World, Americas

Chile: Death toll in anti-government protests hits 23

Violent protests continue, with thousands arrested and many public properties damaged

Muhammed Emin Canik   | 01.11.2019
Chile: Death toll in anti-government protests hits 23

BUENOS AIRES

At least 23 people have been killed during protests in Chile against the government’s economic policies.

In a statement on social media Thursday, the Chilean Prosecutor’s Office said the deaths occurred between Oct. 19, when a state of emergency was declared, and Oct. 26.

The statement noted that 16 people lost their lives due to ransom and plundering, five were killed in clashes with security forces and two were killed while in custody. 

The identity of a protestor who was burnt to death has not been determined, but an investigation is underway.

The anti-government protests, which began in response to a now-suspended transport fare hike, turned violent on Oct. 19.

During the unrest, 49 subway stations were destroyed and 26 buses were set on fire. 

More than 9,200 people were arrested across the country, according to the Justice Ministry.

Demonstrators plan to stage more mass protests on the weekend to demand the resignation of President Sebastian Pinera, who replaced eight cabinet members, including his interior and finance ministers.

On Oct. 18, protesters jumped turnstiles at metro stations in Santiago without paying for tickets in protest against a 4% transport fare hike.

Pinera also announced concessions, including rolling back the fare increase, an increase in the minimum wage and putting a hike in electricity prices on hold until next year in a bid to contain the strife.

Half of Chile’s workers make $550 or less monthly, according to the country's statistics authority.

Anti-government protests continue across the country, but the participation rate is relatively lower.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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