Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chile: President Bachelet, 62, To Increase Carabineros by 6,000 Officers, Deployed in High-Crime Areas

President Michelle Bachelet signed Friday (April 25) a decree to increase by 6,000 officers the Carabineros, the country's national militarized police, in order to strengthen security in even the most crime-ridden areas.

“This is important because it will make many of our countrymen feel safer in their neighborhoods, on their streets, in their homes, in their cities, and because insecurity is one of our great concerns,” she said at a police station in the north Santiago neighborhood of Quilicura.

The president recalled that this increase in the Carabineros is a commitment she made during the electoral campaign.

COMMENT: “We know that where the Carabineros are present, crime diminishes, and so does the feeling of fear, so what we must do is make security a right that doesn’t depend on where we live, where we go, or how much money we have,” Bachelet said.

The 6,000 new Carabinero agents will boost street security in areas and neighborhoods with the highest crime rates in the country, a measure which, according to Bachelet, will help reduce the inequality that exists in Chile in that regard. 

“Inequality of protection is synonymous with inequality in quality of life,” she said. “Correcting this means providing equal police coverage everywhere in the country.”

President Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jería AC, 62, is a Socialist Party politician and the President of Chile since March 11 2014. She previously served as President from 2006–2010, becoming the first woman in her country to do so. 

In December 2013, Bachelet was reelected as President of Chile with over 62% of the vote, bettering the 53.5% she obtained in 2006. She is the first person since 1932 to win the presidency of her country twice in competitive elections.

The President is a physician by training and served as both Minister of Defense and Health Minister under her predecessor, President Ricardo Lagos. Aside from her native Spanish, she also speaks, with varying levels of fluency, English, German, Portuguese and French.