By Susana Patricia Noguera Montoya
CUNDINAMARCA, COLOMBIA (AA) - Chile's human rights body has filed 39 lawsuits against security forces for their alleged violent acts against children and adolescents.
The charges included beatings, physical and verbal abuse, undressing and wounding with pellets, according to the country’s National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI).
The NGRI said that 243 minors were allegedly arrested during the protests, which began after a price hike in metro fares.
Local media reported alleged sexual violence and disappearances of arrested women and many citizens held police and armed forces responsible for the abuses.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) also condemned the "excessive" use of force and rejected all forms of violence during protests in Chile.
According to the IACHR, a total of 2,128 people were arrested and 376 people were injured, at least 173 of them by firearms, during the protests.
Last week, protesters jumped over turnstiles without paying for tickets at metro stations in the capital Santiago in protest against a 4% hike in metro fares.
Half of Chile’s workers make $550 or less monthly, according to the country's statistics authority.
At least 15 people died, with most of the deaths caused during Sunday’s looting when shops were set on fire.
The Chilean government declared a 15-day state of emergency on Saturday, extending it later from north to south across the country.
* Beyza Binnur Donmez in Ankara contributed to this story.