Chile defence minister's home robbed, presidential car stolen
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The home of Chilean Defence Minister Maya Fernandez was robbed by attackers who beat her son and threatened her husband, authorities said Saturday.
Fernandez, a granddaughter of former Socialist leader Salvador Allende, was not at home at the time of the attack late Friday in Santiago's Nunoa neighborhood.
A bodyguard in President Gabriel Boric's security team was also shot in the arm by attackers who stole a presidential vehicle, as Chile suffers what one official has called "the worst moment in security since the return to democracy," with crime surging in both numbers and severity.
"There was a robbery in the defence minister's property," General Jean Camus, a district police chief, announced Saturday. "Unknown individuals stole cash and also a vehicle."
The same night, the presidential bodyguard, a sergeant in the Carabineros, or national police, was robbed and shot when a group of men approached him as he sat in an official vehicle.
The attack occurred in the San Miguel neighbourhood in southern Santiago as the man was driving the car back to the presidential palace. Police said the assailants drove him to a town north of Santiago, shot him and left him in the street before fleeing aboard the vehicle.
There was no information on his condition.
Chilean officials have called for a redoubling of efforts to rein in crime and improve security.
"We have taken concrete actions to go after organized crime," said Deputy Interior Minister Manuel Monsalve.
Blaming organized criminals for the surge in lawlessness, the authorities have promised greater cooperation between the militarized Carabineros police and their civilian counterparts.