On 8 November 2019 Gustavo Gatica attended a protest, in the context of nationwide mass demonstrations over rising inequality, which made headlines across the world as an inspiring and unexpected upsurge of people power.
Police violently repressed this protest, as well as many others, opening fire on demonstrators with riot shotguns indiscriminately. Shotguns were loaded with rubberised buckshot, in violation of international standards for the use of force. Gustavo was struck with this buckshot in both eyes and left permanently blind.
Everyone has the right to protest. Everyone has the right to physical integrity and life. The police have the duty to minimise harm and injury.
The Attorney General’s Office is now investigating these events, as well as other incidents of torture and widespread serious injuries to hundreds of protesters.
Amnesty International is therefore calling upon prosecutors to ensure justice for Gustavo, not only for the direct perpetrators of the attack, but also all those, including police commanders, whose responsibility was to control the forces under their command and prevent human rights violations from occurring.
Call on the Attorney General to charge and prosecute all those suspected of criminal responsibility, including police commanders, for their role in the widespread violation of the right to physical integrity of demonstrators such as Gustavo´s injuries.