By Katy Watson
BBC South America correspondent, Santiago
6 hours ago
In Marusella Mallea’s living room there’s a side table with a picture of her brother Cesar on it. He’s leaning against his car and has a big grin as he looks to the camera.
“Look, it was all about having a laugh,” she says between tears. “He found everything funny.”
. . .
A few days after Chile brought in the state of emergency to quell last month’s violent protests, Cesar went for a drive. It was after the curfew and he didn’t have permission to be in the car. But Marusella says that on the outskirts of Santiago the rules weren’t as rigidly obeyed as in the centre of the capital.
Cesar went out with his daughter that evening but they parted ways around 23:00. A few hours later his family got a phone call saying he’d killed himself in a police cell.
“He had everything to live for,” she says. She doesn’t know when he was arrested – there are no records. The video system also failed the moment he killed himself, she says. This poor record-keeping by the police – or carabineros – makes her doubt their version of events.