- BBC World News
The latest incident in which the Carabineros de Chile were involved had an immediate consequence this Thursday.
The director of this police force, Mario Rozas, resigned after two of his agents shot two minors in an event that aroused the anger of many in a country where the tactics used by the security forces were strongly questioned. to face the protests of a few months ago.
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said in a statement from La Moneda that he accepted Rozas’s resignation.
“This morning, the general director of the Carabineros, Mario Rozas, has proposed to me his resignation from office and has given me his reasons and his arguments. I share the reasons and arguments of General Rozas and, consequently, I have accepted his resignation“said Piñera.
And he added: “I want to express with all the strength and clarity in the world that I have the greatest appreciation, admiration and gratitude for the work that General Rozas has carried out, a lifetime dedicated to the service of the Carabineros.”
Rozas will be replaced by the second-in-chief of the Carabineros, General Ricardo Yáñez.
Two Carabineros agents fired and two minors, aged 17 and 14, were injured on Wednesday, in a home for children and adolescents managed by the National Service for Minors (Sename) in the southern city of Talcahuano.
Police said officers fired after being attacked with sticks and stones in the center.
Footage of the incident shows the teens writhing in pain on the ground after being shot in the legs.
The minors were transferred by emergency personnel to Hospital Las Higueras and their condition is unknown.
Piñera also had words for the injured: “I want to end these words by expressing my solidarity, my condolences, for the children who were injured with their families and also with the police who were injured and with their families.”
The defender of children, Patricia Muñoz, criticized the police for using firearms “in an absolutely unjustified and excessive way.”
“It is aa more manifestation of the horror represented by state violence exercised by those who, having to protect children, attack them in an undue and unjustified manner, “said the representative of the Children’s Ombudsman.
The shooting was also condemned by the Chilean branch of Unicef.
“No situation justifies the use of firearms by the Carabineros to contain incidents involving minors, especially if they are under the protection of the state,” said the United Nations agency for children.
Upset towards the Carabinieri
The opposition had been calling for Rozas’s resignation for months after criticism from the United Nations Human Rights office and other organizations for police repression during the social protests that erupted in Chile in October 2019 and lasted for months.
Those protests left more than 30 people killed and thousands injured, including hundreds who suffered serious eye injuries after being hit by pellets fired by police.
“Reflection and gratitude”
The former director general of the Carabineros said goodbye to the officers of the police institution with “gratitude” and requested that they “support the new director general” as they did with him.
“Perhaps this is the last message with this medium. As you should know, the President of the Republic has accepted my resignation from office. I did it after a moment of much reflection thinking of you, my beloved institution, and of the members and families that compose it, “he said.
“As the last order, as the last request, as the last sentiment towards you, I want to ask you to stay unitedThat we continue to work together and that they support the new managing director as they did with me, a feeling of support that I felt on a day-to-day basis, “he requested.
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