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(en) ait russia: Chilean protesters reject concessions from authorities [machine translation]

Date Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:41:13 +0200

Despite the fact that the President of Chile Pignera apologized to the people for ignoring social needs and promised a number of concessions, the protests of the Chileans do not subside. People are outraged by the hypocrisy of the authorities, the ongoing repression and the actual establishment of a military dictatorship. ---- On Monday, October 21, violent protests erupted again in Santiago and other cities, prompting the government to extend curfews for the third day in a row. Protesters against economic inequality, high cost and rising debts held demonstrations and "pan marches", fought with the police, burned and smashed shops and administrative buildings. Many thousands gathered again in the central metropolitan area of Italy, rattling into drums and pans and demanding the departure of President Pinhera. Clashes between protesters and the police have already killed at least 15 people, of which 8 died on Sunday. Among them are 2 Colombians and 1 Ecuadorian.

Pinhera said at a press conference on October 21 that he had heard the demands of the people for a better life and invited the opposition to negotiate (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/22/americas/chile-protests-inequality-curfew-intl-hnk/index.html

On October 22, by noon, protesters gathered again in the central squares of Santiago and other cities in the country. The police again began to disperse them using tear gas and water cannons. Martial law was operating in 10 cities, and curfew in the evening and at night; troops patrolled the streets. The technology developed reminded Chileans of the gloomy times of the Pinochet dictatorship. More and more loudly heard demands for the implementation of reforms in the tax system, medical care, labor and pension legislation. Pinhera invited opposition parties to negotiate a "new social contract," but part of the opposition rejected the call, accusing the authorities of a massive violation of human rights and refusing to give clear explanations in connection with those who died during the unrest. Concern over the repression and actions of the military expressed and "

The military command promised to investigate cases of violence by the military and the police. It stated that of the 15 dead since Friday, 11 lost their lives during arson, routs and riots in Santiago, 2 from gunshot wounds and 2 during an accident. At the same time, the Chilean Institute for Human Rights reported that by the evening of October 20, there were 84 victims of gunshot wounds (first of all, as a result of the fact that repressive bodies opened fire to kill). The prosecutor's office reported 5400 arrests.

Throughout Santiago and in several other cities, traces of destruction and street battles were visible on the streets. The janitors and volunteers on October 22 tried to put in order the central square of Italy, the epicenter of the unrest of previous days. It was all strewn with glass, stones and bonfires; graffiti painted on the walls. But by the middle of the day on October 22, protests resumed there.

Many of the streets in the city center smelled of tear gas; most schools remained closed on October 22. The traffic in the morning somewhat revived. On Tuesday morning, workers at the Escondida largest copper mine began a 10-hour strike. Over the past days, hundreds of flights had to be canceled at Santiago Airport (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-president-pinera-to-meet-with-opposition-leaders-as-protests-snarl/). Prior to this, on Sunday, dock workers interrupted work at 20 ports so that workers could take part in peaceful protest demonstrations. Among them were Iquique, Tocopiglia, Antofagasta, Ventanas and San Antonio, through which copper is exported. The CTMIN miners trade union center called for a general strike in the industry on October 23 (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-21/copper-king-chile-faces-mine-stoppages-as-workers-join-protests)

More than 100 social organizations and trade unions united in Social Unity have appointed a general strike on October 23 and 24 under the motto "Chile has awakened, Chile is mobilizing." A central demonstration of the strike was scheduled to march from Italy Square on October 23 at 10.30; similar mass demonstrations were scheduled in all regions, and territorial demonstrations and "pan marches" and local assemblies across the country were scheduled for October 24.

The organizers of the strike called the following requirements and tasks:

1. The abolition of the state of emergency and the return of the military to the barracks.

2. Demand parliamentarians to start a strike and not to pass any laws or treaties until the state of emergency has been lifted.

3. Taking back draft laws that infringe on the social, economic and cultural rights of the people, including laws on pensions and taxes.

4. Development and application of a package of urgent economic measures in favor of the working people of Chile.

5. Convening a Constituent Assembly, which will have to develop a new constitution. It will open the way to a new development model that will end the current unjust neoliberal model.

6. To reject Pinier's harsh statements that "there is a war" against the people of Chile. The president, as guilty of confrontation, must resign (http://www.colegiodeprofesores.cl/2019/10/22/se-convoca-a-huelga-general-en-todo-chile-el-23-y-24-de-octubre/)


Under pressure from protests, President Pinhera announced a series of social reforms. In an address to the nation, he said that the Chilean government will send a number of bills to the Congress that provide for measures to provide social support to the population. "We will submit to the Congress for consideration the social agenda in accordance with the law and begin implementation when the government gets this opportunity," he said. The measures include raising pensions, lowering the cost of electricity, partially covering medical expenses, lowering medication prices and setting a minimum income for working people in the country. In addition, the Chilean government intends to send a bill to increase taxes for high-income citizens. It is due to this that it is planned to implement a social program (https://korrespondent.net/world/4152313-pobeda-protestov-prezydent-chyly-obiavyl-o-sotsyalnykh-reformakh).

Pinhera asked the Chileans to "apologize" for not understanding the severity of social problems. Within the framework of the proposed measures: 20% increase in the "basic joint pension" for 590 thousand pensioners; 20% increase in special pension supplements for 945 thousand low-income pensioners; a gradual increase in pension payments and supplements for pensioners over 75 years of age in 2021-2022; improving pension opportunities for the middle class, working women and disabled people; the introduction of catastrophic disease insurance; the creation of an insurance system for the purchase of medicines by families (partial payment); lower drug prices; minimum guaranteed income for 12 million Chileans aged 15-65 years in the amount of 350 thousand pesos for all employees; cancellation of increase in electricity charges in the amount of 9.2%; introduction of an additional tax of 40% on incomes exceeding 8 million pesos per month; greater equality of opportunity between municipalities; reduction of salaries to parliamentarians, etc. (https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile/2019/10/22/pinera-pide-perdon-y-anuncia-agenda-social-alza-de-pensiones-seguros-de-salud-e-impuesto-a-ricos.shtml)


Chilean military and police repression figures vary. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said on October 22 that, in reality, 42 people had already died in the country, 12 women had been raped, 121 people had gone completely naked and thousands of detainees were tortured. Against this background, the president publicly thanked the armed forces for participating in the suppression of protests (https://www.lavozdemisiones.com/2019/10/23/chile-42-muertos-12-mujeres-violadas-y-121-desaparecidos-tras-la-represion-de-pinera/)

Authorities recognize the deaths of 17 people. A car rammed a convoy of demonstrators in the city of San Pedro de la Paz in southern Chile, 2 people were killed and at least eight were injured. This was stated by the representative of the authorities of the Bio-bio region. According to a representative of local authorities, law enforcement officers detained the driver of the car. In total, the number of people killed during the protests in Chile reached 17 people, including five who died from the actions of the armed forces (https://www.mk.ru/incident/2019/10/23/chelovek-pogib-pri-naezde-avtomobilya-na-tolpu-protestuyushhikh-v-chili.html; https://news.ru/world/dva-cheloveka-pogibli-vo-vremya-naezda-mashiny-na-demonstrantov-v-chili/)

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