Chile Table of Contents
The Investigations Police, numbering about 4,000, is a plainclothes civilian agency engaged primarily in the detection and investigation of crime. Headquartered in Santiago, the force has seven substations in other parts of Chile. It functions throughout the country in support of the Carabineros. Operationally, its chain of command runs from the director general through a deputy director to the inspectors in charge of the provincial substations. Functionally, it is divided into a number of departments, including administration, foreign and internal police, health, justice, personnel, and welfare. The force also includes the Air Police Brigade, responsible for airport surveillance; the National Identification Bureau, which keeps records of all adult citizens and foreign residents and issues identification cards that must be carried at all times; and the Forensic Medicine Laboratory. In addition, the Special Units Prefecture comprises six brigades dealing with fraud, murder, robberies, vehicle theft, vice, and women's affairs.
The Investigations Police functions in close collaboration with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and with the intelligence services of the army, navy, and air force. During the military government, some Investigations Police agents became involved in criminal activities. By early 1992, its new director, Horácio Toro, a retired army general appointed by the Aylwin government, had withdrawn more than 200 officers from duty because of their alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
Data as of March 1994