“Children’s use of sharp elements, in a context where they seek, compared to an adult’s behavior, to avoid a situation with control, is a reflection of what we have permanently maintained. The responsibility of adults to protecting children is essential and therefore situations like these are not admissible and represent a clear violation of rights”. Thus the head of the Ombudsman for Children, Patricia Muñoz, reported on a particular situation recorded and disseminated on social networks in which two children brandishing knives in the heart of Santiago.
Following the events that took place in the well-known Paseo Ahumada of the capital, known for the high presence of street vendors, the Ombudsman for Children announced that not only the precedents will be reported to the family court, so that it adopts the measures that correspond from their point of view, but also “configures at least the crime of relevant ill-treatment or degrading treatment which is established in our penal legislation”. For this Muñoz has announced that he will forward the complaint to the Public Prosecutor.
“We hope that this investigation will be thorough and once and for all adults who commit this type of behavior will have the necessary sanctions so that it is understood that this is not a game. Exposing children to rights violations and situations of crime is not something that we will tolerate as a society and the institutions in charge of investigating and punishing must be firm in this persecution, so that it sets a precedent and we begin to stop seeing images like today,” said Patricia Muñoz.
Following the statement by the Chief Ombudsman, the Carabineros reported that “it was possible to identify and detain the mother of two children whose rights have been violated”.
Commander Gerardo Aravena, of the Central Prefecture of Santiago, specified that “the Carabineros have carried out a series of procedures in order to find the adults responsible for the minors. In this case they managed to find the mother of the minor, a person of foreign nationality, who is taken to the 1st Police Commissioner’s Office to make the documents of these facts available to the respective courts”.
Regarding the incident that caused the children’s actions, Commander Aravena indicated that “it is being investigated. However, (her mother) points out that her children were defending her, apparently due to an altercation that would have occurred moments before her. Furthermore, the officer added that “minors are with due protection”, and that the detention of the woman during this day occurred because “when she was inspected, she was carrying on an informal trade in the company of another of her sons, that he too is a minor.”
For his part, the mayor of Santiago, Irací Hassler (PC), condemned the act, noting that “adults have used minors to commit crimes, here we are dealing with the violation of children’s rights and the commission of very serious crimes, for taking possession of a space that does not belong to them and this cannot be allowed”.