Chile president condemns police violence against protesters

Santiago (AFP) –


Chile's conservative President Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday condemned police violence against protesters in Santiago after an officer threw a young demonstrator from a bridge.

"We clearly and categorically condemn any violation of human rights, and we also reject any deviation from the protocols and rules that should govern the actions of our forces of order and security," Pinera said in a statement.

Pinera's statement followed an incident on Friday when a policeman shoved a 16-year-old protester off a seven-meter (23 feet) high the bridge onto a dry riverbed below. The youth suffered head and limb injuries.

The officer, a member of the paramilitary Carabineros forces, was charged with attempted murder and is being held in preventive detention.

The incident happened during an anti-government demonstration in the center of Santiago.

It reignited criticism of Chile's police, accused of widespread human rights violations during months of social protests that began last October, leaving 30 people dead and thousands wounded.