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The shocking details revealed by the INDH complaint for the death of a conscript in Putre

Shocking and unknown details contained the criminal complaint filed by the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) against those responsible for what happened to the conscripts of the Motorized Brigade No. 24 “Huamachuco”, based in the northern town of Putre and which culminated in the death of soldier Franco Vargas, 19 years old.

In the judicial appeal filed by the crime of “illegitimate coercion”, It is detailed that “since April 21 of this year, around 250 young conscript soldiers belonging to the Motorized Regiment No. 24 ‘Huamachuco’ of Putre, were part of a military training that took them to the sector called “Pacollo”‘ .

He adds that the members of the group of 45 conscripted soldiers “they were subjected to beatings with their feet and fists by their superiors in charge, in any context and time: while the instruction was taking place, when they slept, ate or during walks.” He adds that “these walks could be at night with temperatures below zero, without adequate clothing, or during the day without minimal sun protection.”

It is then indicated that the soldiers were deprived of sleep for several nights, which in military jargon is called “imaginary”, in which they were allowed to sleep only one hour per night, and then continue with the training. Furthermore, the conscripts were exposed “to mouse droppings in food preparation and consumption spaces, as well as forcing them to eat with their hands from the same group tray by not giving them basic elements such as spoons.”

In another part of its content, the complaint indicates that the conscripts “They were forced to use latrines without access to hygienic measures of personal hygiene, spaces saturated with human excrement, without running water, soap or toilet paper, in groups of up to 15 people defecating at the same time.

It is also indicated that “all these situations took place at 4,600 meters above sea level, with temperatures of -15 degrees at night and with extremely high solar radiation rates during the day.”

One of the soldiers reported that the structural and hygiene conditions in the Pacollo compound they were “deplorable.” “The roof had holes that let cold air in, there were no windows, the place was always exposed to the cold. They were given warm clothing suitable for low temperatures, but they were rarely allowed to use it,” the complaint states.

The document also states that all these situations occurred within a context of permanent verbal abuse, with homophobic or sexual connotation phrases.

Even some instructors, the text points out, repeated the phrase “a little less is better”even after the death of conscript Franco Vargas, a situation that some of the soldiers witnessed directly.

The complaint states that “in the facts, the illegal actions of public officials are denounced, corresponding to officials of the Chilean Army.”

In this context, the legal action of the INDH demands that in accordance with the provisions of article 113 letter e of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Public Ministry is requested to “carry out all those procedures for the investigation of crimes of illegitimate coercion and “A broad order to investigate is issued to the Chilean Investigative Police.”

In the investigative proceedings, it is requested to identify the (former) conscripted soldiers of the “last group of 45” of the 250 soldiers who were in training in the Motorized Brigade No. 24 “Huamachuco” of Putre, and a statement is taken about them. facts and the Chilean Army officials who were in charge of the instruction were identified.

The appeal also requests that the Dr. Juan Noé Regional Hospital, of Arica, be requested soldiers’ medical records that they have been transferred to their facilities and the Legal Medical Service (SML) is informed so that psychological and physical examinations can be carried out on the victims.

The complaint states that a list of all conscripts who were carrying out military service on that date (May 2024) is also requested through a request for information in accordance with article 19 of the Criminal Procedure Code, from the Command of the VI Division of the Army. in that Putre regiment, that the protocols that exist within the Army relating to field trips with conscripts and training at altitude be sent, and that detailed and documented information about the chain of command within that military unit based in the Arica and Parinacota Region.

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