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  • Demonstrators react around a bonfire as they ring in the new year at Plaza Italia during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile January 1, 2020.

    Demonstrators react around a bonfire as they ring in the new year at Plaza Italia during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile January 1, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 January 2020
Opinion

On New Years Eve, protesters made an altar to honor Mauricio Fredes, who died Friday after falling into a water pit when he escaped the police repression.

Thousands of Chileans filled the area around Plaza Dignidad in Santiago, Chile, to ring in the New Year with a massive demonstration against police repression.

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According to reports, the protesters began 2020 with a massive dinner at Plaza Italia, renamed 'Dignity', under the slogan "New Year With Dignity." The day of celebrations and peaceful demonstration featured live music by various artists.

However, in the middle of the large security operation that was ordered by right-wing President Sebastián Piñera, the police forces, also known as 'Carabineros', began to repress the protesters with tear gas and water cannons.

During the day, the Chilean protesters made an altar to honor Mauricio Fredes, who died last Friday one block from Plaza Dignidad after falling into a water pit when he escaped the repression unleashed by the special forces of the Carabineros.

With candles and messages, dozens of people approached the altar to pay tribute to their fallen comrade. According to the autopsy performed by the Legal Medical Service, Fredes, 33, died of suffocation as a result of his fall.

Chile has experienced wide-spread demonstrations for over two-months now, with many protesters demanding constitutional reform and the end of the regime's oppression.

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