Police beating a 17 year old student during a protest has generated outrage in the civil population and human rights groups are condemning the action of carabineros (Chilean police) over excessive use of force.
The 17 year old is the President of his high school’s student association when Carabineros surrounded him and forcefully arrested him, but started hitting him until he got unconcious, but not satisfied with that, they keep on hitting him.
“The march had ended. It was then that the police began to leave their lines and I decided to run to the opposite side of the stage, toward the Mapocho River,” Aguilera said. “I was walking when a cop grabbed me… I began to wrestle with him and he wouldn’t let me go.”
Police began to hit him with batons. A YouTube video shows Aguilera being surrounded by many police officers and being beaten before being carried off.
Aguilera started yelling his own name, a normal practice during Pinochet’s dictatorship by those arrested by the secret police who usually dissapear forever. The officers got madder beated him more, to silence him.
After this he lost consciousness.
“At one point they threw me to the ground… I was dizzy, everything was spinning,” Aguilera said. “After several baton blows to the head, I fainted.”
Cesar Reyes, also 17, was taken off a bus on May 8, after leaving an education march and forcibly put into an unmarked car, then he was beaten while being held and left naked in a cell. Police said Reyes was arrested for vandalism during the march, a charge the teen denies.
A march of Chilean students protesting against the latest education policies of President Sebastián Piñera turned violent when carabineros invaded University of Chile. Official reports stated, 324 students were arrested and at least 74 injured, including 24 policemen and 50 youths.
Víctor Pérez, the rector said that the forceful police entry “broke a tradition of more than one hundred years of respect for the University of Chile.” He also described the intervention as “unacceptable” and furthermore lambasted the policemen’s “brutal invasion to the offices of university’s headquarters, all the while hitting and beating the students.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other humanitarian organizations, spoke out against the police violence which occurred during Thursday’s march.
“The international organization condemned the disproportionate use of violence against the young protesters, citing specifically “the assault by police special forces officials…against Pedro Aguilera (17), and other students who took part in the demonstration Thursday, May 13,” UNICEF said in a statement Friday.”
“Police should regulate their actions to conform with institutional protocols for this type of situation, which in no case should violate the fundamental rights of the people and must be in line with the international treaties and conventions signed by Chile,” UNICEF said. “It is important to bear in mind that the right to education, established in the Convention on the Rights
of the Child, also considers the right of students to participate and express their views on issues which affect them.”
During Pinochet’s dictatorship the Public Education in Chile suffer drastic cuts in funding leaving a system that favors expensive private schools that most of the population is not able to afford.
Police (Carabineros) should protect our kids, not beat them, several parents were saying.
Written by Edgar Soto