The death of a policeman stresses the relationship between the Government of Boric and the Carabineros de Chile | The USA Print

A squad of carabineros during a protest in Santiago de Chile.Makro Agency (Getty Images)

The attack on a police officer early Sunday morning in the city of Concepción, some 500 kilometers south of Santiago de Chile, has strained relations between the uniformed institution and the Government of Gabriel Boric. The general director of the Carabineros, Ricardo Yáñez, was summoned to La Moneda on Tuesday by the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, after the general’s strong criticism of both the congressmen and the Prosecutor’s Office for not delivering “conditions” to the carabineros for perform your job. The leader of Boric’s Cabinet called Yáñez to ask him for explanations for his statements and because, since it is an institution subordinated to the civil power, it does not have among its powers to carry out this type of summons. After the meeting between Tohá and Yáñez in La Moneda early in the morning, it was learned that the attacked corporal, Álex Salazar, 37 years old and father of two girls, died after more than two days of agony.

Tohá this afternoon gave details of the meeting with the leader of the carabineros: “It was a meeting that had the purpose of discussing the statements that the general director had made the day before to clear up any doubt regarding the support that the Government has in relation to the police actions that are carried out within the legal mandate of the Carabineros”, said the minister from Congress. She then added: “Also to point out something that we all know and that is that, when there are concerns, opinions that the Carabineros want to generate, there are all the spaces to do so. There are channels for that or there are technical spaces to do it and it must be avoided that this is confused with the political debate. That is healthy in a democracy”, said the socialist.

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Yáñez’s statements that caused political tension were made yesterday, after meeting with the family of the attacked uniformed officer. “Enough, enough,” said the general. “If we want to have a safe country, if we want to live in peace, let’s deliver the conditions. Let’s work together because the regulations and laws provide enough tools for the policeman to go to work calmly and can be sure that what he is going to do will not be questioned by the Public Ministry or by the authorities, ”he assured. Yanez. He did so in reference to a current malaise in part of the uniformed institution: that, especially since the social outbreak of 2019, the work of the Carabineros does not have all the necessary support, neither at the political nor at the legislative level.

His words caused annoyance in the Government. It was expressed this morning by the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve: “I wonder if it is good for the police institutions, their highest representatives, in this case the general director of the Carabineros, to question other powers of the State. I wonder if he is part of his functions and I think not, because he has open channels with the Government. He can come to speak with the Undersecretary of the Interior when he deems it appropriate, and he knows it, and he can also speak with the Minister of the Interior when he deems it appropriate.

From the sidewalk across the street, the mayoress of Providencia, Evelyn Matthei, from the opposition, assured that “what the Carabineros require is support and not calls for explanations.” “What has been required for a long time is that the Carabineros have greater powers. How is it possible for a policeman to doubt whether or not he draws his weapon for fear that the prosecution will pursue him later or that he will be discharged? How is it going to be possible?” asked the mayoress, one of the figures best valued today by citizens, according to various surveys.

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Corporal Salazar was on duty early Sunday morning in the city of Concepción, one of the largest in the country. Almost at six in the morning, he arrived with a group of uniformed officers to inspect a liquor store that was operating outside the hours established by law. The police officers, however, were attacked from inside the commercial premises with bottles and blunt elements. While the police officers subdued one of the attackers, another of the individuals got into a motor vehicle and ran over the victim. The offender then ran away, colliding with two other police cars, although he was later caught.

Corporal Álex Salazar, in an image from his social networks.
Corporal Álex Salazar, in an image from his social networks.RR SS

There are voices within the ruling party that have even called for the departure of General Yáñez as of this episode. Mayor Daniel Jadue, a communist, but especially critical of the government’s management despite the fact that his party supports Boric’s administration, considered General Yáñez’s statements “serious.” “The Armed Forces and the Carabineros are non-deliberative. It would be interesting if his main concern was to put an end to corruption and abuses within the institution and not question the rule of law #RenunciaYañez”, the mayor who faced Boric in the presidential primaries of the left wrote yesterday on his social networks.

The Prosecutor’s Office today began the formalization hearing against the Venezuelan citizen Jhoyner Bonilla Brito, 22, accused of running over Corporal Salazar. President Boric, after learning of his death, assured: “The criminal is in custody and we will apply all the rigor of the law to him. Carabineros has our full support and his family will not be alone.

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