Protesters commemorate Sunday in the Chilean capital the vast protest movement triggered by the rise in the price of metro tickets a year ago.
Protesters began to gather Sunday morning in downtown Santiago, Chile, to commemorate the anniversary of the uprising that has rocked the country for a year, calling for more social justice.
South Plaza Italia
One week before a historic referendum, where the Chileans are called upon to vote on a change of the Constitution – a strong demand from the demonstrators – some had arrived early in the morning on Plaza Italia, an emblematic meeting point of the protest.
Some waved flags, jumped or shouted slogans calling for deep social reforms. Carabinieri (police officers responsible for maintaining order) and armored cars provided security.
Calls to demonstrate peacefully had been launched, in particular by the professional organization of teachers, while a large majority of the population aspires to a peaceful commemoration without excess, according to several polls.
A year ago, a protest against an increase in the price of metro tickets led to an outbreak of violence. This day was the starting point for massive demonstrations and clashes with the police, which left thousands injured and around thirty dead.
Change the constitution
Almost a month later, the government coalition and the main opposition parties had reached a historic agreement on the organization of a referendum to change the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
Postponed to April because of the pandemic, it will finally be held on October 25.
The government of President Sebastian Piñera, strongly contested since the start of the crisis, has also called for the holding of a peaceful demonstration that respects the health measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
States of emergency
The police for their part announced the deployment of some 40,000 officials to ensure security. While the state of emergency is still in force, soldiers could also be deployed in the streets.
In this country which has recorded some 490,000 cases of contamination and 13,588 deaths since the start of the epidemic, a curfew is also in effect from 11 p.m.
The Communist Party also called for a tribute on Sunday to the victims of police violence, on a bridge spanning the Mapocho where, two weeks earlier, a 16-year-old teenager fell after being pushed by a police officer, inflicting serious injuries on him. injuries.