World: Chile police suspend use of birdshot against protesters - - PressFrom - US

World Chile police suspend use of birdshot against protesters

04:44  20 november  2019
04:44  20 november  2019 Source:

Dozens blinded by police shots in Chile protests

  Dozens blinded by police shots in Chile protests Running away as shots rang out, Carlos Vivanco turned to see where they were coming from. Then he felt his left eye closing and his face dripping with blood. The 18-year-old student had become one of scores of people hit in the eyes, and in some cases blinded, by police rubber bullets in Chile's recent wave of anti-government protests. Police have fired tear gas, water cannons and rubber shot cartridges. Vivanco was hurt during the first week of the protests, when President Sebastian Pinera sent soldiers onto the streets."They wanted to cause me pain, shame, regret, fear," says Vivanco at his house in the suburb of La Pintana near the capital Santiago.

Chile protests . Image copyright EPA. Image caption Police have been accused of aiming at protesters ' eyes. Chile 's President Sebastián Piñera has acknowledged that the police committed "abuses" when dealing with protests which have been rocking the country for the past month.

Authorities brought water cannon, tear gas and riot police onto the streets of, Santiago, Thursday, in order to disperse protesters during a student

Chile's police said Tuesday they had suspended the use of birdshot during street protests amid an outcry over eye injuries suffered by more than 200 demonstrators.

a person wearing a costume: A man walks by graffiti depicting a demonstrator with an injured eye, in clear reference to those hurt in recent clashes, on November 18© Johan ORDONEZ A man walks by graffiti depicting a demonstrator with an injured eye, in clear reference to those hurt in recent clashes, on November 18

The decision was announced by the head of the Carabinero police, Mario Roza, after a month of protests over socio-economic inequality and other problems.

Police say the birdshot pellets are made of rubber but some studies say they also contain metal.

France’s yellow vest movement marks 1 year of protests

  France’s yellow vest movement marks 1 year of protests Police are deployed around key sites in Paris as France’s yellow vest protesters prepare to mark the first anniversary of their sometimes-violent movement for economic justice. © Provided by The Associated Press French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he waits for EU Council President-elect Charles Michel at the Elysee Palace Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) Protesters hope to breathe new life into the yellow vest movement with actions Saturday around the capital and at traffic circles around the country.

Several dead as protesters loot supermarkets day after Piñera suspends subway fare rise.

Riot police used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters who threw Molotov cocktails. Twenty-two people have died and more than 2,000 have been injured since the protests broke out in October. There have been accusations of police brutality and human rights violations

"As a prudent step, use of this non-lethal ammunition as a riot tool has been ordered suspended," said Roza.

A study by the University of Chile of ammunition extracted from injured protesters found birdshot composed of 20 percent rubber and the remaining 80 percent consisting of silica, barium sulfate and lead, which meant the pellets were as hard as "a skateboard wheel," the report said.

Roza explained that following the report an internal investigation was conducted which also found "discrepancies" with the information provided by the company that sells the birdshot.

Beginning Tuesday, he said, the birdshot could only be used in the same manner "as firearms, as an extreme measure and exclusively for self-defense when there is an imminent threat of death."

Protesters who have been injured in the eye have become a symbol of the demonstrations.

The number of injured people exceeds victims in other protest zones across the world, including in France during the yellow vest protests, in Hong Kong and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the Medical University of Chile and Chilean human rights groups.

The demonstrations reached their one-month mark Monday. They have included near daily street protests that began with high school students refusing to pay a subway ticket hike but have since mushroomed into the deepest social crisis in the South American country since the return of democracy in 1990.


Video shows car driving into crowd of protesters in Chile after weeks of violence .
Chilean police asserted the driver has no connection to law enforcement, but some online were skeptical.The attack appeared to take place Thursday evening in Chile’s northern province of Antofagasta. In videos, protesters dive out of the way as a car speeds down the street into demonstrators. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were injured as a result.

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