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Journalist doused by police water cannon while covering Mapuche demonstration in Santiago

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 23 January 2008, free lance reporter Jorge Garretón came under attack while covering a demonstration of the Mapuche indigenous people in the centre of Santiago. A group of carabineros (Chilean state police) directed the strong jet of a water cannon in the journalist's direction. The liquid caused skin irritation and vomiting.

The journalist told IPYS that the police reacted violently to the demonstration, despite the fact that it was peaceful.

The carabineros involved in the incident refused to show their identification documents. Garretón has filed a complaint with the Special Forces Police Station and the Interior Department. The Journalists' Association will also issue a protest to the Police's Communications Department calling for disciplinary action against the officers involved in the incident.

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