Discuss PDI and Pacos

If it might please the Court, I would propose a sharing of experiences and opinions concerning the police in Chile.

Certainly this is a topic that would be of interest to the remaining three or four naive fools who have been considering moving to Chile.

My first opinions on the Pacos were published in a Chilean newspaper back in the 1970s. A lot of water has gone over the bridge since then, from Arica to Pampa Guanaco. I’ve warmed my frozen hands over the wood-stoves at many a Retén, and even accepted an invitation to lunch with Tu Amigo en el Camino.

The incompetence of both PDI and the Carabineros is revealed daily. Policies and practices vary from region to region. They put up with an enormous amount of shit from the lumpen, whose body count in any civilized nation would be much higher (compare to recent events in Perú where they observe no such restraint and have no problem putting down the misbehaving). PDI and Pacos really don’t get along very well (see Chapter 7). And that old saw about the Pacos being above bribery and corruption… just tales that the chronically gullible of Lonely Planet keep repeating (but kids, don’t try this at home).

So very many angles. So share your stories.

In the late 90’s, we had a routine Paco visit. At that time, we had a young dog called Fito, who bounded up to investigate this newcomer.

The cop drew back, put his hand on his revolver, and snarled “if that dog tries to bite me, I’ll shoot it”

Changed days, indeed.


Rotten, everywhere you look. Is there no honesty here anymore?