The number of cases of civilians in Chile who have lost an eye, because they were shot in the head with a rubber bullet appears to outnumber all known previous cases worldwide, combined.
It is being described as deliberate mutilation, and raises a very significant question: Did someone in the security services give an order for rubber bullets to be fired at the head, or specifically at the eye?
According to Bloomberg:
Rubber balls like the ones surgeons have been pulling out of faces and eyes aren’t meant to be shot directly at people but “skip-fired” 6 to 10 feet in front of a target, said Charles “Sid” Heal, a retired Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department commander who teaches riot-control techniques around the world. The projectiles are meant to hurt without penetrating skin.
This behavior by security forces is incompatible with democracy or the rule of law. Any individual in the security services involved in this apparent plot to cause severe injury, mutilation, or death, should face prosecution. The Chilean people have an absolute right to expect public authorities will behave responsibly and never condone or accept such brutality.
UPDATE, Monday, November 18, 2019
Piñera pledges “no impunity” for security forces that treated protesters violently
Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has acceded to protesters’ demands to re-write the constitution, which was crafted in 1980, under the dictator Augusto Pinochet. He has also said there will be no impunity for security forces that used violence against unarmed protesters.