Carabineros de Chile

Carabineros de Chile

Carabineros de Chile are the uniformed Chilean national police force and gendarmery, created on April 27, 1927. Their mission is to maintain order and create public respect for the laws of the country. They depend on the Ministerio de Defensa Nacional (Ministry of National Defense) through the Undersecretary of Carabiniers and the Ministerio del Interior (Ministry of the Interior). Chile also has an investigative police force, the Policia de Investigaciones.


The origins of the Carabiniers de Chile trace back to night watchmen such as Dragones de la Reina (Queen's Dragoons) (created in 1758 and later renamed the Dragoons of Chile in 1812) and other organizations that fulfilled functions such as the watch and local policing.

Later, cities such as Santiago and Valparaíso created their own city police forces. In 1881 the Policía Rural (Rural Police) was created for the rural areas of the country. However, the main problem with these police services was that they were dependent on local authorities for day-to-day decision making. This led to local officials abusing this power for their own political ends. In 1896 the Policía Fiscal (Prosecuting Police) was created to serve the cities.

The first policing organization with the name "Carabiniers" was the Corps of Carabiniers, in Spanish Cuerpo de Carabineros (with similar meaning as the Italian Carabinieri), formed in 1903 to bring law and order to the Araucanía Region of Southern Chile (then much larger than is geographically denoted today). In 1908 the Carabiniers' School (Escuela de Carabineros, currently located in Providencia) was created. In 1927, President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo merged the Fiscal Police (Policía Fiscal), the Rural Police (Policia Rural), and the Cuerpo de Carabineros into the Carabiniers of Chile, one unified institution under the direction of the national government. The organization still carries the name given to it by Ibáñez, who became the Carabiniers' first Director General.

In 1973 the Carabiniers, headed by General Cesar Mendoza Duran, later appointed Director General, joined the Chilean coup of 1973 under the lead of the Army, Navy and Air Forces leaders, that overthrew President Salvador Allende. As such, the Carabiniers' commander was a formal member of the Military Government Junta (1973-1990), as well as members of the institution taking on administrative roles, such as being in charge of the Ministry of Education.


The current mission of the "Carabineros" is to maintain or re-establish order and security in Chilean society through civic education, service to the community, police work, and in a war situation, to act as a paramilitary force (all their members have military training). Under the current Chilean constitution the Carabineros are integrated directly into the armed forces in a state of emergency to better guarantee order. Carabineros are commonly informally called "pacos", akin to English "bobbies" or "cops". They also have a SWAT-kind special forces for counter operations called GOPE (Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales - Special police operations Group). There is also an Elite Corps in charge of security in the La Moneda Palace and of the President.

Aircraft inventory

The Carabiniers operates 35 aircraft in support of their operations, including 10 helicopters. Recently had been acquired 4 Augusta A109E Entrega de 2 helicopteros en presencia de la Presidenta
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Origin ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Versions ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|In service ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Notes |----- | Bell 206 | | utility helicopter | 206B | 1 | Used for pilot training only. |----- | Cessna 182 | | utility | 182Q | 5 | |----- | Cessna 206 | | utility | | 3 | |----- | Cessna 208 | | utility | | 1 | |----- | Cessna 210 | | utility transport | | 5 | |----- | Cessna Citation | | VIP transport | 550 Citation II | 2 | |----- | Eurocopter Bo 105 | | utility helicopter | Bo 105C
Bo 105LSA-3 | 5
2 | |----- | MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 |
| utility helicopter | BK117B-1 | 2 | |----- | Piper PA-31 Navajo | | utility transport | PA-31
PA-31T Cheyenne | 3
1 | |----- | Agusta A109 | | utility trasport | Agusta A109E | 4 |}


  • "Paco", and "tortugas ninjas" ("ninja turtles"') are Chilean slang terms for any member of the Carabineros. Unlike many Latin American police forces, the honesty of the Carabineros is a point of organizational and national pride, and any form of bribery or attempt thereof is severely punished. This applies both to the officers and to the person offering the bribe. Foreign citizens have been temporarily imprisoned for failing to recognize this fact. Another point of pride for the Carabineros is their horsemanship. Many officers are highly trained and skilled in the use of a horse for crowd control purposes as well as for sporting and show.

Historical secret police organizations


External links

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