Carabineros de Chile

Carabiniers of Chile (Spanish: Carabineros de Chile) are the Chilean national police force, who have jurisdiction over the entire national territory of Chile.

Created in 1927, their mission is to maintain order and create public respect for the laws of the country. They reported to the Ministerio de Defensa Nacional (Ministry of National Defense) through the Undersecretary of Carabiniers but since 2011, the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security has full control over them. They are in practice separated fully from the three other military branches by department but still considered part of the armed forces. Chile also has an investigative police force, the Investigations Police of Chile, also under the Interior and Public Security Ministry; a Maritime Police also exists for patrol of Chile's coastline.

Carabiniers of Chile
Carabineros de Chile
Roundel of Carabineros de Chile
MottoOrden y Patria
Order and Fatherland
Agency overview
FormedApril 27, 1927[1]
Preceding agency
  • Cuerpo de Carabineros
    Policía Fiscal
Operational structure
Overviewed byDirección General
HeadquartersSantiago de Chile

Agency executive
  • Hermes Soto Isla, General Director


The origins of the Carabiniers can be traced back to night watchmen such as the 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 Rural Police (Policía Rural) 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 today), formerly the Gendarme Corps, which would later be merged with the Army's 5th Carabiniers Regiment and the Rural Police. The Carabinier Regiment was then a Chilean Army unit, thus the reason why the Carabiniers of today sport military ranks and insignia. In 1908 the Carabiniers' School (Escuela de Carabineros, currently located in Providencia) was created, which until 1935 trained all officers and non-commissioned sworn personnel.

Carabiniers of Chile (1927)

On April 27, 1927, President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo merged the Fiscal Police (Policía Fiscal), the Rural Police (Policia Rural), and the existing Corps of Carabiniers to form the Carabiniers of Chile, one unified, paramilitary and national security 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 1929 its official coat of arms – two white crossed carbines in a green shield – was formally adopted. The service in 1930 became one of the pioneer mobile police forces in Latin America. By 1933 the Investigations Police of Chile was created in the basis of the investigations service. The roots of today's NCO School began in 1934 when in Santiago's Macul Commune, the service's mounted command began training NCOs and enlisted personnel independently. In 1939 the service received its own staff college, the Police Sciences Academy, and the mounted training squadron begame the present day NCO School in 1951.

The Air Operations Prefecture, the air arm of the service, was raised in 1960.

1962 would see it become the first among the Chilean uniformed services to include women into its ranks. The next year, the Children and Fatherland Foundation was formed as its social responsibility arm for troubled kids and preteens.

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.

In 1974, formal command of the service was handed over to the Chilean Ministry of National Defense, and it was integrated into the ranks and traditions of the Chilean Armed Forces as a result. Until 2011, this was the case for the service, from that year onward it is a part of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security.

The Basic Training Center, which trains future personnel of the other ranks, was created in 1979.


The Carabiniers' mission 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 military force (all their members have military training). Under the Chilean Constitution the Carabiniers are integrated directly into the Armed Forces in a state of emergency to better guarantee the public order.

They also have a special armed police unit called the Special Police Operations Group (GOPE or Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales). There is also an Elite Corps in charge of security in La Moneda Palace and for the President – the Presidential Guard Group whose cavalry troop is one of two horse guards units of the Republic, the latter having been raised recently and also serves as the youngest, and also sports a foot guards infantry battalion. The Central National Band of the Carabineros, the premiere representative marching band of the service (created in 1929), occasionally performs on state occasions and during the Guard Mounting at the La Moneda Palace and Citizenry Square on selected days with the Guard Group.

They travel in heavily armored trucks from which they can spray pressured water to control mobs.

The Carabineros have recently replaced their Ruger P90 with the 9mm SIG P220. While most police forces issue the Chilean FAMAE revolver or the Brazilian Taurus Model 82, increasing numbers have adopted the Austrian Glock 17.


The emergency number of the police is 133 which is connected to the Central Communications (CENCO), closest to the nearest location of a police station.

