Shooting Death of Chilean Peacekeeper in Haiti

On Monday, April 13, 2015, a Chilean peacekeeper, Sergeant Rodrigo Sanhueza, who was part of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, was shot dead during a violent protest in Ouanaminthe, a commune located in the North East Department of Haiti. Second Sergeant Rodrigo Andres Sanhueza Soto came to Haiti on UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and was providing security near the Dominican border, Ouanaminthe, before his military vehicle was fired upon by violent protesters demanding electricity. He succumbed to fatal injury from a gunshot by protesters. He was hit and rushed to the UN force's Uruguay Battalion for medical care, but died of his wounds.


The United Nations called for a quick investigation as the killing prompted strong condemnations from its offices, including the offices of the Secretary-General and Security Council. A UN team was immediately dispatched to the spot to ascertain facts. Sandra Honoré, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, has offered UN police support in this regard. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Haitian authority for a quick investigation and do everything possible to bring the culprits under justice and expressed UN's deepest sympathy to the family of the fallen peacekeeper, as well as to the Government and people of Chile.

Chile's participation in the MINUSTAH in 2004 was developed after a long parliamentary discussion and consensus and this out of the routine procedure was considered as a mature awareness of the role of Chile beyond its own self interest, participation in peace operations and their contribution in Haiti. The peacekeepers from Chile replaced a US-French force tasked with restoring security and humanitarian aid after the ouster of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. "Battalion Chile" is composed of a force consisting 355 infantry from the Army and Marines having comprehensive logistic support with armored Swiss Mowag vehicles. Their major entrusted responsibilities include: checkpoints, pedestrian and motorized patrols short range, convoy escort, long range patrols, aerial insertions and extractions, aerial surveys and security of the Engineer Unit.

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