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  • Demonstrators run amid tear gas during an anti-government protests in Santiago, Chile October 29, 2019.

    Demonstrators run amid tear gas during an anti-government protests in Santiago, Chile October 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 October 2019

President Piñera changed eight ministers to halt social unrest. His move, however, is not working as the repression intensifies.

Chileans took to the streets massively again on Tuesday, pouring by the thousands into plazas and shutting down main boulevards in a sign that government promises of reform continued to fall short.

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The demand that the entire government resign and the convocation of a National Assembly in order to change the Constitution of the country.

Anti-riot police in armored trucks clashed again with the gathering masses as they were marching towards the Presidential Palace, throwing paper planes as a symbolic gesture to reject the neoliberal reforms. 

A member of the National Institute of Human Rights of Chile was reported injured, after receiving six bullets by the anti-riot police officers, and was transferred to a health center.

Although President Sebastian Piñera on Monday changed 8 members of his cabinet to lessen social discontent, the Chileans took to the streets of downtown Santiago on Tuesday to reaffirm the goal which has united them over the last 11 days: the President's inmediate resignation.

The popular rejection of the Chilean political elite continues to expand as over 2,500 workers from the mining company Escondida, the world's largest copper deposit, begin a 24-hour strike today.

Besides supporting those in Santiago protesting against "economic and social policies that affect the vast majority of the Chilean society," mine-workers called for political parties to reach a deal to "achieve a fair social pact, through a constituent process, as the only way to overcome the crisis."

In the last 24 hours, in turn, looting of shopping centers and fires in government offices have been reported in several Chilean cities.

The situation is critical. According to the National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI), 3,535 detainees, 1,132 injured, 43 abused children and 19 sexual violence complaints were reported until Monday night.​​​​​​

"In Chile protests have been revived. Changes announced by President Piñera did not work." The meme reads, "In Chile, the great march of October 25 summoned 1.5 million Chileans to the streets; this is just beginning and it is adding up to eleven days of protests."

These instances of state terrorism, however, would not seem enough to the Latin American far-right, which looks with concern at the growing popular mobilization.

“Today Piñera is a coward. He pulled out the troops but with restraints. He should have allowed the Constitution-based repression against subversion and chaos to be executed in depth so as to pacify the country, instead of humiliating his Cabinet and offering social reforms,“ Hugo Guerra wrote at the Peruvian outlet Expreso.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, 15 British lawmakers introduced a motion to the House of Commons to condemn human rights violations in Chile.

The motion ask the House to recognize that the “national uprising has its roots in three decades of increasing economic inequality in Chile” and to “condemn President Piñera's declaration that the Chilean government is at war with the protesters.”

The British parliamentarians also call on the U.K. Government "to use all diplomatic and international means at its disposal to assist in a peaceful resolution to the ongoing protests."

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