This number will provide medical help, police or fire support. If one would need to communicate directly with any of these services this list of numbers will be useful:

  • 132: This number connects directly to the Fire Station closest to the residence concerned, under the Chilean National Firefighters Council's constituent fire services
  • 131: This number connects to the Emergency Medical Care Service or SAMU
  • 134: This number connects to the Investigations Police of Chile or PDI
  • 137: This number connects to the Maritime Rescue Unit (Navy)

Aircraft inventory

Carabineros de Chile operate 35 aircraft in support of their operations, including 10 helicopters. Recently, 5 Augusta A109E[2] have been acquired.

Aircraft in Service

C-21 Agusta A109 Chilean Police (7322583274)
C-21 Agusta A109 Chilean Police
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[3]
Agusta A109  Italy Utility transport Agusta A109E 5
AgustaWestland AW139  Italy Utility transport Agusta AW139 1
Bell 206  United States Utility helicopter 206B 1
Cessna 182  United States Utility 182Q 5
Cessna 206  United States Utility 3
Cessna 208  United States Utility 1
Cessna 210  United States Utility transport 5
Cessna Citation  United States VIP transport 550 Citation II 2
Eurocopter Bo 105  Germany Utility helicopter Bo 105C
Bo 105LSA-3
Eurocopter EC 135  Germany Utility helicopter EC 135 T1 1
MBB/Kawasaki BK 117  Germany
Utility helicopter BK117B-1 2
Piper PA-31 Navajo  United States Utility transport PA-31
PA-31T Cheyenne


Dodge Charger, Carabineros de Chile
Dodge charger 2014 of Chilean Police

Patrol cars

Vehicle Origin Function
Dodge Charger Police 2017  United States Highway patrol
Dodge Durango 2017  United States Patrol and Traffic enforcement
Chevrolet Cruze LS  United States Patrol and Traffic enforcement
Mercedes Benz Sprinter  Germany City Patrol
Nissan Terrano  Japan Patrol and Traffic enforcement


Vehicle Origin Function
BMW R-1200 RT  Germany Highway Patrol and Traffic enforcement
BMW F-700 GS

Special operations (Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales)

Vehicle Origin Function
Renault Sherpa 2  France Armored vehicle
Mahindra Marksman  India Light Armored vehicle
Chevrolet Tahoe  United States Transport Unit / First response
Chevrolet Suburban
Hyundai H1  South Korea

Chile Border Patrol

Vehicle Origin Function
Toyota Tundra  United States Border Patrol
Ram Pickup 3500  United States North Chilean Desert Border Patrol
Ram Pickup 1500  United States Border Patrol
Dodge Durango 4x4  United States Border Patrol
Can-Am Commander  Canada North Chilean Desert Border Patrol
Mercedes-Benz Zetros  Germany North Chilean Desert Border Patrol

Ranks of the Chilean Carabiniers

Enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers

Chilean and foreign NCOs enter the service through enrollment at the Carabiniers Formation School and receive further training as corporals at the Carabiniers NCO Academy, both located in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, and some of them have later training at the various service schools of the Carabiniers specializing in frontier defense, horsemanship and K-9 training and handling skills.

  • Carabinero alumno (Student Carabinier)
  • Carabinero (Carabinier)
  • Cabo Segundo (Second Corporal)
  • Cabo Primero (First Corporal)
  • Sargento Segundo (Sergeant)
  • Sargento Primero (First Sergeant)
  • Suboficial (Sub-officer)
  • Suboficial Mayor (Subofficer Major)
Ranks Warrant Officers NCOs Enlisted
Carabinero shirt
Ranks Suboficial Mayor Suboficial Sargento 1º Sargento 2° Cabo 1º Cabo 2° Carabinero
Abbreviation (SOM) (SuboF) (SG1) (SG2) (CBO1) (CBO2) (Carab)

Commissioned officers

Officers of the Carabiners, native born or foreign officers having scholarships, start out as officer aspirants at the Carabinier Officers School "Pres. Gen. Carlos Ibanez del Campo" in Santiago, and after graduating become sublieutenants either in Chile or in their home countries. Later training is provided by the Police Sciences Academy also in Santiago, and in the aforementioned specialty schools of the force.

Ranks General officers Senior officers Head officers Junior officers
Uniform coat
General officers' cape
Ranks General Director General Inspector General Coronel Teniente Coronel Mayor Capitán Teniente Subteniente


  1. ^ "Día del Carabinero". Icarito. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  2. ^ Entrega de 2 helicopteros en presencia de la Presidenta
  3. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.

