An international mission of observers visited Chile over a five-day period to document the grave human rights violations that have been taking place since social protests began on October 18. After conducting interviews and obtaining official information, the group published a preliminary report with a series of recommendations for the Chilean state.
The mission visited the cities of Santiago, Valparaíso and Temuco to meet with members of human rights organizations, civil society groups and collectives of victims and other people who have regrouped in response to the demonstrations. Mission representatives also held meetings with state institutions such as the National Human Rights Institute, the Public Criminal Defense Office, the National Prosecutor’s Office, the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children, the Justice Ministry’s Human Rights Under-Secretariat, and the Supreme Court.
In this preliminary report, the group of specialists was able to document the indiscriminate use of the poorly named “less lethal weapons” (such as tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons), which was aimed at teaching a lesson to those exercising the right to protest and freedom of expression. In addition, when people were detained, cases of physical and psychological torture were recorded; they ranged from hitting, kicking, choking and death threats, to threats of gang rape or the physical assault of family members.
The international mission is made up of the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), Front Line Defenders, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS, Argentina), Liga Argentina por los Derechos Humanos – FIDH, Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL, Canada), ARTICLE 19 (Brazil), CTA – Autónoma (Argentina), Madres Plaza de Mayo-Línea Fundadora (Argentina) and Perú Equidad.
Click here to read the recommendations made by the international mission of observers.