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  • Videos of the journalist’s arrest were released on social networks showing how he was forcibly driven into the police van.

    Videos of the journalist’s arrest were released on social networks showing how he was forcibly driven into the police van. | Photo: Twitter @PaoladrateleSUR

Published 26 April 2020
Opinion

Damian Trujillo was arrested while covering an anti-government protest in the Chilean capital, Santiago de Chile.

Cuban news agency Prensa Latina’s reporter Damian Trujillo was detained Sunday in Chile’s Santiago, during a protest marking the day on which the country’s constitutional referendum would have taken place, had it not been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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A group of Carabineros, the Chilean police, arrested the journalist and placed him in their van while his colleagues protested and asked for his release, teleSUR’s Paola Dragnic reported from Santiago.

Trujillo told Prensa Latina by phone that he had been detained without any justification, as he was in possession of his safe-conduct, the official document allowing him to be present at the place of the demonstration.

Videos of the journalist’s arrest were released on social networks showing how he was forcibly driven into the police van before being transferred to the police station. Other people taking part in the protest were also detained by the Carabineros.

Wearing face masks, white overalls, and keeping two meters of distance between them, dozens of people were demonstrating against right-wing President Sebastian Piñera’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, according to local media.

They shouted slogans against the head of state; the resignation of whom they demanded once again.

The protesters were supported by the residents in the neighborhood where the demonstration took place. The latter placed speakers on their windows broadcasting some of the songs that became popular as the symbols of the massive anti-government protests that broke out in October 2019.

For months, the South American nation has been gripped by protests against high living costs and extreme inequalities in a country where the richest have an income nearly 14 times greater than the poorest. 

Passers-by also brought their support to the demonstrators by chanting slogans in favor of the rewriting of the country’s Pinochet-era constitution, for which a much-anticipated referendum will be held on Oct. 27.

As of Sunday, the South-American country has reported 13,331 confirmed coronavirus cases and 189 deaths.

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