Chile denies human rights violations during protests

Gov’t faced wave of criminal violence with democratic instruments, rule of law during protests, says president.


Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera rejected the human rights violations committed by the public forces during anti-government protests.

Addressing the 2019 United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP25) in Madrid on Monday, Pinera said his country experienced “three simultaneous but very different situations” in the past six weeks.

His government, however, achieved “great economic and social progress that place Chile as the head of Latin America in economic and human development,” he said.

“First, [there was] a wave of criminal violence that we faced with democratic instruments and the rule of law, safeguarding the human rights of all people,” the president said, adding the government actions are being investigated by the Prosecutor’s office and will be judged by the Courts of Justice.

He underlined that his administration has a powerful social agenda to fulfill the greater social justice demand of protestors, as well as a new social pact for a new Constitution which was accepted by Pinera in early November to replace the one dating back to the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

“We are sure that with the unity and greatness that has always characterized the Chilean people, we will overcome these difficult times,” he added.

The climate conference had been set to take place in Santiago, Chile, but due to the unrest in the capital Santiago, it was moved to Spain’s capital. The Latin American country, however, secures the presidency of the meeting.

The protests, which began in response to a now-suspended 4% transport fare hike, turned violent on Oct. 19, with at least 23 people killed.

According to the National Institute of Human Rights, more than 6,000 people have been arrested and 2,400 others, including 241 eye injuries, injured over the past month.

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