Chile’s police chief, Mario Rozas, on Thursday, tendered his resignation after police officers allegedly shot and wounded two boys during a raid at the offices of Chile’s child welfare service in Talcahuano.
There has been months of controversy over alleged rights abuses and excessive use of force by the country’s security forces.
The shooting reportedly occurred on Wednesday at the coastal port city south of the capital Santiago.
President Sebastian Pinera who accepted Rozas’s resignation, said he shared “the reasons and arguments” he had given for resigning. He appreciated and admired the police chief’s work, and added that Rozas had served at an “extraordinarily difficult and complex time.”
Rozas who will be replaced by his second in command, police general Ricardo Yanez, came under heavy scrutiny last year, after thousands of Chileans were injured in clashes with police during mass protests over inequality. Those incidents prompted a groundswell of allegations of abuse against the country’s security forces by global and national rights groups.
While many of those cases were still under investigation, Rozas had long denied the abuses were systemic or in any way condoned by police leadership.