Criminal complaint in The Hague against the Chilean head of state

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In the fall of 2019, more than 30 people were killed during protests against the healthcare system. A complaint has now been filed against Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.

Santiago de Chile / The Hague (dpa) – Chilean President Sebastián Piñera was reported to the International Criminal Court in The Hague at the end of 2019 for widespread police violence in action against protesters.

According to a communication from the Chilean Human Rights Commission, the conservative head of state is accused of crimes against humanity. The commission is supported by the foundation of former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, who once arrested former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

In October and November 2019, thousands of people took to the streets in Chile every day to demand better access to health care and education and to distance themselves from the neoliberal economic system. There were clashes with the police. More than 30 people died. Police were later criticized for their often brutal behavior. According to the National Institute of Human Rights, 460 protesters suffered eye injuries at the time because officers allegedly fired rubber bullets in the faces in a targeted manner. Two people went completely blind and 35 others lost an eye.

According to the applicants, these crimes have not been sufficiently prosecuted by the Chilean national justice. However, the question is whether there will indeed be an investigation against Piñera in The Hague. After the report, a preliminary investigation will take place to determine if a formal investigation will be initiated. Only then can the main proceedings begin. In the Piñera case, the applicants themselves admit in their communication that the only preliminary procedure could last up to ten years.

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