Police in Chile accused of homicide for falling from a bridge

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A Chilean court this Sunday ordered the preventive detention of the policeman Sebastián Zamora, accused of attempted murder after provoking the fall of a child under 16 years from a bridge at a protest in Santiago.

The Santiago Guarantee Judge, Jaime Fuica, determined that the preventive prison of the 22-year-old riot police, is “proportionate and necessary” after reviewing evidence and testimonies presented by the Prosecutor’s Office, which establish that the minor fell from about seven meters on the Pio Nono bridge into the Mapocho river when protesters were pursued by uniformed men during a protest on Friday.

Excessive use of force

The magistrate maintained that one of the videos reviewed at the hearing showed that the agent carried out an action that “causes the minor’s fall.” “The excessive use of force, not against any person, but a minor under 16 years old, “added Judge Fuica.

The uniformed man will comply prison in a police station from the Pudahuel commune (west of Santiago) during the 120 days that the investigation of the case will last. The judge also determined to prohibit Carabineros agents from approaching the victim while the process lasts.

The event generated shock and repudiation in the population not only because of the action of the uniformed man, but also because after falling from the bridge, the minor was lying on the bed of the almost dry river bleeding profusely, and did not receive help from the police.

Other charges against you

Civilians and a member of the Red Cross assisted him until the arrival of emergency teams who transferred him to the Santa María clinic, in the Providencia commune, where he was operated on by the serious injuries who suffered in the head and limbs, and where he is stable.

The Ombudsman for Children and the National Institute of Human Rights also filed complaints against the official for homicide and omission of relief.

Violation of human rights

During Saturday, protests were registered outside the clinic and in Plaza Italia, in the center of Santiago, while during the early hours of Sunday, protesters They burned a bus and set up barricades in the Puente Alto commune, in the south of the Chilean capital, where the minor lives.

The case became a new blow to the image of police from Chile, an institution on which accusations from human rights defense organizations have rained for human rights violations due to its excessive violence during the social outbreak that began on October 18, 2019, which has left some 30 dead and more than 300 injured.

The protests returned a couple of weeks ago, after being interrupted in March by the pandemic.

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