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Chilean organizations call not to involve soldiers in public order

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Santiago de Chile, Jul 22 (Prensa Latina) A study carried out by the University of Chile warns about the risks of involving the Armed Forces in the resolution of public order conflicts.

The specialists from the University of Chile and the Institute of International Studies of the Arturo Prat University pointed out that militaries are trained for war and, therefore, involving them in prevention and internal control may increase the risk of human rights violations and undermine the principle of the proportional use of force; they also recommended limiting the intervention of the armed forces in tasks related to public order and giving priority to strengthening the police.

Chilean governments refrained from using the armed forces after the end of the bloody dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, in 1990, however, the two administrations of Sebastián Piñera returned to this practice, recalled the report, which cited as examples the Northern Border Plan in 2011 and the social outbreak of 2019, when 30 people died and thousands were injured.

The government of Gabriel Boric ordered the deployment of troops in Arica, Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta in February of this year to control irregular immigration.

“In this way, this practice has intensified in Chile, coming to constitute a public policy on security,” the study said.

“The armed forces are not trained to face conflicts of the nature of internal order, but rather to go to war,” said the academic and editor of the document, Mireya Dávila, who added that the logic must be preventing the appearance of criminal groups and controlling them, and for this, the State must entrust the police with the mission of responding to current public security challenges.

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