– Chileans commemorate 2019 social uprising
Thousands of Chileans gathered across the country to celebrate the second anniversary of the uprising against social inequalities.
Posted today at 03:34
Chileans on Monday commemorated the second anniversary of the uprising against social inequalities, which resulted in the election of a Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution. Various gatherings, bringing together several thousand people, were held across the country, especially in Santiago where the revolt started in October 2019 which left more than thirty dead.
“Things haven’t changed that much, but people are more awake, more ready to make their voices heard,” Valentina Sagredo, a 22-year-old student, told AFP among the thousands of demonstrators, many of them young people, gathered in the Plaza Italia in Santiago. In the fall of 2019, this square had been the epicenter of protests in the capital for weeks.
“There are still things to claim (…) that’s why people are demonstrating,” said Pablo, a 22-year-old barber, who did not wish to give his name. In the morning, high school students had hung a banner near the Costanera Center, the tallest skyscraper in South America, bearing the inscription: “The only way is the example of October”.
In October 2019, high school students led the first demonstrations against the increase in the metro ticket which had served as a trigger for the crisis. In Santiago, police dispersed protesters who had set fire to barricades on Monday with tear gas, AFP reported. A store and a restaurant were looted, according to local media.
A “symbolic day”
At least 5,000 police officers were mobilized across Chile to deal with possible overflows. Constituent Assembly President Elisa Loncon hailed a “symbolic day, a day when Chile and its citizens won through unity”.
The Assembly, elected in November, is responsible for drafting a new Constitution to replace the current one, inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) and considered as an obstacle to any fundamental social reform.
After several months of implementation, it began on Monday the drafting of the new articles of the future Basic Law which will be submitted to a new referendum in 2022. The anniversary of this social explosion comes in the middle of the campaign for the general elections of November 21 .
Conservative President Sebastian Piñera, 71, who ruled the country between 2010 and 2014 and then since 2018, cannot stand for re-election. He is currently facing impeachment proceedings before Parliament for the controversial sale of a mining concession near a biodiversity-rich site, exposed in the Pandora Papers.
Posted today at 03:34
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