The Chilean Protests: Fighting For Basic Rights


The Chilean citizens have not rested in fighting against inequality and high living costs. The protests in Chile began in the middle of October, when students led a demonstration to protest high public transportation fares. Earlier that month, the government announced that they planned to raise transportation prices by 30 pesos (0.04). The protests began when students refused to pay the fares; they began jumping over turnstyles and destroying property within the metro station. The president of Chile was forced to get involved when protests moved underground to above ground; Supermarkets and petrol stations were burned and protesters spilled onto the streets, revealing the true nature of these protests. The rise of metro prices was the last straw as more and more protesters gathered in the streets, chanting for better public health care and higher salaries. These protesters demanded that president Sebastián Piñera should be forced to resign immediately. The dictatorship had also produced a substantially unequal constitution, which protestors want rewritten as another demand of the country. With these protests rising and accumulating more citizens, Piñera called for a state of emergency, which allowed him to take away basic freedoms from the public. 

Videos posted to social media show military personnel physically harming protesters. Chilean officials have verified that 20 people have died: 11 who had died in arson attempts and 5 killed by military personnel. Over one thousand protesters were injured and receive hospital care. 

Piñera dismissed the state of emergency and has since attempted to assure the citizens of Chile that he will be addressing these issues. He has so far retrieved 8 new cabinet members, but has yet to take any clear action in going forward to make a change in the public. Many protests still are determined to stay in the streets until viable changes are made.