See also

External links

Apoquindo massacre

The Apoquindo massacre, also known as the Apoquindo shootings, was an incident in Santiago, Chile, on October 21, 1993, in which eight people died after members of the Chilean left-wing guerrilla movement Movimiento Juvenil Lautaro robbed a Banco O'Higgins branch on Avenida Apoquindo, Las Condes, Santiago de Chile, where the bank guard was shot dead.

The assailants boarded a minibus that was intercepted by police officers of the Carabineros de Chile, sparking an assault that resulted in the death of a further seven persons: 3 attackers, 3 passengers on the bus and a police officer. A further 12 people were wounded.

Apoyo a la Seguridad Ciudadana

Apoyo a la Seguridad Ciudadana de Pichilemu (English: Public Safety Agency of Pichilemu) is a public safety agency of Pichilemu, a city in central Chile on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This agency is directed by the Mayor of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova.

Candelario Mancilla

Candelario Mancilla is a small settlement in the Aysén Region of southern Chile, located at the shores of the lake O'Higgins/San Martín.

It is 16 kilometers to the north from the border with Argentina (Landmark IV-0-B), and is a key point on the tourist route Villa O'Higgins - El Chaltén.

The settlement is connected to the rest of Chile via ferry to Villa O'Higgins where Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) ends.

In the place lives only a family of Chilean settlers and a some of Carabineros that are border guards.

The town receives its name from the pioneer José Candelario Mancilla Uribe, who came to settle the lake O'Higgins in 1927.

Formerly, this settlement received several expeditions of climbers and scientists who roamed the area or moved towards the great glaciers of the lake. In November 2001, the border crossing "Dos Lagunas" was opened between Chile and Argentina, which has increased tourism progressively in the area. Currently, around 2,000 tourists pass through the settlement each year.The place is near the Del Desierto Lake, a place where Chile & Argentina had a border dispute until 1994. In 1965 an incident occurred where the Chilean Carabinero, Hernán Merino Correa, died after a battle with the Argentine Gendarmerie.

Carabineer (disambiguation)

A number of words are derived from the carbine firearm:

Carabinier, a carbine-carrying cavalry soldier

Carabinieri, the Italian gendarmerie

Carabineros de Chile, the Chilean police.

Carabiner, a rope connecting device

César Mendoza

General César Leonidas Mendoza Durán (September 11, 1918 – September 13, 1996) was a member of the Government Junta which ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, representing the country-wide police force, the Carabineros de Chile.

Mendoza was born in Santiago, the youngest of the eleven children of Atilio Mendoza Valdebenito, a science teacher and first mayor of La Cisterna, and Amalia Durán, a pianist. In 1938, young César Mendoza began his compulsory military service. In 1940, he matriculated at the Carabineros' School, from which he was graduated as a second lieutenant the following year. Mendoza worked in different cities during his police career, starting in 1942 as a lieutenant at Molina, Talca, and the Carabineros' School. He was promoted to captain in 1953, to major in 1959, to lieutenant colonel in 1965, to colonel in 1968, to general in 1970, and to general inspector in 1972. On 10 September 1973 Mendoza was the eighth in rank in the Chilean Police Corps, a professional military body which could have stood up to the army in defense of the Allende government. He agreed to join the coup leaders who promoted him to General Director. In this position, he eventually formed part of the Government Junta that came into power on September 11 1973 coup d'état. Of the four members of the Junta (who represented the Chilean Army, Air Force, Navy and Carabineros or National Police), Mendoza was widely considered the one who held the least amount of power and influence, even being derisively referred to as Mendocita.

Mendoza served in the Government Junta until August 2, 1985, where the public outcry from Caso Degollados led to his forced resignation. He was replaced by Rodolfo Stange Oelckers.

A noted horseman, Mendoza won a silver medal in the XV Olympiad of 1952 at Helsinki as a member of the show jumping team.

