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RUF: Deputies approve motion on military justice and government announces reservation of constitutionality

The united commissions of Constitution and Citizen Security of the Chamber They shipped this day on bill establishing the Rules for the Use of Force (RUF) for the forces of order and the Armed Forces, an occasion in which the member deputies approved a controversy indication that returns to military justice cases in which soldiers or police commit a crime while carrying out public order duties.

After a heated debate on the admissibility of such a motion, which was settled with a close vote of the parliamentarians – 14 in favor and 12 against -, the indication – presented by the deputies Andrés Jouannet (Amarillos por Chile), the RN Ximena Ossandón, Camila Flores, Andrés Longton and Diego Schalper, the union members Jorge Alessandri and Henry Leal and the independent Gloria Naveillan – was later also endorsed by 14 votes in favor and 12 against.

Specifically, the text – which incorporates a new article that modifies the jurisdiction of military courts – maintains that “during the validity of the states of constitutional exception, the protection of critical infrastructure, the protection of border areas and the protection of public order in relation to the electoral and plebiscitary acts referred to in the Political Constitution of the Republic, Crimes charged to soldiers in acts of military service, in the performance of their duties or on the occasion of them, will always be heard by the courts indicated in the first article of the Code of Military Justice. In no case or circumstance can the civilians who participated in these events be tried by military courts.”

It adds that for the purposes of this law, officials belonging to the Armed Forces will be considered military personnel. and Carabineros.

Before the vote, the Minister Secretary General of the Presidency (Segpres), Álvaro Elizalde, He defended that the norm was inadmissible because it escaped the “main ideas” of the presidential message and announced a reservation of constitutionality by the Executive.

“Always the author, the promoter, or the President of the Republic when he presents a message, are the ones who determine what the main ideas of a bill are, and The meaning of the matrix ideas is very relevant, since it allows matters that have not been the subject of parliamentary debate to not be addressed with sufficient thoroughness and with the necessary time.“added the head of the Segpres.

“Therefore, “We reserve constitutionality in the event that this has to be resolved by the corresponding jurisdictional body.”hill.

For his part, during the debate, the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Toháindicated that it is necessary that when a jurisdiction is decided, “You don’t have to give guarantees to one party, you have to give guarantees to all parties.”

“If Congress starts saying ‘we want this court to see this, because that way we give guarantees to one party’, we are wrong.. The courts have to apply the law, and they have to apply it with respect to the accused and accusers, and they have to give guarantees to both,” he highlighted.

Another of the important points touched on during the day is related to the distinction of the lethal weaponry.

During the debate on this norm, Andrés Jouannet (Amarillos por Chile) said that it is necessary that the Carabineros and the Armed Forces have the possibility of using their lethal weapons when they suffer an attack.

Thus, the parliamentarians approved the motion of Deputy Jouannet himself that establishes that lethal weapons “are those that, used in accordance with their design and destination, have a high probability of causing death or serious injuries.”

At the same time, the commissions supported an indication by Andrés Longton (RN), which indicates that “the use of potentially lethal force constitutes a measure that is appropriate only when the measures established in the previous stages are insufficient and justified in the case of fulfillment of duty, legitimate defense, compliance with a court order, with the aim of detaining a person who resists authority, to prevent their escape or for the protection of critical infrastructure, when there is serious danger of being affected.”

In addition, an indication by Luis Sánchez (Republicans) was supported that defines that the use of force must be adapted to the degrees of resistance or aggression faced by the personnel of the Law Enforcement and Public Security Forces. In this sense, it was clarified that it is not a linear or ascending scale. This, since the use of force may decrease or increase, in relation to the aggression received or the resistance opposed.

Meanwhile, during the day, article 10, which referred to the implementation of regulations, was rejected. The Executive regretted the fact, since, in the voice of the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, “in this way the project would only remain as a generic norm.”

However, at the request of Cristian Labbé (UDI), the Government will present a proposal along these lines in the transitional regulations. The idea is to be able to implement the respective regulations within said framework.

Likewise, in the session a new article of the law was approved, which, in its first paragraph, highlights that “it is presumed that the circumstance exempting from the fulfillment of duty, provided for in article 10 No. 10 of the Penal Code, occurs with respect to the police or military personnel who, in compliance with the mandate received, act in accordance with the rules of use of force contained in this law, whatever the damage or impact caused to people or things.

The article adds that “it is presumed that the circumstances of self-defense required in article 208 of the Code of Military Justice and in article 10 No. 4 and No. 6 of the Penal Code exist, with respect to police or military personnel who, by reason of his position, or in compliance with the functions provided for in this law and whatever the damage caused to the aggressor, with respect to anyone who prevents or tries to prevent the consummation of crimes that threaten the life or physical integrity of police personnel. , military or third parties.”

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