Santiago de Chile, Nov 3 - Teenager Cristopher Araya denounced this Tuesday having been shot in the face by police in Chile, simply for leaving his home to see what was happening in the vicinity of a substation in La Granja.
In another case, the National Human Rights Institute (NHRI) will file a lawsuit against police officers who attacked Gonzalo Barria, a cameraman from a community channel, who was hit in the face with a tear gas canister, and required several stitches.
The latest report by the NHRI reveals that 241 people have suffered eye injuries due to police action since October 18, when widespread popular mobilizations began, the biggest in the last 30 years in Chile.
Faced with constant denunciations of the abusive use of pellets by the police authorities, which have blinded hundreds, on November 19 Police General Director Mario Rozas announced the temporary suspension of the use of pellets against demonstrators.
The most notorious case is that of young university student Gustavo Gatica, who lost his sight completely after being hit in both eyes by pellets shot by police while taking photos during a demonstration in the Plaza de la Dignidad (Baquedano) in this capital.
However, after the announcement made by General Rozas, cases of people affected by these rubber pellets have continued to be reported, several of them receiving shots to the face, which has led to serious questions over the disproportionate repression against mainly peaceful demonstrations.(PL)