Chile: Police suspend use of rubber bullets amid eye injuries

Photo: Reuters

At least 270 Chileans have been wounded in the eyes.

The Director of the Carabineros, Chile’s military police, Mario Rozas, announced the suspension of the use of pellets as an anti-riot tool, except in cases of «legitimate defense, when it represents a death threat.»

The measure follows a study by the University of Chile that states that these pellets are composed of only 20 percent rubber, while the other 80 percent have different elements, such as lead.

Rozas said the measure will be maintained while the pellets are subjected to other tests requested from laboratories abroad. «The restriction will be evaluated when we have in our possession the results of the studies,» he added.

The Carabineros had rejected the University’s report and urged the ammunition supplier to submit a report on its composition.

Previously, the Rancagua, Concepción, Antofagasta, Valparaíso and La Serena Courts of Appeals had ordered the police to refrain from using pellets in public demonstrations, as well as to limit the use of tear gas that affects people’s physical integrity.

At least 270 Chileans have been wounded in the eyes as a result of Carabineros shooting directly in the face in anti-government protests.

Sources: teleSUR, RT, AlJazeera.

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