Chile Pushes Authoritarian Police Law

Chile’s neoliberal government is close to securing a new law that expands the right of security forces to use firearms against the population. The Naín-Retamal Law, a proposal of the executive branch, was today approved by the Senate for a third and final reading.  

The law expands the definition of “privileged legitimate defense” to justify the use of deadly weapons by uniformed officers and plainclothes police against the civilian population. This has been dubbed as the “trigger happy law” by social movements who opposed the move. Boric’s law is being supported by the right-wing opposition parties in congress and rejected by human rights groups and leftist parties that were part of his original coalition.

Boris Barrera, head of Communist Party of Chile’s congressional caucus, condemns the law and pointed out this move to give police the power to repress comes just as Chile commemorates 50 years since the US-backed Pinochet coup against Salvador Allende.

Congressman Barrera also recalled the actions of the police and military forces during the social protests of 2019, which caused over 30 deaths, thousands of injuries, and more than 460 people with permanent eye damage due to the firing of pellets and tear gas bombs.

The Chilean government’s own Subsecretary for Human Rights, Xavier Altamirano, has expressed concerns that the regulations ignore international standards recommended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

President Boric has continued to attack Nicaragua and Venezuela, using false claims about human rights in the two countries, all while insisting on pushing through this authoritarian agenda within his own country. 

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