Summary of the situation in Chile
The movement began on October 7, 2019, after an increase in public transport fares (already representing 30% of the monthly salary of most of the population). The movement was named “The Revolt of 30 Pesos”, because of the amount of the increase in transport tickets that amounted to 30 pesos. On October 7, a massive transit fraud movement took shape against the increase in fares, initiated by student youth. The fraud movement lasted two weeks and in response the authorities closed a large number of stations and set up a heavy police force in transport. At the same time, on 18 October a major demonstration was held in Santiago, the capital. The first clashes between demonstrators and police are recorded. Demands are growing rapidly: the Chilean people are protesting against the liberalization of the economy initiated by Pinochet , the privatization of public services, the inequality and elitism of Chilean education and, above all, the strong social inequalities. They demand political renewal and real social justice. The demonstrations followed one after the other and major riots took place (metro stations and burning tolls). On October 19, President Pinera announced the ermegency state, closed universities and schools and introduced a curfew from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. It also suspended the increase in transport rates but the movement did not weaken: the people asked for the writing of a new constitution and the demonstrations turned into revolt. The repression intensifies with live bullets and numerous police violence. Chilean trade unions call for a general strike on 21 October.  On that date, the rebels invaded the premises of television channels, accused of serving the government by hiding the reality of the facts. The president spoke on October 22, after the accidental broadcast of images of police violence on television news, but the people were not satisfied with his meagre announcements and on October 25 more than a million demonstrators marched in the streets of Santiago. On October 27, 8 ministers resigned. The movement continues until February 2021, but is hampered by population containment due to the Covid-19 health crisis. The movement resumes in September 2020 with new demonstrations and advances are taking place: a referendum is held in October on the need for a new constitution, largely won by the pros (to 78%) and in May 2021, the people won the election of a constituent assembly, charged with drafting a new constitution.
On 13 December 2019, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet) issued a report stating that the Chilean security forces had resorted to disproportionate and excessive use of force against the demonstrators.
Amnesty International and the Human Rights Observatory have condemned the excessive use of force and possible arbitrary arrests.
Solidarity demonstrations took place in several countries (France, New Zealand…).
Several major international conferences (COP25, APEC) to be held in Chile have been cancelled or displaced due to the country’s chaotic social climate.
Deaths : 36
Injured : ~ 12000
Arrests : ~28 000
Blocked exam center for over 300,000 students

Last update : 02/10/2021

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