Chile: Human Rights' organisations call for urgent police reform after protests

Human Rights Watch stated this week that members of the Chilean national police (Carabineros) committed serious human rights violations, which include excessive use of force in the streets and abuses in detention, following massive protests that began on 18 October 2019 and have continued for several weeks in Chile.

This is also supported by Amnesty International, reporting: “The security forces under the command of President Sebastián Piñera – mainly the army and Carabineros (the national police) – are carrying out widespread attacks using unnecessary and excessive force with the intention of injuring and punishing protesters ”.

Human Rights Watch met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on 26 November, to deliver a report that includes solid evidence of excessive use of force against protesters and bystanders (in Spanish), and recommendations aimed at preventing police abuses and strengthening their oversight mechanisms. The organisation informs that, from the beginning of the demonstrations and until 21 November, the National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) filed with the Public Prosecutor's Office 442 complaints representing victims of alleged injuries, cruel treatment, torture, sexual abuse, homicide and attempted homicide, all attributed to the security forces.

More information:

  1. Human Rights Watch’s video on Excessive Force against Demonstrators, Abuses in Detention in Chile.
  2. Amnesty International’s news: Chile: Deliberate policy to injure protesters points to responsibility of those in command (in English)
  3. Statement of the Chile Socialist Party (below - in Spanish)

Sources and images: 
Amnesty International -
Photo credits: Mateo Lanzuela – Amnesty International website
Human Rights Watch -

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