TEHRAN (Iran News) – At least ten people were reportedly arrested with dozens injured as crowds hit Chile capital streets in anti-government protests on Friday.
Footages on social media show police clashing with the protesters, using water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters who responded with projectiles and Molotov cocktails, setting a water cannon vehicle on fire, with the clashes disrupting capital’s traffic.
Political and social organizations in Chile called for a new wave of protests on streets throughout March, ahead of the referendum on changing the constitution on April 26.
Furious Chileans have for weeks been protesting social and economic inequality, and against an entrenched political elite that comes from a small number of the wealthiest families in the country, among other issues.
The crisis is the worst in three decades of Chilean democracy and has led to 26 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries, according to the Organization of American States, with another 20,600 people detained, AFP reported.
As with every Friday, since protests began on October 18, thousands gathered at Plaza Italia in the center of Santiago to wave flags, sing and dance in a show of opposition President Sebastian Pinera’s conservative government.
Protesters held up a huge Chilean flag with a closed eye, a symbol of the 300 people who have suffered optical injuries during confrontations with police.
Some demonstrators armed with stones and Molotov cocktails clashed with police, who scattered them with tear gas and water cannon.
Officers erected barricades around the square later in the evening.
Chile’s unrest began with a demonstration against a price hike on metro tickets in Santiago, which spiraled into violent protests across the country.
Lawmakers in Chile’s National Congress last month agreed to hold a referendum on updating the country’s constitution, in force since 1980 and enacted by the former military junta of Augusto Pinochet.
Protesters have demanded the charter be changed to establish the state’s responsibility to provide education and healthcare.
- source : Tasnim, Irannews