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Urgent Action Action: Landmark Indictment Of Police Commanders

Chile protests

On 3 January 2024, a regional prosecutor in Santiago, Chile, filed an indictment against three current and former senior commanders of Carabineros de Chile, for their alleged role in the repression of mass protests in Chile in late 2019. The upcoming indictment hearing should be followed by the prosecution and trial of all those responsible for the suffering of thousands, with all the guarantees of due process and fair trial, to fully uphold victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition.


Amnesty International welcomes the indictment filed by the North Central Regional Prosecutor’s Office against three current and former senior commanders of Carabineros de Chile, the Chilean police force, for their alleged role in the unlawful repression of mass protests that took place in Chile in 2019.

Starting on 18 October 2019, the period of social unrest in Chile left hundreds of victims of police violence, including hundreds of eye injuries from buckshot shot by officers of Carabineros. Following a year-long investigation, Amnesty International published its landmark report, Eyes on Chile: Command responsibility and police violence during the period of social unrest. Ever since, the organization has led a global campaign calling on the Chilean Public Prosecutor’s Office to clarify “the responsibility of operational and strategic commanders, who in their role as guarantors, tacitly ordered or permitted human rights violations to be committed repeatedly”. The organisation argued that these commanders could include the Director General and the director of Order and Security (Dirección Nacional de Orden y Seguridad) in office at the time of the events. Amnesty International contributed background information to the public prosecutor’s investigation into the widespread violation of the right to physical integrity which is subject of the recent indictment.

The indictment filed in January 2024 was brought against the current Director General of Carabineros, Ricardo Yáñez, who served as director of Order and Security during the 2019 protests; Mario Rozas, former Director General of the institution; and Diego Olate, a retired general and former Deputy Director, for their alleged responsibility as senior commanders of the institution. 

Amnesty International considers this development a step towards justice for the grave and widespread human rights violations committed during the response to the protests, and will closely monitor future developments in the investigation, including the indictment hearing scheduled to start on 7 May.


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