Less than a month before Chile votes on whether to replace its Pinochet dictatorship era constitution, Chilean police have brutally attacked protesters once again in the country's capital, Santiago.
On Friday evening riot cops of the Carabineros police force used plumes of teargas and high-pressure water jets to disperse protesters congregating in Plaza Italia during an anti-government protest.
Videos show a 16-year-old boy being forcefully pushed over the railings of a bridge by a riot policeman. The boy fell into the dirty concrete channel of the Mapocho river, where he lay motionless, face down in the shallow water.
Addressing the incident in a televised address, General Enrique Monrás, a spokesperson for the Carabineros, did not rule out the force’s responsibility for what had happened, but said that in his opinion, the boy “lost his balance and fell” during an arrest. These videos prove the contrary!
The boy was said to be in a stable condition in the Santa María Clinic, a short distance from where the incident took place.
Since October 2019 Chile has been rocked by a wave of mass protests against rampant inequality and a host of systemic injustices. The ensuing police crackdown has been condemned internationally.
Chile’s public prosecutor has said that since last October 8,575 human rights violations have been perpetrated by the Carabineros in the repression of protests, and only 16 policemen have been stood down as a result.
Several international missions, including a delegation sent by the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, delivered damning reports detailing numerous violations that have occurred during the protests, including torture and sexual abuse.
Nonetheless, double faced President Sebastián Piñera used his address before the UN general assembly less than two weeks ago to call for values such as respect for human rights to be strengthened around the world!
Chile’s constitutional referendum will be held on 25 October.
[All videos were found on @PiensaPrensa account on Twitter]