Eulogio Sánchez Airport

Eulogio Sánchez Airport (Spanish: Aeródromo Eulogio Sánchez) (ICAO: SCTB), also known as Tobalaba Airport, is an airport in La Reina, an eastern suburb of Santiago, Chile. It is two-thirds owned by the Club Aéreo de Santiago and one-third owned by the Club Aéreo de Carabineros de Chile.

The airport is 52 ha (130 acres) on the eastern edge of the Santiago metropolitan area. It was constructed in 1954 and named for the then-president of the Club Aéreo de Santiago, Eulogio Sánchez Errazuriz.Runway 19 has an additional 170 metres (560 ft) displaced threshold. There is mountainous terrain nearby to the east.

Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales

The Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales (Police Special Operations Group, GOPE) is the grouping of commands of the Police of Chile (Carabineros de Chile) which carry out high-risk police operations throughout the country, including bomb disposal, location and tracking of bombs and explosives, rescuing people or bodies from places of difficult access, anti-crime raids and clashes. GOPE is a special force of military uniformed police, as stipulated in the Constitutional Act of the Carabineros.

Guido Vecchiola

Guido Vecchiola Arellano (born November 16, 1973, Chañaral), is a popular Chilean actor in soap opera and film. He is of Italian and Basque descent.

Vecchiola was born in Chañaral and has two brothers. In 1993, GVecchiola joined the dramatic area staff of the Chilean TV channel UCTV. He was best known for his role in the show called Carabineros de Chile (1992). His television debut was in Champaña at 19 years old, and he later worked in El Amor está de Moda, Amor a Domicilio, Adrenalina, Eclipse de Luna, Amándote, Fuera de Control and Sabor a Tí. Later, Vecchiola took a break to live in Europa for three years, returning in 2003 to work in soap operas like Xfea2, Brujas, Descarado and Lola, and cinema in the film El Huésped directed by Jorge Hidalgo.

In 2007, Vecchiola was a contestant in the TV show Locos por el Baile, taking third place after Fabricio Vasconcelos and Catalina Pulido.

Hernán Trizano

Hernán Trizano Avezzana (Valparaíso, 1860 - Temuco, 1926) was a Chilean Army officer who led the Gendarmes para las Colonias an army regiment that acted as rural police in Southern Chile. Trizano led this policing force until 1905.

Investigations Police of Chile

Investigations Police of Chile (Spanish: Policía de Investigaciones de Chile, PDI) are the civilian police of Chile. Founded in 1933, it is one of two Chilean police bodies, along with the military police Carabineros de Chile. The PDI is the principle law enforcement arm of the Public Ministry of Chile in criminal investigation.

José Alejandro Bernales

José Alejandro Bernales Ramírez (January 29, 1949 – May 29, 2008) was the General director of the Carabineros de Chile from November 27, 2005 until his death on May 29, 2008. He was also the first President of Ameripol. He died in a helicopter crash in Panama City along with three other police officials, two spouses, and five Panamanians. After his death he was called "The People's General". He was replaced by Eduardo Gordon. His wife Teresa Bianchini also died in the incident.

La Moneda Palace Guard

La Moneda Palace Guard (Spanish: Guardia Palacio de la Moneda) is the ceremonial escort to the President of Chile and also assists with physical security at La Moneda Palace. It is an operational component of the Carabineros de Chile.

Laguna del Desierto incident

The Laguna del Desierto incident, in Argentina called also Battle of Laguna del Desierto, occurred between four Chilean Carabineros and between 40 and 90 members of the Argentine Gendarmerie and took place in zone south of O'Higgins/San Martín Lake on 6 November 1965, resulting in one lieutenant killed and a sergeant injured, both members of Carabineros, creating a tense atmosphere between Chile and Argentina.

List of General Directors of Carabineros de Chile

This article lists the General Directors of Carabineros de Chile. Carabineros de Chile (English: Carabiniers of Chile) are the Chilean national police force, who have jurisdiction over the entire national territory of Chile, and dates back to 1927.

Palacio de los Tribunales de Justicia de Santiago

The Palacio de los Tribunales de Justicia de Santiago (English: Courts of Justice Palace of Santiago) is the building housing the Supreme Court of Chile, the Court of Appeals of Santiago, and the Court-martial Court of the Chilean Army, Chilean Air Force and Carabineros de Chile. It occupies a full block-front of Compañía Street between Bandera and Morandé Streets. The building diagonally faces the Palacio de la Real Aduana, which houses the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, and Montt Varas Square sits in front.

