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  • A group of people take shelter from the water thrown by the Carabineros during the protests against the Chilean government in Santiago Square, Santiago de Chile, Chile. August 28, 2020.

    A group of people take shelter from the water thrown by the Carabineros during the protests against the Chilean government in Santiago Square, Santiago de Chile, Chile. August 28, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 4 September 2020
Opinion

The lawmakers also stressed that police can not aim these munitions to a targeted subject, because anti-mob and dispersion ammunitions that can severely hurt not only the protesters but also non-aggressive citizens. 

Chile Democratic Revolution (Revolución Democrática) political party and the Foundation Eyes of Chile (Ojos de Chile) on Friday presented a bill to the Lower House to prevent Chilean Police (Carabineros) from using bullets and pellets, as well as sound and tear guns.

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"We have presented this bill so that the tragedy of human rights violations that we saw recently and that five international reports accredited will not be repeated. Our country has a shameful number of citizens with the most eye traumas in the history of the world," Democratic Revolution party delegate Jorge Brito said.

The legal initiative responds to the police brutality during the social unrest in late 2019. Over 180 protesters and civilians were blinded partially or totally after law enforcement used disproportionate riot control methods.

The lawmakers also stressed that police could not aim these munitions to a targeted subject because anti-mob and dispersion ammunitions that can severely hurt not only the protesters but also not aggressive citizenship. 

"The use of these projectiles is not fulfilling its purpose of preventing serious and fatal injuries. Let us not repeat the tragedy, and for them (Carabineros), the suspension and prohibition of less-lethal weaponry becomes necessary", the director of the Foundation Eyes of Chile Rosario Soto said.

During the 2019 demonstrations, Gustavo Gatica was the first who resulted in completely blinded because of the impact of rubber bullets. Fabiola Campillai, who was not protesting, was severely injured by a teargas can.

On August 28, Chile's Investigations Police (PDI) arrested former Captain Patricio Maturana, responsible for the incident that blinded Campillai. 

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