On the closure of the investigation into the carabineros linked to the Meiggs shopkeepers’ delinquency

This Monday May 30, 2022, with great surprise and profound disappointment we learned through the press, in an interview with the head of the Metropolitan Area of Carabineros, Enrique Monrás, who was consulted regarding what happened last May 1, in whose day of marches and demonstrations was shot our colleague, The investigative and administrative inquiry against carabineros linked to the Meiggs Street delinquents was closed last week, with no one to blame and dismissing any links with officers of the institution. It should be recalled that on that occasion, and there are sufficient audiovisual records, police officers were seen talking to armed individuals, including the person who shot Francisca Sandoval; however, Mr. Monrás stated that the administrative investigation was over and that no responsibility was attributed to the carabineros’ vehicle that was at the scene. It is worth noting that during those 12 days of agony, the government, the judiciary and the entire state were incapable of taking vigorous and resolute action to clarify the facts, with ineptitude in the filing of complaints, in the action of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and in weakness in the face of the power of the Carabineros.

On the other hand, the head of the Metropolitan Zone of the Carabineros emphasised that the person who was filmed and photographed talking to the police, identified as Eduardo Bustamante, although “he recognises that he had a blank pistol in his clothing, he did not shoot from the place where the Carabineros van was located towards the demonstrators. That happened in another sector, at a different time”.

In response to this, we would like to state that, although the carabineros make an effort to highlight the fact that Eduardo Bustamante fired from another place, different from the place where they were, we would like to stress that it is the State’s obligation to guarantee the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly and to protect demonstrators, journalists, community reporters, human rights observers, as well as health brigade members and other members of the public, against possible attacks or ill-treatment by non-state agents, whether by interference or violence from other citizens or against demonstrators. That is their gross misconduct: omission and negligence. It is impossible not to detect the large number of shots fired that day by armed civilians. Our audio-visual records clearly show not just one or two but 12 or so criminals, organised and hidden, firing shots.

We demand to know the details of the report made by the carabineros to reach these conclusions, which we reject outright and do not accept in any way. The bullet that ended the life of our comrade Francisca was of high calibre, which is only used by organised crime gangs who acted in full view of the carabineros; they did not intervene when the criminals began to shoot and were able to act under the protection of those whose duty it was to protect the victims of the shooting.

Francisca was not killed in a confrontation as many have dared to claim. She was reporting and recording the images of a demonstration in absolute defencelessness against the soldiers of organised crime, because we cannot talk about shopkeepers in Meiggs Street.

Mr. Ricardo Yáñez, we are still waiting for the report that explains what kind of relationship or complicity exists between the carabineros and the armed mafias of Meiggs. We will not cease to demand this information and we will not accept that the death of our comrade Francisca Sandoval should go unpunished. As well as the comrades injured on that fateful 1st of May.

On the one hand, we also call on the government to protect freedom of the press and the right to information, which is not only to guarantee the work of communication and journalism workers, but also to ensure the key elements of democracy, critical thinking and the right to inform and be informed without fear of being murdered, arrested or beaten. But above all, we demand that the government and the Public Ministry act diligently and promptly, placing the state apparatus at the service of the real defence of human rights and the truth, in order to punish all those guilty by action or omission, and to put an end once and for all to the shameful obsession with organised crime of a police institution that no longer has the slightest credibility with the public.


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