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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet delivers strong response to terrorist attack

By Dialogo
October 23, 2014




The government of Chile continues to respond to the September 8 terrorist attack in Santiago on multiple fronts, ramping up metro station security while proposing a special prosecutor’s office and expanded intelligence operations.

“We’re not going to let a group of cowardly terrorists to disrupt our peaceful coexistence,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said.

That comment came a day after an improvised bomb exploded in a fast food restaurant near the underground Military School Metro station, injuring at least 14 people. Hundreds more were in the immediate area when the bomb detonated at about 2 p.m., set off by a timing mechanism rigged to a fire extinguisher filled with two kilograms of gunpowder.

“This is one of the most cowardly acts we have ever seen, because the goal was just to hurt people, create terror, and even kill innocent people.”

So far, Chilean police have arrested three suspects – Juan Flores, Guillermo Duran and Nataly Casanova – who face possible sentences of more than 20 years in prison if convicted of committing the bombing. They were caught in a neighborhood in South Santiago on September 22.

Security measures strengthened


Immediately after the bombing, the Bachelet administration mobilized an additional 500 Carabinero police officers to provide additional security at Metro stations throughout the metropolitan Santiago area, monitoring persons entering and exiting the stations for suspicious behavior.

The president also sent to the Senate a proposal to adjust the country’s anti-terrorism law, an initiative that legislators have since expanded upon with their own proposals. The legislation authorizes the country’s National Intelligence Agency (ANI) to infiltrate terrorist cells in its intelligence gathering operations. Another proposal would grant the ANI special operatives to fight terrorism.

The legislation also calls for the creation of a Prosecutor’s Office for Complex Cases, which would provide prosecutors and police the tools they need to fight terrorism and other serious crimes. The new office would be led by a Chief Special Prosecutor who will have the authority to investigate cases throughout the country. Currently, the Chilean criminal justice system has a National Prosecutor’s Office and regional prosecutors throughout the country.

“We need to continue moving forward and make available more and better instruments to face the new security challenges,” Bachelet said September 26. “This bill will lead to a change in the structure of the Prosecutor’s Offices so it will be more effective in fighting complex crimes.”

By late October or early November, the Senate is expected to consider the proposal.

“These legal reforms will give police agencies and the judiciary more tools to arrest and punish those responsible for this act of terrorism…the full weight of the law will be imposed on those who are responsible. We shall not waver.”

The government’s unified stance against terrorism is sending a strong message to the people of Chile.

“The populace trusts the government,” said Cristian Garay, a researcher at the Advanced Studies Institute (IDEA) at the University of Santiago de Chile (USACH).

The terrorists are “misfits who attempt to communicate with society through violence,” Diego Guelar, Argentina’s former ambassador to the United States, told CNN en Español on September 9.



The government of Chile continues to respond to the September 8 terrorist attack in Santiago on multiple fronts, ramping up metro station security while proposing a special prosecutor’s office and expanded intelligence operations.

“We’re not going to let a group of cowardly terrorists to disrupt our peaceful coexistence,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said.

That comment came a day after an improvised bomb exploded in a fast food restaurant near the underground Military School Metro station, injuring at least 14 people. Hundreds more were in the immediate area when the bomb detonated at about 2 p.m., set off by a timing mechanism rigged to a fire extinguisher filled with two kilograms of gunpowder.

“This is one of the most cowardly acts we have ever seen, because the goal was just to hurt people, create terror, and even kill innocent people.”

So far, Chilean police have arrested three suspects – Juan Flores, Guillermo Duran and Nataly Casanova – who face possible sentences of more than 20 years in prison if convicted of committing the bombing. They were caught in a neighborhood in South Santiago on September 22.

Security measures strengthened


Immediately after the bombing, the Bachelet administration mobilized an additional 500 Carabinero police officers to provide additional security at Metro stations throughout the metropolitan Santiago area, monitoring persons entering and exiting the stations for suspicious behavior.

The president also sent to the Senate a proposal to adjust the country’s anti-terrorism law, an initiative that legislators have since expanded upon with their own proposals. The legislation authorizes the country’s National Intelligence Agency (ANI) to infiltrate terrorist cells in its intelligence gathering operations. Another proposal would grant the ANI special operatives to fight terrorism.

The legislation also calls for the creation of a Prosecutor’s Office for Complex Cases, which would provide prosecutors and police the tools they need to fight terrorism and other serious crimes. The new office would be led by a Chief Special Prosecutor who will have the authority to investigate cases throughout the country. Currently, the Chilean criminal justice system has a National Prosecutor’s Office and regional prosecutors throughout the country.

“We need to continue moving forward and make available more and better instruments to face the new security challenges,” Bachelet said September 26. “This bill will lead to a change in the structure of the Prosecutor’s Offices so it will be more effective in fighting complex crimes.”

By late October or early November, the Senate is expected to consider the proposal.

“These legal reforms will give police agencies and the judiciary more tools to arrest and punish those responsible for this act of terrorism…the full weight of the law will be imposed on those who are responsible. We shall not waver.”

The government’s unified stance against terrorism is sending a strong message to the people of Chile.

“The populace trusts the government,” said Cristian Garay, a researcher at the Advanced Studies Institute (IDEA) at the University of Santiago de Chile (USACH).

The terrorists are “misfits who attempt to communicate with society through violence,” Diego Guelar, Argentina’s former ambassador to the United States, told CNN en Español on September 9.
“We’re not going to let a group of cowardly terrorists [to] disrupt our peaceful coexistence,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said.

Lend us that president because the one here is giving up “These legal reforms will give police agencies and the judiciary more tools to arrest and punish those responsible for this act of terrorism…the full weight of the law will be imposed on those who are responsible. We shall not waver.”

It's good that Colombia is enacting reforms so that the terrorists can be pardoned and this way their acquired assets can be legalized.
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