedics assist Gustavo Gatica, Santiago, Chile, Nov. 8, 2019.

    Paramedics assist Gustavo Gatica, Santiago, Chile, Nov. 8, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @LilianadeMaggi

Published 18 June 2020

About 460 people were injured by the Military police in their eyes during the 2019-2020 protests.

In Chile, human rights defenders asked the Prosecutors’ Office to carry out investigations into police brutality in the case of Gustavo Gatica, who lost his sight in the 2019 protests..


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"Initially the Police's investigation concluded that those responsible cannot be identified but, according to the Prosecutor's Office's investigation, bullets extracted from Gustavo coincide with the ammunition used by the Police," Amnesty International (AI) director Ana Piquer said. 

On Nov. 8, 2019, Gatica was hit with two pellets in his face. After this psychology student remained hospitalized for 17 days, doctors announced that he was hopelessly blind.

Human rights defenders pointed out that Chile's Military police used ammunition indiscriminately during the protests, violating international standards on the use of force.


Chile’s National Institute of Human Rights reported that about 460 people were injured in the eyes during the protests. Two of them resulted completely blind and 35 lost one eyes’ vision. 

Fabiola Campilli, who was also a victim of the police brutality, was hit by a tear gas bomb when she was waiting for her bus to work.

Chile’s protests erupted in 2019 after President Sebastian Piñera's administration announced an increase in public transport fares.


Ana Piquer
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