SANTIAGO – The Chilean National Prosecutor’s Office reported on Tuesday the indictment and preventive detention of a military officer for allegedly committing homicide against a protester on Sunday in the north of the country under a state of emergency.
The Ministry of the Interior and Public Security said through a statement that the deceased is one of 15 people killed since the protests started in the South American country on Oct. 18.
“Homicide committed against a person took place on Oct. 20 at night, under circumstances that a first corporal in the army was patrolling the area of the streets of Bilbao and Pinto in Coquimbo, and could have fired a shot at the victim, who later died at the San Pablo hospital,” it said.
The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, was arrested and the prosecutor’s office tried to extend his detention while the investigation is being carried out, but after the refusal of a court, they decided to charge him.
The formalization of the detention was based on images from a video showing the patrol carried out by the military and the time of the shooting, as indicated by the prosecutor’s office.
Witness statements and emergency services information that account for the victim’s death were also provided in the case.
The investigation is set to take 120 days, as there is still a ballistic examination and an autopsy pending.
The city of Coquimbo has been under a state of emergency with curfews imposed since Sunday morning.
These measures have been taken in almost all regions of the country and the armed forces have been charged with ensuring public order.
The increase in the price of the subway tickets in Santiago marked the beginning of a wave of protests that, as the days passed, aroused further anger in citizens due to the high prices of electricity or gas services, the failure of the distribution of the pension system and poor public health services, provoking a social movement unseen in the recent history of Chile.