The billionaire president has pushed reforms that lower taxes on the wealthiest in an effort to attract investment and boost growth. Pedro Ugarte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. One is the most proximate cause, which is the increase in the subway fares, but that really doesn’t explain the underlying tensions. Chile Protests Explained: A Protester’s POV By Najla Albeayeyz , in Uncategorized , at August 22, 2020 Chile’s Congress has agreed to postpone the constitutional referendum to October 25 to give the country time to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Students protested by collectively not paying the fare. Chile protests: Anti-government activists rally around student blinded by rubber bullets. The protests peaked on May 30, 2006, when 790,000 students adhered to strikes and marches throughout the country, becoming Chile's largest student demonstration of the past three decades. “Many people in these countries have seen a whiff of what it’s like to have a better life,” she said. Chile protests: state of emergency declared in Santiago as violence escalates This article is more than 1 year old. Over the weekend, a wave of protests in Chile set off by an increase in subway fares deteriorated into widespread looting, vandalism and arson. That's a huge accomplishment, but inequality in Chile is staggering. Among other world leaders, Donald Trump was planning to attend and sign the first step of a trade agreement with Chinese president Xi Jinping, but that looks unlikely now. The protests began in Chile's capital, Santiago, as a coordinated fare evasion campaign by secondary school students which led to spontaneous takeovers of the city's main train stations and open confrontations with the Carabineros de Chile (the national police force). The protests in Chile have mostly come as a surprise, which should caution against simple explanations for them. People protesting in Santiago, October 30, 2019. Since Chile does not produce its own oil and imports … Clashes between demonstrators and police left at least 11 people dead and continued into a fourth day Monday. … Chile: Why are students protesting? The 2006–2007 Chilean corruption scandals were a series of events in which the Chilean governing Concertación was under investigations of corruption. Last Friday, more than a million people marched through the city's streets. Chile’s leaders need to answer questions as to why they have not managed to diversify their economy away from a reliance on metals. One woman told The Guardian, "When the students come in all at once, they're protesting in a way that many of us who work can't." That was the catalyst for large street protests that soon became about much more than the cost of riding the subway. Since the end of the dictatorship, Chile has officially been a democracy, but the constitution that was ratified under dictator Augusto Pinochet—who was responsible for the extra-legal execution of 3,100 people and the torture of another 29,000—makes any meaningful reform practically impossible. Mr. Polga-Hecimovich said the unrest in Chile and similar crises that have rattled the region in recent months should put political elites on notice. Chile’s economy has been rattled this year by global trade tensions, a fall in the price of copper (its main export), and rising oil prices. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/21/world/americas/why-chile-protests.html Another said, "Rather than raising salaries, they're raising fares.". Here's how one of the wealthiest countries in South America destabilized to the point of cancelling a major global conference. Chile’s streets are on fire with protests. The government has imposed a national curfew for the first time since the country was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship, and police have been liberal with tear gas, batons, and metal pellet-loaded guns. But it has grown at a reasonably healthy rate and is in far better shape than the economies of some of its neighbors. “I am a happy man,” he said. The following Tuesday, Piñera fired his whole cabinet to try to appease protesters, but that same day, thousands of people swarmed the central plaza of the capital, Santiago, home to nearly a third of the country's population. After more than a week of protests in Chile, President Sebastián Piñera made a televised apology Tuesday night, saying his government and several preceding administrations had … Over the weekend, peaceful protests sprung up throughout the length of Chile while violence and the bandits taking advantage of the situation caused … When I saw so many people get injured by the police, I turned off the television. Monica de Bolle, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said several countries in Latin America failed to take advantage of the commodities boom that lifted millions out of poverty in Latin America at the turn of the century. Its free-market model has driven down poverty from 31 percent in 2000 to 6.4 percent in 2017, according to the World Bank, and made the copper-rich Andean nation the highest-ranked countryin Latin America on the United Nations Human Development Index. Ad Choices. And the following Tuesday, thousands of people swarmed the central plaza of the capital, Santiago, home to nearly a third of the country's population. The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP25, was supposed to take place in Chile in December, with thousands of world leaders and government officials attending. Chile: Protesters burn university, loot church. Mr. Piñera declared Sunday night, “We are at war against a powerful enemy who is willing to use violence without any limits.”. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in Santiago in a fresh day of anti-government protests. As the country is rocked by weeks of anti-government protests, thousands have taken to the streets to call out violence against women. According to the World Bank, the country has managed to reduce the population living in poverty (measured as living on less than $5.50 per day) down from 30 percent in 2000 to 17 percent in 2017. