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  • Women take part in a rally to mark International Women's Day in Santiago, Chile March 8, 2019

    Women take part in a rally to mark International Women's Day in Santiago, Chile March 8, 2019 | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 March 2019

More than 70 statues from different parts of Santiago dawned with green handkerchiefs, symbol of those who advocate the decriminalization of abortion.

Several peaceful marches were held this Friday on the occasion of International Women''s Day in Chilean cities, in demand for equal pay and work and against gender violence among others.

However, at midday a march began in the city of Valparaiso, with the attendance of thousands of people also peacefully, although almost at the end of the walk there were serious clashes with the police Carabineros, who repressed the participants with jets of water and tear gas.

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TV stations reported from that city the detention of at least 10 people, and versions indicate that the incidents began when a few hundred demonstrators tried to remove the fences that prevented their passage to the seat of Congress.

In this capital, where the march is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. local time, some barricades were installed very early in order to interrupt traffic in different parts of the city, but other activities have taken place without big inconveniences.

In addition, more than 70 statues from different parts of Santiago dawned with green handkerchiefs, symbol of those who advocate the decriminalization of abortion, while the mobilizations have also played a leading role in higher education institutions.

Thus, at the University of Chile, dozens of students from the Faculty of Law occupied that seat, as did students from the University of Santiago.

In the south of the country, in the city of Valdivia, demonstrations were held at the Austral University with the participation of students, teachers and officials.

However, most of the marches and demonstrations, initially planned in 40 cities, but to which others have been added until reaching 71, are scheduled for the afternoon and evening of this Friday.

Meanwhile, President Sebastián Piñera headed an official act with some 300 guests at the Palacio de la Moneda, in which the president in a speech referred to the progress of the so-called Women's Agenda, advanced by the Ministry of Women and Social Equity.

Around this act it had been reported that the president would make 'important announcements' about the implementation of measures to benefit Chilean women, however, only referred to the upcoming presentation of a bill against cyber-bullying of which women are victims.

The rest was an exposition of other bills that have not just advanced in Congress.

Piñera also condemned the feminicides and, together with those attending the ceremony, gave a minute of silence in honor of the 10 women who so far this year have been murdered in Chile by their partners or other people close to them.

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