Monday, 10 September 2012 20:13
Stricter measures to be implemented by police force for the first time in Chile’s history.
Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter signed the new “Safe Stadium Law,” which will establish stricter security measures in soccer stadiums. The bill’s Monday signing comes one day before Chile’s national team’s World Cup Qualifier against Colombia.
The new bill will see the carabineros, Chile’s police force, under Gen. Alejandro Olivares’ command, take control of security measures in stadiums.
“This is the first time ever that a general of the republic will be in charge of stadium security,” Hinzpeter said, explaining that carabineros have travelled to other countries to study different measures.
New measures of stricter security will include the personal identification of every spectator entering the stadium, the authorization of police to evict anyone in the stadium causing the slightest disturbance, stricter punishments such as jail or banning from the stadium, camera installation all over the stadium and special doors at the entrance to look for dangerous objects that may be used as weapons.
“The purpose of this bill is to prevent a massive tragedy in Chilean stadiums,” he said. “We should be proud of the fact that Chile has not been faced with such mass tragedies.”
Although there have not been such mass incidents in Chile, violence in stadiums is still a problem. Last July
, a fan was stabbed to death near El Teniente stadium in Rancagua during a Colo Colo vs. O’Higgins match.
“While this law is not an antidote against violence, we at least know that this will prevent a mass tragedy that other countries have experienced, such as the Hillsborough disaster in England,” Hinzpeter said. “We have looked to England for handling security.”
The Hillsborough disaster took place in 1989 when overcrowding in the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield left 96 spectators dead and 766 injured. The disaster inspired stricter security measures in England.
“I would like to call on delinquents and the drugged, drunk and violent spectators to let them know that they are not welcome in our football stadiums,” he said. “We want families and fans alike to feel safe before, during and after a match, without worrying for their safety.”
Present at the ceremony were Colo Colo striker Carlos Muñoz and center back Luis Mena, President of Chile’s National Soccer Federation (ANFP) Sergio Jadue and President of the Union of Professional Soccer Players (Sifup) Carlos Soto.
By Sumy Sadurni (email@example.com)
Copyright 2012 - The Santiago Times
About the writer
Sumy is studying at Westminster University, in London, UK. Having lived all over the world has sparked a strong interest in international journalism, with a particular passion for South America. She has written for music and travel magazines, but her main goal is to report on current affairs, both foreign and national.