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-ready videos to electric live events, GQ meets millions of modern men where they live, creating the moments that create conversations. Recent corruption cases involving powerful businessmen and Chile’s federal police force have been a major source of outrage. In response, Piñera announced that Chile is "at war," essentially against its own citizens. On October 19, The Santiago Times reported that of the increase in transport fares, the increase in metro fares that are considered to be the most expensive in the region, especially by students who have spearheaded the protests. Chile Protests Resume As Government Calls For Unity Demonstrations against wealth inequality have persisted, despite the fact that President Sebastián Piñera suspended transit fare … As fare dodging became rampant, some metro stations closed and police cracked down violently on passengers who had jumped over turnstiles. The economic discontent has been rising for a while now. Santiago (AFP) Nothing will restore their sight, but a year after the start of Chile's tumultuous social protests and as the country prepares for … In Chile, protesters are demanding social reforms and a change to the constitution. A violent flashback Since the return of democracy in the early 1990s, Chile has been a country that has been rebuilt at a dizzying speed, but in exchange for a deep social disparity. Young Chileans started protesting en masse on October 18 when ticket prices went up 30 pesos, or about $0.04. Chile has — at least from afar — been heralded as a regional success story for its solid governance and investor-friendly environment. Here is what you need to know to understand what led to this crisis. T he spark that lit the flame was a 3% hike in subway fares, but after 12 days of mass protests and street violence, Chile’s worst unrest in decades has … Yes. And many Chileans reacted with indignation when Mr. Piñera was issued a fine in August for dodging property taxes on an estate he has owned for years. Demonstrations that started over a hike in metro fares quickly became expressions of frustration with Chile’s inequality. Chileans who have faced off with police, and those who have beat pots and pans at home and on the streets in a show of solidarity, complain about low wages, paltry pensions and ever more expensive transportation and utility costs. The truth is, Chile is unequal, even though it actually reduced poverty from 1989, the time of the democratic transition, until today, from 40% to 16%. The ticket prices were increased due to an increase in the costs of maintenance. As looting and vandalism spread briskly on Friday, a startled Mr. Piñera declared a state of emergency at midnight and put the military in charge of reimposing order. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and the Questioning of an American Jew’s Patriotism. The demonstrations are much bigger than just student-led metro swarming now. Ironically, the focus of this particular climate change conference was economic and social inequality. Since 1957, GQ has inspired men to look sharper and live smarter with its unparalleled coverage of style, culture, and beyond. Five people died after looters torched a garment factory near Chile's capital Santiago, bringing the death toll in violent protests to at least eight. Inside the women-led protest against sexual assault in Chile. That's too much. Protests began after the Chilean government on Oct. 6 announced a subway fare hike of 4%. Despite a significant chunk of the population no longer living in the direst poverty, most of Chile's major financial gains have gone to the richest people in the country. They promoted it as an act of civil disobedience using the hashtag #EvasionMasiva, or “Mass Evasion,” on social media. “This might just be the wake-up call some of these governments and political parties need to improve their representation and governance,” he said. Protesters clashing with the police in Chile on Monday. On Friday, an estimated 1 … A $0.04 increase sounds tiny, but a huge chunk of Chile's population travels on public transit multiple times a day, and half of Chilean works earn less than $550 per month. Over the weekend, a wave of protests in Chile set off by an increase in subway fares deteriorated into widespread looting, vandalism and arson. What began as an act of civil disobedience led by students has turned into a broad reckoning about inequality, Chile’s economic policies under its center-right government and the aspirations of Chileans. With the fare hike, a … To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Several people explained to the Deutsche Welle the demonstrations were a symbol of the tiredness of citizenship in the face of "the famine and inequality of the country." The president has imposed a curfew in the capital and in several other cities. Julia Ioffe on the making of a decorated U.S. military officer, and the immigrant experience of Soviet Jews. A modest subway fare increase that started on Oct. 6 led high school students to jump turnstiles at metro stations in Santiago, the capital, earlier this month. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. All rights reserved. The protests that began in Chile last month over an increase in subway fares and evolved into massive displays of social discontent show few signs of letting up. Hundreds of thousands of people have paralyzed the country, demanding an end to economic inequality. © 2020 Condé Nast. A person is injured during the protest on October 20, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. The average monthly salary in Chile is $807. It's a sign that Piñera doesn't expect the protests sweeping the country to subside any time soon. Santiago – Chile has been gripped by protests against high living costs and inequality for nearly two weeks. There are a number of reasons for the protests. On Oct. 6, Chile’s government hiked subway fares — and citizens launched massive street protests that show no sign of waning. The scenes of mob violence were striking in a country that has long been regarded as an exemplar of economic and political stability in a turbulent region. No more. