With looting, riots and fires, the march for the anniversary of the protests in Chile culminated

Protesters confront the police today in the center of Santiago (Chile). With a massive demonstration in Santiago that brought together thousands of people, Chile celebrated this Monday the second anniversary of the historic social crisis of 2019, a commemoration that, symbolically, coincided with the beginning of the drafting of the new Constitution.

Looting, riots and fires of public and private property furniture dotted a mostly peaceful day this Monday and festive in which tens of thousands of Chileans throughout the country celebrated the second anniversary of the historic protests that began on October 18, 2019.

The most massive concentration took place in the central Plaza Italia in Santiago de Chile, with about 10,000 people, according to the first figures offered by the police authorities, most of whom demonstrated peacefully, with songs and music, and that it lasted from early afternoon until late at night.

A couple kisses while burning objects during protests in Chile
A couple kisses while burning objects during protests in Chile

In the vicinity of this place, the police force of Carabineros de Chile reported the burning of several urban bus stops, the fire at the entrance of a nearby park after which a Molotov cocktail was thrown and several clashes with some groups of people.

A protester disguised as the Joker during protests in Chile
A protester disguised as the Joker during protests in Chile

There was also structural fire in a commercial premises, which the fire department managed to put down, and towards the periphery of the capital some looting was reported, one of which left a balance of 12 people arrested, as well as the looting and destruction of a Civil Registry office.

Local media reported the burning of a civilian vehicle in the northern city of La Serena and several riots and looting of commercial premises in Valparaíso, on the central coast.

Carabineros also reported the burning of an abandoned house, declared a historical heritage, in the northern city of Antofagasta.

Protesters burn objects during the march in Chile
Protesters burn objects during the march in Chile

In total, in the early hours of the night, the number of detainees nationwide exceeded thirty, according to the Carabineros, who deployed a special operation with almost 20,000 agents throughout the country to control the protests on this day.

GOVERNMENT: OFFENDERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE DATES

“We are in the presence of some criminals who use these dates to commit crimes, to loot, to burn, to steal to attack Carabineros, civilians and public and private property”said Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado at a press conference at the government headquarters, the La Moneda Palace.

A group of protesters who participated in the protests has managed to break into the former headquarters of the country’s National Congress, where the session of the Constituent Convention is being held. which was precisely the result of the social protests that broke out in 2019.

Protesters throw stones at police cars
Protesters throw stones at police cars

Those who have managed to access the surroundings are members of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), an entry that has provoked the response of the Carabineros agents deployed throughout all the points of Santiago where protests are taking place.

In this context, Tear gas has been used to try to disperse the protesters who were in front of the building that housed the Chilean Lower House, informs the station Radio Bío Bío.

The incidents have occurred coinciding with the beginning of the discussion of the norms that will make up the next Magna Carta of the country, once the approval of the internal regulations that will govern the body has concluded. The new Constitution will replace the one in force since 1980, approved by the Augusto Pinochet regime.

Protesters vandalized the streets of Valparaíso
Protesters vandalized the streets of Valparaíso

In addition, the protests for the anniversary of the social outbreak have taken place in more than 50 parts of the country, one of them in Plaza Italia – or Plaza Baquedano – in Santiago de Chile, the main meeting point for the 2019 protests. where between 8,000 and 10,000 people have gathered, according to the Carabineros.

In the different concentrations, riots and acts of vandalism have been carried out, as well as clashes between protesters and the Police.

The minister condemned the violent events and called for a rethink of the pardon law that is being debated in Congress for those detained during the 2019 protests, whom some political and social sectors refer to as “political prisoners”.

Carabineros de Chile had to face vandalism
Carabineros de Chile had to face vandalism

“There are no political prisoners here. The 30 people who have been arrested today and those who are deprived of their liberty, if we have sufficient evidence for that, they will be deprived of liberty for the crimes they have committed in the framework of a demonstration, not for thinking differently “Delgado said.

At the end of 2019, Chile experienced the most serious social crisis since the end of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), which began as a protest against the rise in the price of the subway ticket and turned into a revolt for a model fairer economic and social rights, which resulted in thirty deaths and thousands of wounded.

The riots left episodes of extreme violence with fires, looting and destruction of public furniture, in addition to accusations by different organizations such as the UN and Amnesty International (AI) against the security forces for human rights violations.

Protesters again vandalized public works
Protesters again vandalized public works

The constituent process to draft a new Magna Carta in which Chile is immersed, and that this day experienced an important milestone with the beginning of the substantive debate on the content of the Fundamental Text, was the institutional and political solution that the country found to calm the streets in 2019.

The Constituent Convention that works on the new Magna Carta was established in July of this year and its objective is to draft before May 2022 the new Constitution that will replace the current one, in force since the military dictatorship and conceived as the origin of serious inequalities. for which the protests took place.

MORE THAN 30 DETAINED

These and other similar events throughout the country have led to the arrest of at least 30 people this Monday – mainly due to destruction, theft or disorder– As reported by the Minister of the Interior, Rodrigo Delgado, while the Carabineros has estimated the number of injured officers at 15.

Police disperse protesters with water
Police disperse protesters with water

“Unfortunately once again we see the face of the violence that some criminals want to carry out, because I see that many times they are classified as protesters. We are not in the presence of protesters, we are in the presence of some criminals, and I mean those who go and use these dates to commit crimes, to loot, to burn, to steal, to attack police and civilians, to attack public and private property “Delgado lamented about the events of the day.

Likewise, it has emphasized that these “criminals,” do not represent the vast majority who are seeking the institutional path that is underway “, in reference to the constituent process.

In this sense, he has called on the presidential candidates and the political parties, has condemned the violence and “discuss the Pardon Law”, which, in his opinion, “can pardon those who today could be among the detainees.”

Protesters burn objects during protest in Chile
Protesters burn objects during the protest in Chile

“Someone later will say that we are in the presence of a political prisoner. Take a good look at the images (of the riots). There are no political prisoners here “, has defended.

During the protests that took place in 2019 in the Latin American country “Human Rights were violated”, the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) denounced this Monday. The Chilean Justice has received 3,072 complaints for the social outbreak, which have resulted in the opening of cases against 136 people.

(With information from EFE)

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