SANTIAGO – The Chilean government has entered into negotiations for the return of two Carabineros, Chile’s militarized police, who were detained Friday by Bolivian police for supposedly entering the Andean nation while chasing a vehicle that failed to stop at a police checkpoint.
“The Chilean government through its authorities has now made official contact with Bolivian authorities to coordinate the steps to be taken and to carry out the necessary negotiations so the Chilean police can be returned to national territory,” said Chilean minister and government spokeswoman Paula Narvaez.
Two Chilean Carabineros were detained Friday after penetrating some 4 kilometers (2 miles) into Bolivian territory while chasing a van that refused to stop at a police checkpoint, the online daily Emol said, citing “high police sources.”
The incident was officially confirmed by Chile in a brief statement to the media by the spokeswoman for the government, most of whose members are in Lima this Friday with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take part in the first Peru-Chile Binational Cabinet and Presidential Meeting.
“We wish to report that this morning, while performing their duty of patrolling the border at Ollague, the Carabineros NCO Jaime Ruben Diaz Pezo and 2nd Corporal Nicolas Antonio Morales Manriquez were detained by Bolivian agents,” the government spokeswoman said.
“That situation,” she added, “was reported by the Bolivian National Police, who contacted the Carabineros of Chile to say that both NCO Diaz and 2nd Corporal Morales were taken to the Bolivian town of Uyuni,” located some five hours by land from the border.
“According to the record we have, the Carabineros personnel, in carrying out their duties, were following a suspicious vehicle that refused to stop at a police checkpoint,” Minister Narvaez said.
The Bolivian National Police (PNB) seized from the Chilean Carabineros a Colt rifle and two handguns, and left their vehicle at the site where they were detained.