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Chilean human rights group asks to investigate chemicals used by riot police

Santiago de Chile, January 15 (RHC)-- The Chilean National Institute of Human Rights (NIHR) reports that it will ask the Ministry of Health and the police (Carabineros) to investigate which chemicals were used against this past weekend's demonstrations.

The organization indicated on its website that this event was registered in Plaza Italia, renamed "Plaza de la Dignidad" one of the main meeting points of the demonstrations, when " Water canons of Carabineros of Chile, which were used to disperse the demonstrators, threw a yellow colored liquid."

Users of social networks reported how the yellow liquid was visible in the water thrown by one of the Carabineros' vehicles, causing vomits and skin burns in the protesters.

The head of the Legal Unit of the NIHR, Rodrigo Bustos, said that "we had already received complaints in previous weeks and yesterday we received new complaints about the harmful effects that this liquid can be generating in people."   After these complaints, we have requested both the Ministry of Health and  Carabineros to "inform us of the composition of this chemical element", which also caused breathing complications and irritations.

Likewise, the INDH recalled that last December the Supreme Court had ratified the ruling on an appeal for protection from the Court of Appeals of Concepción, after two people were burned when they got struck with water via Carabineros.

"In the first instance ruling, the Court of the capital of Biobío said that "it is evident that the mixture of water with tear gas used to disperse the crowds, lacks any regulation," they reiterated.

The INDH stressed that Carabineros should present to the Ministry the new protocol for the use of chemicals through the water-throwing cart, approved on December 21 by the ministerial body.

Edited by Ed Newman
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