The building, which is opposite the Ex Congreso Nacional, was built in two phases between 1905 and 1930 in the neoclassical style. The earlier, the western portion of the building, was completed in 1911.The main entrance to the building is framed by a two-tiered portico that is supported by one-story-high Doric columns on the lower level and two-story-high Ionic columns on the upper level. The portico is crowned by a triangular pediment containing the figure of a condor standing on an open book with the word LEX (Latin for law) sculpted over it.

The building has a three-story arcade, which is parallel to the main facade and features a glass skylight. Ornamental details include caryatids holding bronze swords made by the sculptor Coll y Pi and a stained glass window made in Munich, Germany by Franz Mayer & Co..

Public Forces (Colombia)

The Colombian Constitution (Spanish: Constitución Política de Colombia) includes two overlapping definitions of what could be defined as 'armed forces' in English:

Public Forces (Spanish: Fuerza Pública): Includes the Military and the National Police (Title VII, chapter VII, Art. 216)

Military Forces (Spanish: Fuerzas Militares): Includes only the military: Army, Navy and Air Force (Title VII, chapter VII, Art. 217)

This is a subtle yet important distinction, both in terms of emphasizing the civil nature of the National Police, but also adapting the national police to function as a paramilitary force which can perform military duties as a result of the Colombian Conflict. This has led to some of the most important police units adopting military training and conducting special operations alongside the Colombian Army, Air Force and Navy. Therefore the functions of the Colombian Police in practical terms are similar to those of the Spanish Civil Guard and the Carabineros de Chile, which maintain military ranks for all personnel and exercise both policial and military responsbiltiies.

The Ministry of National Defence exercises operational control of the Military and Police. The President of Colombia is the Commander in Chief of the military and Supreme commander of the National Police.

Rodolfo Stange

General Rodolfo Stange Oelckers (born September 30, 1925) is a Chilean politician and former senator. He was a member of the Government Junta that ruled Chile during the dictatorship period from 1973 to 1990, representing the police force (Carabineros de Chile). He was elected Senator in 1998, finishing his term in 2005.

Stange was born in Puerto Montt, in southern Chile. He was the son of Osvaldo Stange and Ina Oelckers, of German ancestry. Because of his, he studied in the German Institute of Puerto Montt and later in the Liceo de Hombres. He joined the Military in 1945 and the Carabineros two years later. Thanks to a scholarship, Stange was able to continue his university studies in West Germany and upon his return he became a teacher of Police Sciences and Police Administration.

In 1970, Stange was named Administrative Chief of the School of Carabineros. Later, he was appointed the Coronel Director of the Superior Institute of Carabineros. In 1977, after the Chilean coup d'état, he became President of the Mining Company of Vallenar. During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Stange rose through the ranks until becoming General Subdirector of the police force in June 1982. When General Director César Mendoza Duran resigned on August 2, 1985, Stange was duly appointed to that post, serving ex officio as member of the military junta. Stange continued serving as general director after Pinochet's dictatorship ended in 1990.

After finishing his term as General Director of Carabineros in 1995, Stange dedicated himself to politics. he joined the Independent Democratic Union and in 1997 was elected to the 17th Senatorial Circunscription (South Los Lagos). While in the Senate, from 1998 to 2006, Stange initially participated in the Commission of the Environment and the Commission of Maritime Issues, Fishing, and Aquaculture. He later joined the Commission of Government, Decentralization and Regionalization, the Commission of Public Works, and the Special Commission of Security.

The general was accused of several human rights abuses, including obstruction of justice charges in the Caso Degollados and the murder of Julio Verne Acosta y Carlos Bezmalinovic, both members of the MIR, with the high ranks of the DIPOLCAR.

University of Las Condes

University of Las Condes (Spanish: Universidad Las Condes) was a Chilean private university.

It was founded in 1987 by retired Carabineros de Chile General César Mendoza and other investors. Mendoza was the president of the university's superior council until his death in 1996. In 1999, the university went through an economic crisis, which forced its owners to sell and merge it with Universidad del Desarrollo.

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