BREAKING NEWS

Chile police stopped rescue workers helping dying protester - human rights watchdog

Chile police stopped rescue workers helping dying protester - human rights watchdog
FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator takes cover from a spray of water during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic -
Copyright
Goran Tomasevic(Reuters)
Text size Aa Aa

By Dave Sherwood

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday.

Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile’s publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said.

Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.

Both the ambulance and a rescue worker were hit by projectiles as they attempted to help Acuna, the institute said.

The case joins more than 1,000 others currently under investigation by public prosecutors. Accusations of abuses by security forces ranging from torture to sexual violence have multiplied during weeks of anti-government unrest.

The protests in Chile began over a hike in metro fares but quickly spun out of control, often devolving into riots, looting and arson that have left more than 20 dead and thousands injured.

Sergio Micco, director of the human rights agency, called the incident “extremely serious,” adding that this was the sixth case since protests began of police hampering the work of rescuers.

“This is not an isolated incident,” Micco said.

Chile’s police force could not be immediately reached for comment. They have previously said they are following protocols and are properly trained for riot control.

(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.
Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.