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Sun Feb 7, 2021, 08:00 PM

Protests erupt in Chile after police fatally shoot street juggler

Protests have broken out and municipal buildings were set on fire in southern Chile after police shot dead a street performer, prompting an emergency government meeting.

The shooting took place on Friday in Panguipulli, a popular lakeside resort around 500 miles south of the capital Santiago, prompting hundreds to take to the streets in protest.

The juggler - Francisco Martínez Romero, 27 - had refused to cooperate with a police search by two uniformed men, the AFP news agency reported.

Some protesters erected burning barricades and threw rocks at police, while public buildings - including the city hall - were set on fire.

Chilean police have detained the officer involved in the shooting while their investigation proceeds, according to officials.

The Chilean government has ordered police to hand over all records of the incident to the Public Ministry, which has launched an investigation.

At: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/6/chile-protests-erupt-police-shooting-of-street-juggler

News report of the aftermath of Friday's fatal police shooting of a 27 year-old street juggler in Panguipulli, Chile.

Wider protests since late 2019 have put the country’s Carabinero militarized police force under intense scrutiny - with local and international watchdog groups alleging excessive use of force and human rights violations.

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Reply Protests erupt in Chile after police fatally shoot street juggler (Original post)
sandensea Feb 2021 OP
Judi Lynn Feb 2021 #1
Judi Lynn Feb 2021 #2

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Thu Feb 11, 2021, 02:09 AM

1. It's very strange hearing the observation rendered by a news editor, but it appears accurate.

Boris Van Der Spek, the editor in chief at the multimedia news site Chile Today, told Al Jazeera that a lack of reform in the police force is at the heart of the problem.

“It’s been like this for the past couple of decades, because the police as an institution have not been reformed since the years of Pinochet, the dictatorship that ended in the 1990s,” he said. “We saw the result of the lack of those reforms during the social uprising, when major human rights groups reported on rights violations. The police do not know anything but the excessive force that they display every time.”

He added, “There’s a lot of tension in general in Chile. There’s a lot of human rights violations, oppression by the Chilean police in the shanty towns near the capital, which we never hear of.”

People have been struggling against their excesses for years, and years.

Looks as if the right-wing also has a chokehold on the legislatures in Chile, as well, as with so many other Latin American countries, as well as a great deal of reinforcement from the same element within the U.S.

What does it take for countries to pry the vicious fingers of the greedy power-obsessed right-wingers who expect to control and derive their energy from the massive working class?

Can't believe they decided to hassle a juggler, can you? Maybe they thought he wasn't defferential enough.

Thanks, sandensea. It was very helpful seeing the editor's words, as he would definitely know.

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Fri Feb 12, 2021, 05:20 AM

2. Police murders spark demonstrations, riots in Chile

Mauricio Saavedra
6 hours ago

Last Friday Francisco Martínez, a 27-year-old street performer, was shot dead by Carabinero police in broad daylight and in view of dozens of witnesses in Panguipulli, a lakeside town in the Araucanía, the poorest region in Chile. Martínez, who suffered from schizophrenia, had lived in Panguipulli for only three years, but was well known, having lived on the streets and relied on community assistance.

A relative attends a wake for Francisco Martinez a street juggler who was shot by the police, in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. Martinez was fatally shot by an officer when he resisted a routine identity check, setting off protests over alleged police violence in Chile. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In the many interviews given by locals since, Martínez was described as “very helpful” and “respectful.” Martínez was also the uncle of Anthony Araya, the youth who was pushed off a bridge by Carabineros during anti-police violence demonstrations in Santiago last October, which shocked the nation.

Amid angry cries from locals, for whom the young man was well-liked, Sgt. Juan González Iturriaga unloaded five bullets into Martínez, who fell to the ground in the middle of a busy intersection. Crowds descended on the scene chanting “Murderers! Murderers!” as the cops drove off and entrenched themselves in the police station, leaving the dying man abandoned on the street. Then they reappeared en masse to suppress the mass of people protesting the young man’s death.

Minutes earlier three cops were involved in conducting identity checks. In their statement, Carabineros alleged that after Martínez “refused” to provide identification he moved toward the officers with the juggling swords he used in his street performance and threatened to kill the Sergeant.

“He told me ‘I’m going to kill you, f…g cop’” González has claimed. The cops distanced themselves and ordered Martínez to drop what they described as “machetes,” and when he did not comply the sargeant drew his weapon and shot twice at the ground. According to the police report, the young man lunged at González who then “fired three more shots, since his life was at risk, and the assailant fell to the ground.”

Natalia Peralta, a nursing technician who witnessed the events from close range told a very different story: “We were right there with my daughter. The carabinero says to the boy ‘your ID card,’ and the boy says ‘no, I don’t have an ID card, I lost it, but my name is Franco.’”

Peralta explained that the Carabineros kept insisting that the young man present identification and then threatened to take him to the station for questioning. Elisabeth Matthei Schacht, lawyer for the National Institute for Human Rights, explained that “preventive identity checks … do not allow (police) to take the person to the police station in case the person refuses.”


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