Submitted by John Cobin of Sovereign Man
Where the cops actually treat you like a human being…
When is the last time you shook a policeman’s hand, appreciative of the good work he had done for you? I live in Chile and I just did so.
In North America, I would never think of doing the same thing. Cops are to be feared there. They are not helpful allies in the fight against crime. A North American is more likely to be victimized by the police rather than helped by them. In Europe, citizens are more likely to be clubbed than supported.
YouTube is full of police abuse in the developed world; it is becoming a common reality of a politically correct society rather than a shocking exception.
These uniformed thugs break down doors and intimidate innocent people. They plant GPS tracking devices on the cars of private citizens. They arrest people for dancing, arrest them for having a “bad attitude,” harrass people for taking photographs, and otherwise go out of their way to threaten what they are charged with protected.
In Chile, things are different. Not only are the cops not corrupt like they are in every other Latin American country, they are actually helpful and efficient. Examples abound.
A couple of years ago I was driving my car in the south of Chile. At a routine stop a carabinero (Chilean cop) found that my car registration had not been paid (about US$40 on my used car). I had no idea. Normally, my car would have been impounded on the spot.
Instead, the policeman told me that he would act like he never saw me but that I had better get the tax paid right away. So he sent me on my way. I was very pleased, and I paid the tax the next day.
I have been lost, too, driving in some remote area of Chile. When all else failed, I proceeded without hesitation to the carabinero station to make my inquiry. Such events have almost always resulted in success.
In other cases I have been cited by the carabineros for traffic infractions. But to their credit, I was guilty as charged. And in some cases I got off with just a warning. The point is that in Chile the cops still treat you like a human being, and they understand that you can make a mistake at times.
They are not itching to leap at an opportunity to flex their muscles or put you in your place. There is not a latent urge in the Chilean cops to have chance to show their might or use force. Plus, as my wife says, if they did become that way, Chileans would likely rise up and lynch them on the spot!
Today, I had to visit the police station to report fraudulent use of my credit card overseas. The bank’s fraud department had spotted the problem and directed me to make a police report, known as a constancia in Chile.
I entered the building and walked into the room where the three carabineros worked to take such reports. I asked one of them to inquire if I was in the right place. He affirmed that I was. So I sat down and waited.
My wait was prolonged when the station’s server went down for 10 minutes. But other than that I was out of there in short order. The carabinero took the information from my credit card, my ID card, and the bank’s fraud department’s findings, and then he entered them into his system. I left with a printout showing a case number.
The cop did his job so well and efficiently that I shook his hand and wished him a good day. He responded in like manner, courteously saying goodbye.
One of the benefits of living in Chile is that society is civil. Cops are not marauding bands of thugs to be fear but rather people who are willing to do what they can to help. How does that reality compare with where you live?