En qué consiste la legítima defensa y sus requisitos

 

  • Por Sebastián Morando Herrera, abogado U. Gabriela Mistral, Magister en Política Criminal Universidad de Salamanca y socio de GMS Abogados.

 

La legítima defensa es una eximente de la responsabilidad penal contenida en el artículo 10 del Código Penal y la misma confiere el derecho en casos excepcionales para incurrir en una conducta que la ley describe como delito. Para que opere la legitima defensa como eximente de la responsabilidad penal se necesita de tres requisitos que son copulativos, lo que significa que todos deben confluir al mismo tiempo: uno es la agresión ilegítima la que debe ser actual e inminente, el segundo es una proporcionalidad entre el medio empleado para impedir y repeler la respectiva agresión, y el tercera es la falta de provocación suficiente por parte de quien se defiende.

Se debe aclarar que existe la legítima defensa de parientes, la legitima defensa a extraños y la legitima defensa privilegiada. La primera corresponde a cuando el que obra en la persona o derechos de su cónyuge, de los parientes consanguíneos en toda la línea recta y colateral hasta el cuarto grado inclusive, de sus padres o hijos, la segunda  opera al momento de que el que obra en defensa de la personas o derechos de un extraño y  en el caso de la legitima defensa privilegiada la misma se caracteriza por la ausencia de prueba de los requisitos legales los que se presumen a diferencia de los dos primeros casos y procede cualquiera sea el daño que ocasiones el agresor.

Por ejemplo, para el ordenamiento jurídico nacional  la vida es más importante que una lesión, por lo tanto, si uno ve que está en peligro la vida de un tercero,  ya que esta siendo víctima de un robo y  observa que la víctima esta siendo amenazada con un arma blanca, uno podría golpearlo con algún instrumento y provocarle lesiones a objeto de repeler el ataque del agresor  ya que  entendemos que la vida de un ser humano  es un derecho más importante que infringir daños en el cuerpo del agresor, sin olvidarnos del cumplimiento de los requisitos ya enunciados.

Ahora, el caso de las armas o de defenderse con armas de fuego es un tema complejo, porque esta agresión ilegítima requiere que sea un peligro actual o inminente, por tanto, si un ladrón entra a un domicilio a robar y es sorprendido por los habitantes o dueños de la casa, esa persona no puede dispararle al ladrón si este sale corriendo e intenta escapar, tampoco puede salir persiguiéndolo y dispararle a tres cuadras de su casa y darle muerte y alegar legítima defensa, esto porque no hay peligro actual inminente. Para que haya legítima defensa el delincuente debe haber intentado abalanzarse sobre el dueño de casa, sus familiares u otras víctimas en el hecho y que esa persona esté en real y actual peligro inminente. La legítima defensa se da cuando el delincuente está agrediendo o en condiciones de poder agredir a la persona para que tenga el eximente de responsabilidad penal.

El segundo requisito es la proporcionalidad entre el medio empleado para impedir o repeler esta agresión y lo que se está utilizando para agredir, por lo tanto, si las personas que están siendo golpeadas por un delincuente con un palo o un cuchillo, no pueden dispararle con una ametralladora, porque ahí no hay proporcionalidad entre un medio y otro. Tampoco puede ser que una persona descargue todas las balas de una pistola esgrimiendo legítima defensa, pues con uno o dos balazos la persona que delinque queda muy dañada o muerta. Entonces, si una persona está tranquilamente en su casa y llega un delincuente y se abalanza sobre ella para atacarla, la amenaza con una pistola y la víctima le descarga todas las balas de la pistola tampoco existe proporcionalidad. Solamente con uno o dos balazos puede que califique como un eximente de responsabilidad, pero el resto de los balazos ya es una alevosía y pasaría a calificarse de manera distinta.

Y el tercer requisito es la falta de agresión ilegítima por parte de quién está siendo afectado, es decir que una persona no empiece a agredir, y es algo que se da mucho en riñas. Por ejemplo, cuando una persona agrede verbalmente a otra y quien recibe la agresión comienza a golpearla con sus puños, el otro individuo no puede sacar un pistola dispararle, ya que ahí no hay una falta de provocación porque la persona que disparó comenzó la discusión, además tampoco hay una proporcionalidad entre los golpes de mano y un balazo, por lo que tampoco calificaría una legítima defensa. Lo mismo ocurre cuando hay un grupo de personas y una de ellas es golpeada por un tercero, pero si la persona que fue golpeada fue la que empezó a incitar la violencia o la pelea, tampoco existe el eximente de responsabilidad.

En síntesis, lo importante es tener claro que estos tres requisitos deben existir dentro de este eximente de responsabilidad de manera conjunta y copulativa, no puede faltar uno, deben estar los tres presentes y darse al mismo tiempo.

 

 

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