Super Monday of protests in Chile ends in repression

Super Monday of protests in Chile ends in repression
Fecha de publicación: 
5 November 2019
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Serious incidents occurred during the so-called Super Monday of protests in Chile yesterday, in which once again hundreds of people peacefully took to the streets and were violently repressed by police forces.

Among the most serious events in this capital, as reported on social networks, were the brutal running over of two people, one on Bilbao Avenue and one on the Alameda, by police cars, which did not stop to help them. Both were transferred in a serious condition to hospital.

Television media also reported that several health centers were overwhelmed by the arrival of people injured in the disturbances, including many with pellet wounds in their faces, having been shot at by security forces, incidents that have become repetitive in the demonstrations and been denounced by human rights organizations.

Once report highlighted that a street vendor who was in the Bustamente Park, near Plaza Italia, at the time and was not participating in the demonstrations, was wounded in the head with a projectile launched by police and is in an induced coma. The family has not ruled out filing a lawsuit against the police.

Numerous organizations have indicated that the number of injured is practically indefinable, since many prefer not to go to health centers for attention, for fear of being arrested by the authorities. As has also repeatedly happened, groups of hooded people, acting separately from the peaceful demonstrations, have undertaken violent acts, as a result of which two policewomen suffered burns after a Molotov cocktail was launched at them in the vicinity of Baquedano Square.

Without any reference to the violence committed by security forces against the population that peacefully demonstrates, Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel was quick to condemn the attack on the police officers and stated, 'We are going to do everything possible so that those responsible are sanctioned and the crime does not go unpunished. These are unacceptable acts of violence.'

According to Blumel, since the social unrest broke out in the country, over 9,000 people have neem detained, and 500 people are currently in pretrial detention.

Likewise, hooded individuals attacked a hotel near Plaza Baquedano and the headquarters of the Catholic University, in Alameda, incidents to which police forces only responded later on.

Meanwhile, police vehicles launched strong jets of water and a large amount of tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters gathered around Baquedano Square.

Super Monday in this capital saw numerous demonstrations from the early hours to demand a Constituent Assembly and measures that put a brake on the deep and increasing inequality in Chile.

During the day, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú delivered a letter to La Moneda Palace addressed to President Sebastián Piñera, in which she denounced the systematic and flagrant violations of human rights in Chile.

The letter warns these violations have not occurred only in recent weeks, but also much earlier, especially against students, trade unionists and indigenous communities.

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