Burned Bodies and Chaos on the Streets: Here's What's Happening with the Riots in Chile
🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱 A state of emergency already in place in Santiago was expanded to other cities near the capital, and the government imposed a night-time curfew to tamp down the violence
The charred remains of five people were discovered in a garment factory set fire by protesters on the outskirts of Chile’s capital Santiago Sunday, as weeks of simmering protests over inequality turned violent.
The five bodies brought the death toll from protest-related violence to at least seven, after Interior Minister Andres Chadwick revealed that two women burned to death after a store owned by Walmart was set alight in the early hours of Sunday.
Another victim, whom authorities initially said had died in hospital, suffered burns on 75 percent of her body.
The government’s response to tamp down the violence included deploying more than 10,000 troops in Santiago on Sunday, the first time the army has been on the streets since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet ended in 1990. A state of emergency already in place in Santiago since Friday was expanded to other cities to the north and south of the capital, and the government imposed a night-time curfew to keep people off the streets.
The protests were sparked by a hike in metro prices, but that’s only a symptom of a deep underlying frustration at growing inequalities and a failure to embrace economic reform.
After two weeks of increasingly fractious protests over a hike in public transport fares, Chile’s embattled President Sebastián Pinera announced Saturday night that he was reversing the decision.
But, in a late-night televised statement on Sunday, Pinera appeared to inflame the situation further, saying the country was “at war” and labeling protesters as criminals. “We are at war against a powerful enemy, who is willing to use violence without any limits,” Pinera said in the speech broadcast from the army headquarters in Santiago.
Where is the love? Where is the freedoom?? Where is the peace? 💔🖤💔🖤💔🖤💔 #renunciapiñera #libertad #chile #antofagasta #southamerica