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News > Chile

Police Brutality Marks Workers' Day in Chile

  • Military police detain Juan Jordan as he shows his journalist credential, Valparaiso, Chile, May 1, 2020.

    Military police detain Juan Jordan as he shows his journalist credential, Valparaiso, Chile, May 1, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @mercuriovalpo

Published 1 May 2020

Chileans do not give up and take Dignity Square to protest against President Sebastian Piñera.

On the morning of the International Workers' Day, Chileans attempted to carry out peaceful protests in various public places in their country's main cities.


Chilean Police Violently Repress Protesters in Santiago

Although they initially followed COVID-19 physical distancing prevention measures, the military police violently lashed out at citizens in unsuccessful attempts to dissuade them from protesting against President Sebastian Piñera. The pretext for the police attack was that the rallies had more than 50 people.

"The arrests happened because protesters allegedly exceeded the '50-people limit' allowed for gatherings," local media Meganoticias reported immediately.

In Santiago, arrests became massive near Dignity Square and the Piñera's headquarters. In Valparaiso, where the Congress is located, most incidents occurred around ​​Pinto Square.

By noon Friday, social media had reported dozens of arrests of citizens and journalists, some of whom were reporting for mainstream TV channels.

There are no official data yet on the number of people detained, but Movilh Chile reported that the journalists were taken to the 19th Police Station.

This is how the Workers' Unitary Central (CUT) counselor and health officer Karen Palma was arrested a few minutes ago. She was trying to unfold an International Workers Day commemoration banner outside the CUT headquarters.

On Friday, the Workers' Unitary Central (CUT) president Barbara Figueroa denounced that the far-right Piñera administration continues to favor large employers.

"The feeling is one of deep uncertainty... When protection is most needed, the government imposes a law that shifts the full cost of the crisis to workers," she said.

"The Executive branch's main policy proposals have been aimed at perpetuating social inequalities and abuse," the CUT president stressed.

Meanwhile, Piñera preferred to praise employers for their attitude in "the protection of jobs", which surprised citizens of a country where unemployment has soared in recent weeks.

"I want to give a word of appreciation to employers for a genuine effort to protect jobs, but I also want to ask them to redouble that effort," the right-wing politician said.

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