Chile: Protests break out after police shoot dead street artist

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 07, 2021, 12:17 PM(IST)

Street artists clash with police during a protest against police violence after the murder of a street artist by the local police, in Panquipulli in Santiago, February 06, 2021 Photograph:( AFP )

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Witnesses to the incident started to shout at police officers and this further led to violent demonstrations and burning of the building

Protests erupted in a town in southern Chile after a street artist was fatally shot by the police. Hundreds of people took part in the protests that saw a building being burnt down. Police fatally shot a juggler after he refused to co-operate with a police search.

A video claiming to be that of the shooting was circulated widely by local channels and social media.

"We regret the loss of this young juggler. I hope that justice is done," Ricardo Valdivia, Panguipulli's mayor, told Radio Cooperativa.

Witnesses to the incident started to shout at police officers and this further led to violent demonstrations and burning of the building.

Protesters set fire to several other buildings and set up barricades in streets around the town before riot police fired tear gas and water cannons, according to images from local media.

A video posted on Facebook by local official Carlos Duran showed several fires burning across the town and smoke rising above its skyline.

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The local police force backed the officer who shot the artist.

Boris Alegria, lieutenant colonel of the Panguipulli police, said in a video that the officer used his weapon to "safeguard his own life" in "legitimate self-defense."

An investigation into the incident has been launched and Chilean government has ordered the force to hand over all records of the incident to Public Ministry

Panguipulli, which has a population of 32,500, is located 850 kilometres south of the capital Santiago, where residents banged pots and pans in anger over the killing.

Chileans took to social media to call for reforms and condemn the shooting.

"In a police force with a minimum professional level this should not have happened," tweeted writer Pedro Gandolfo.

"A shameful act with a tragic result."

(With AFP inputs)

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