Five Chilean riot police were caught on camera brutalizing an elderly protester, dragging him through the street and manhandling him into a van as gargantuan protests against the Piñera regime’s austerity policies continue.
The protester is shown struggling to keep up as a group of heavily-armored Chilean police with riot shields rush him down the street. At one point, someone out of frame complains about how they are "pulling" the old man along, so they knock their prisoner to the ground.
Three officers then grab hold of a limb each and drag the man the rest of the way, the video posted to Twitter by Redfish on Tuesday shows.
Meanwhile in Chile, this elderly man protesting against the neoliberal government was brutally arrested, thrown on the ground and dragged by 5 riot police officers. pic.twitter.com/THADbUcKTZ— redfish (@redfishstream) November 12, 2019
Another clip posted in reply appears to show the same man being muscled into a police van.
It’s not clear what happened before the man was arrested, but over a million protesters have taken to the streets in Chile to demand economic justice over the last few weeks, and many of them have been subjected to excessive force at the hands of police.
The protests triggered by an increase in subway fares have mushroomed into demonstrations against the neoliberal austerity policies of President Sebastian Piñera. The billionaire leader, who initially declared war on the protesters, later retracted his statement and dangled $1.2 billion in pension spending and a guaranteed minimum income as a peace offering, but the demonstrations continue.
Police repression of the protests has been especially severe compared to other protests around the world. Under the state of emergency Piñera declared shortly after the largely peaceful demonstrations began, police have been filmed shooting to maim unarmed demonstrators at point-blank range.
Graphic video of a soldier shooting a protester in the leg from point blank range in Concepción, Chile.— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) October 24, 2019
Corporate media will ignore this because Chile has a US-friendly "free market" economy where human rights standards don't apply. pic.twitter.com/vbLgm2ochA
Over 26 protesters completely lost vision in one eye and 140 received eye injuries in just the first two weeks of protests, sparking an outcry from human rights groups. At least 20 have been killed so far and over 1,600 people have been wounded since the protests began, including some police, according to the UN.
#Chile: Independent experts condemn excessive use of force & acts of violence in recent protests. At least 20 people reportedly killed & about 1600 hurt, incl. police officers. "Violence can never be the answer to people's social and political demands" 👉 https://t.co/5h4syko94L pic.twitter.com/dc2cromEfj— UN Special Procedures (@UN_SPExperts) November 8, 2019
Although opposition and groups like Human Rights Watch have been slamming Piñera for his government's human rights violations, there has been little condemnation from Washington.
This is in stark contrast with nearby Bolivia, where leftist president Evo Morales was forced to resign in what he called a military coup, while the US praised that as a “significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere.”
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