(Santiago de Chile) Law enforcement in Chile will now enjoy a “presumption of self-defense”, under a text dubbed by its detractors “law of the easy trigger” adopted on Wednesday by Parliament, in a country plagued by an increase in crime.

The killing last week of a rifle sergeant, Rita Olivares, riddled with bullets as she exited her service vehicle, hastened the passage of this law.

The text provides that a soldier or police officer using his service weapon will benefit from a presumption of self-defence, which will only be lifted if an investigation shows that he acted badly.

“This bill provides that when a police officer uses a weapon in self-defence, or to defend a third party because their life is in danger, it will be presumed that the police officer has acted in accordance with professional principles, but an investigation may demonstrate the opposite,” said Interior Minister Carolina Toha.

“Police died to make this bill happen. […] Protecting our police, giving them more powers, is giving hope to Chileans,” argued opposition MP Andrés Longton, author of the bill.

The original draft, which during the debates was called “trigger easy” by its opponents, was criticized by criminal law experts and the United Nations.

“It does not comply with international human rights law,” said Jan Jarab, UN human rights focal point for South America.

Some controversial provisions were eliminated during the parliamentary review, such as the one that allowed police to use their firearm when attacked by two or more unarmed people.

According to several polls, delinquency is the main concern of Chileans. The rise in crimes and crimes in the country has prompted the government to present a battery of measures to stem the phenomenon.

According to a government crime prevention body, in 2022 homicides increased by 33.4% compared to the previous year, the second highest change in Latin America after Ecuador, where they increased over 80%.