Mourners demand justice as shot street artist buried in Chile

·2-min read
Mourners at the funeral of juggler Francisco Martinez, who was shot by police, call for justice

Around 100 mourners demanded justice on Monday at the funeral of a street artist killed by Chilean police during a search.

Juggler Francisco Martinez, 27, was fatally shot by an officer after refusing to cooperate with a police identity check in the south of the country.

He was buried in the capital Santiago at a ceremony attended by family members, friends and other street artists who played music and chanted, "Justice for Francisco," as well as slogans against the police and the government of President Sebastian Pinera.

The funeral turned violent as mourners attacked press teams covering the event, forcing them to flee under a hail of blows and rocks, pictures published by local media showed.

Martinez died in Panguipulli on Friday, some 530 miles (850 kilometers) south of Santiago.

He had refused to cooperate with officers checking identity cards while he was juggling with swords on a busy street.

The check resulted in a dispute that ended with one of the agents firing at the street artist, according to a video widely circulated by local channels and on social media.

As the funeral took place, the Panguipulli prosecutor's office filed charges of homicide against the policeman who shot Martinez.

Judge Felipe Munoz rejected the defense's argument that the policeman had acted in "legitimate defense" and ordered him to be put under full house arrest after pronouncing that "the freedom of the accused constitutes a danger to society."

The fatal shooting sparked indignation across the country and violent protests in Panguipulli, where demonstrators torched a public building.

Chile's security forces were already under fire for the violent reaction to months of protests against social injustice that exploded in October 2019 and resulted in accusations of human rights abuses.

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