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and y… More than 241 Chileans have suffered eye injuries as demonstrations wear on Protests in Chile that began earlier this month over a subway fare hike have escalated into demonstrations against vast economic inequality in the country. Here seven protesters explain what they’re fighting for There's been some property destruction as some protesters set fire to buses, metro stations, and even banks. That was an extraordinary step in a country where the military had killed and tortured thousands of people just decades ago in the name of restoring order. But he seemed to have difficulty coming to grips with the real source of the population’s frustrations. media caption Chile's 'historic' protest march from above. At least 11 people have died in Chile, according to the mayor of capital city Santiago, as protests and violence in the country continued. Yet, inequality remains deeply entrenched in Chile. A clothing company was burned during the mass protest. The protests have been described as the most tumultuous of the last 30 years, since the country returned to democracy at the end of General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Patricio Navia, a Chilean political scientist who teaches at New York University, said many middle class Chileans feel “abandoned” by Mr. Piñera’s government. By John Bartlett | November 15, 2019, 3:39 PM. But the president has yet to outline a comprehensive set of policies. The government scrapped the subway fare increase, and Mr. Piñera said that he is mindful of the broader grievances that fueled the unrest. One of Latin America’s most prosperous and politically stable countries is being rocked by protests and looting amid a reckoning over inequality. Chile’s worst unrest in decades has transformed into a nationwide uprising for change. Published on Oct 25, 2019 Protests in Chile that began earlier this month over a subway fare hike have escalated into demonstrations against vast economic inequality in the … What You Need to Know About the Unrest in Chile. One of the rallying cries has been, "It's not $30, it's 30 years," a reference to Chile's rough economic policies in the three decades since the end of its military dictatorship. The inciting incident, like many mass protests, was a seemingly minor event: a meager fare hike for public transit. “That has created the impression that this government is far more concerned about the rich than people of lower income,” Mr. Navia said. The protests moved from the subway to the streets and turned into a revolt against social inequality as well as the … Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick has called the situation “more violent and barbaric than anything in (his) memory”. While Chile has done more than others in the region to plan for leaner times, Ms. de Bolle added, “It’s not enough for what people aspire to.”. Leaders, she said, could have spent more to expand access to education, improve infrastructure and boost social services — measures that would have left countries better prepared for an economic downturn. President Sebastián Piñera declared a state of emergency, imposed curfews and ordered the armed forces to restore order — measures that were jarring for Chileans who lived through a repressive period of military rule in the 1970s and 1980s. Students called for massive fare evasions with the hashtag #EvasionMasiva, thousands swarmed metro stations across the country, jumping over and slinking through turnstiles. Students in Chile have been filmed breaking out of their school gates to join protests that have rocked the south American country for three weeks. Young Chileans started protesting en masse on October 18 when ticket prices went up 30 pesos, or about $0.04. And any changes to the constitution to make it more representative of the actual population would require a massive supermajority. How did a 4 percent fare hike set off such rage? Last Friday, more than a million people marched through the city's streets. Even after President Sebastián Piñera reshuffled his Cabinet on Oct. 29, demonstrators remained on the streets, demanding wider changes to what they see as an unfair economy and antiquated political system. But the country is far from alone. After weeks of Latin American protests, expect to see more women elected to office. From there, the protests quickly escalated. He blamed organized criminal groups for the violence. GQ may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Chile protests image caption Marusella Mallea's brother was found dead in a police cell In Marusella Mallea's living room there's a side table with a picture of her brother César on it. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. Many poor and middle class Chileans said they were fed up with the rising cost of utilities, stagnant wages and paltry pensions in a nation that has long heralded itself as well-run and prosperous. Meanwhile college tuition costs there are among the highest in the world and as much as 75 percent of the average Chilean's income goes to debt. ‘The rapist is you’: Inside the women-led protest against sexual assault in Chile. But the general charged with restoring order, Javier Iturriaga, struck a very different tone. After more than a week of protests in Chile, President Sebastián Piñera made a televised apology Tuesday night, saying his government and several preceding administrations had … A Protester’s POV Chile’s Congress has agreed to postpone the constitutional referendum to October 25 to give the country time to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. On Wednesday, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera announced he was cancelling the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month. As historian Nancy MacLean documents in her book, Democracy in Chains, right-wing scholars and economists from the U.S. helped Pinochet's regime implement economic and constitutional overhauls that created an electoral system designed to permanently overrepresent the wealthy and the far right. Explained: Why President Pinera faces impeachment for Chile’s violent protests Chile protests explained: The scale and endurance of the protests have surprised the world — Chile was long regarded as a remarkable example of prosperity and political stability in … “I am not at war with anyone.”, John Polga-Hecimovich, a Latin America expert at the United States Naval Academy, said Mr. Piñera had been “surprisingly inept at recognizing and responding to the initial protests.”. Aside from unrest over wealth inequality, there's also a mass push for a new constitution. SANTIAGO, CHILE - OCTOBER 24: Security forces intervene in protests in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 24, 2019. Mr. Piñera has expressed a willingness to meet with opposition leaders, some of whom have argued that deep structural reforms are needed. Claudio Reyes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. And many Chileans feel left behind as they take on debt to get through the month and struggle to plan for retirement. Chile’s Protesters Have Won a Path to a New Constitution Here’s why they want to replace the dictatorship-era document. In fact, caution is warranted whenever the question is how to interpret civil unrest. The government's efforts to get the protests under control haven't produced results so far. Down violently on passengers who had jumped over turnstiles thousands have taken to the constitution Inside the women-led against! 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