Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font Friday pardoned 12 prisoners who had been arrested during the 2019 social protests and a former guerrilla who fought against then-dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. In keeping his campaign promise, Boric drew heavy criticism from the opposition.
At the request of the President of the Republic, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Marcela Ríos Tobar, signed the private pardon in favor of eleven people, who, as the law requires, carried out the formal request procedure of the case, the Government said through a statement.
Among those pardoned are a 38-year-old man who was serving seven years and four months in prison for the attempted murder of an Investigative Police officer during a protest; a 22-year-old man sentenced to seven years in prison for damages to public furniture; and a 30-year-old man sentenced to three years for arson. The other beneficiaries were demonstrators imprisoned for throwing incendiary devices and shooting in the streets.
Boric also granted a pardon to Jorge Mateluna, a former member of the Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez, who fought against the Pinochet dictatorship, and who in 2013 was convicted for participating in a bank robbery.
During his campaign, Boric had promised to pardon all those protesters who had been jailed for crimes not related to injuries or attacks against people. It is a commitment and I fulfill my commitments, Boric said from Viña del Mar, where he visited some of the victims of last week's fire.
The president insisted that he made the decision thinking of the good of the country.
We have to heal these wounds, here we live a process that was tremendously complex and where these are young people who are not criminals. It is a personal commitment, these are complex decisions, but I assume them responsibly, Boric also pointed out.
After the pardons, opposition politicians announced they would withdraw from all talks aimed at finding solutions to security issues. What I ask the opposition is that on issues such as how we confront crime we put people ahead of the political disputes we may have, Boric stressed.