SANTIAGO: Chilean prosecutors are investigating an incident in which a 20-year-old protester was allegedly run over by a police vehicle during a protest in the capital on Friday (Dec 20) evening.
Footage recorded by local television stations showed two police riot vehicles surrounded by a large crowd of protesters in Santiago's Plaza Italia, a central rallying point in recent weeks, before the incident took place.
The protest came after more than two months of fierce demonstrations against the government of President Sebastian Pinera over endemic inequality in the southern Latin nation, previously regarded as one of the region´s most stable.
The young man was named by local media as Oscar Ignacio Pérez Cortéz. He was being treated in a private hospital for a suspected fractured pelvis, local newspaper El Mercurio reported.
A police officer was due to appear before a court in central Santiago for a preliminary hearing on grevious bodily harm charges, the regional prosecutor confirmed to Reuters.
The superintendent of Metropolitan Province, which includes Santiago, said the images of the accident "leaves no one indifferent."
"As a government and especially as governor, I deeply regret what happened and send our best wishes to him and his family," superintendent Felipe Guevara said on Twitter.
Earlier in the week, Guevara said there would be "zero tolerance" for unauthorised demonstrations in Santiago.
Neither Chilean police nor prosecutors returned requests for further comment.