President Michelle Bachelet signed Friday a decree to increase by 6,000 officers the Carabineros, Chile’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 force is a commitment she made during the electoral campaign.
“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, whose complete force numbers some 40,000, 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.”