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The Chilean Minister of Defense comes out in defense of the Armed Forces: “There is no right to be slandered”

November 22, 2019

SANTIAGO, 22 Nov. (Agency One / EP) –

Chilean Defense Minister Alberto Espina has left this Friday in defense of the country's Armed Forces after Amnesty International has denounced in a report “widespread attacks using force unnecessarily and excessively” against protesters with the intention of ” damage “to deter the protests that the country has been living since October 17.

“Amnesty International, saying that the Armed Forces are committing a generalized attack with the intention of harming those who manifest themselves, are affirming an extraordinarily serious and false fact,” he denounced.

“There is no right to be slandered, to be insulted, to be offended in the way that has been done,” he insisted, also endorsing that since the Armed Forces and the Police have defended the actions of their troops in the repression of the protests against the Government of Sebastián Piñera.

“The fact that they can leave, legitimately, refusing facts, which are false, is absolutely within the framework of the law and the Constitution, with our full support,” he said.

Espina has stressed that the Armed Forces were deployed in the streets of the country “under the state of emergency exactly to the contrary, to protect the Chileans and save them from the wave of looting, vandalism and attacks on their personal lives and property.”

The head of Defense has said that he considers that “the Armed Forces are a factor of unity of Chileans, which are not patrimony of any political sector.”

He has also argued that the uniformed “are also men and women, who through their commands, and within the rules of democracy and full respect for the law, can and should defend themselves against attacks of this magnitude, and that is what has happened. ”

“We believe that such attacks, always made clearly, but without evidence, on such valuable institutions as the Armed Forces, cause serious damage,” he reproached in reference to Amnesty's report.

In this sense, he has asked Chileans to remember that “those same soldiers, those same men and women, are the ones who permanently risk their lives for our compatriots in all the catastrophes that have existed in recent years,” in reference to the serious earthquakes registered by the country, among other things.

The Government had already “categorically” rejected Amnesty's report on Thursday by the secretary of Human Rights, Lorena Recabarren, after a meeting in the Currency of Piñera with her ministers in which it was discussed.

Recabarren criticized that the organization, “without even requesting information from the Government, intends to establish the existence of a deliberate policy to harm protesters.” “The only policy the Government has had is the protection and protection of Human Rights,” he said.

Amnesty International presented its findings on Thursday following an investigative mission on human rights violations that have been committed in the context of the wave of protests, which erupted on October 17 by the fourth rise in the price of the subway in a few months and They escalated to denounce social inequality and demand a constitutional change.

“The intention of the Chilean security forces is clear: to injure those who demonstrate to discourage the protest, even reaching the extreme of using torture and sexual violence against protesters,” said Amnesty International's director for the Americas, Erika Guevara Rosas.

In addition, he has reproached “the authorities under the command of the president, Sebastián Piñera”, who “have maintained their punishment policy for more than a month, generating more people to join the overwhelming number of victims”, “instead of taking measures aimed at curbing the very serious Human Rights crisis.

AI has considered that “the violations of Human Rights and crimes of International Law committed by agents of the security forces are not isolated or sporadic events, but respond to a pattern consistent in the type of violations and in the 'modus operandi' led out throughout the country. ”

In this regard, he pointed out that “the degree of coordination required to sustain the violent repression of the protests for more than a month leads reasonably to think about the responsibility of the command at the highest level, either because it ordered or tolerated the repression.”

“Such an extreme, of course, must be elucidated by an independent and impartial judicial authority,” said the NGO, recalling that “the non-prevention of such acts, when it is its duty to do so, is a cause of individual criminal responsibility , according to International Law. ”