IACHR Calls on Chile to Ensure Transparent, Participatory Process to Reform Legislation Concerning the Use of Force

April 4, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) calls on the State of Chile to conduct a transparent, participatory process in discussions of the Naín-Retamal Bills, aimed at changing regulations concerning the use of force by the national police corps Carabineros.

On March 30, the Chilean Senate's Public Security Committee opted to postpone voting on two legislative initiatives aimed at changing the rules for the Carabineros—the Naín Bill and the Retamal Bill, which had previously been merged into Bill 14,870-25 by the Security Committee of the Lower House of Chile's Congress and sent to the Senate on March 29. This bill seeks to increase penalties for crimes committed against officers of the Carabineros and of Chile's investigative police and prison system. It also regulates privileged self-defense in actions linked to the exercise of police work.

The IACHR acknowledges that it is important for police corps to have the normative support and the means they need to preserve security. However, given the speed with which this bill has been pushed through and given how important it is to ensure that it is consistent with the applicable international standards (especially those concerning self-defense and the use of force), the IACHR calls on the State to take immediate action to ensure a transparent process with broader participation, including subject-matter experts, representatives of civil society, and other relevant stakeholders.

In its report Situation of Human Rights in Chile, the IACHR made several recommendations and called on the State to review protocols concerning the deployment of law enforcement agencies and the use of force, to ensure these protocols were consistent with the applicable human rights standards. The IACHR notes that it is currently monitoring the implementation of these recommendations in the context of the Joint Mechanism to Monitor Recommendations (MESECH), as agreed with the Chilean State in December.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 055/23

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