Latin America

Arrests in riots in Chile

In Chile, demonstrators have vented their anger at social inequality and sluggish reforms.

About 50 people were arrested. Riots broke out in the capital Santiago. / Arrests in riots in Chile

Three years after major protests began in Chile, riots have broken out in the capital, Santiago. Demonstrators set up burning barricades and engaged in street battles with the security forces. 25,000 police officers tried to contain the protests – also with water cannons and tear gas.

Across the country, around 2,300 people took part in the protests, significantly fewer than on the previous anniversaries. According to the Interior Ministry, there were around 50 arrests. 13 police officers were injured and around 700 people were guilty of crimes. According to the police, two buses were stolen and a truck was set on fire.

Anger at the lack of social reforms

The demonstrators criticize that too little is being done against exploitation and social inequality in Chile. Left-wing President Gabriel Boric, a former student leader, called on his compatriots to engage in a new dialogue. He admitted that his government has not yet implemented reforms to improve the “rights of Chileans”.

In a referendum last month, two-thirds of Chileans rejected the draft of a new constitution because they felt it went too far.

Protests set the reform process in motion

On October 18, 2019, a massive protest movement started in Chile, which was sparked by high fares in local transport, but then quickly turned against social grievances and the government. Dozens of people were killed during the riots and violent clashes.

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