President Sebastian Pinera‘s newly appointed spokeswoman Karla Rubilar called on all Chileans, from soccer players to cultural icons, to reject the rioting.
Santiago scene of barricades, a fast-food restaurant and several subway stations have gone up in flames across the city. More than a week after the outbreak of mass protests against social inequality in the country, the people are making their anger known once again. “We are fed up with the abuse of power by the government.
Chile protests continue even after President Sebastian Pinera appointed a new cabinet and announced social reforms. But he won’t budge on the protesters’ main demand. Pinera imposed a state of emergency and a curfew,sent about 10,000 soldiers out onto the streets in armored vehicles. No government has taken such measures since the end of the military dictatorship. Anti-austerity, inequality, and corruption protests in Chile will continue in the face of brutal repression. Even the state of emergency has now been lifted, the police are still taking violent action against the demonstrators. Twenty people have died, more than 1,000 were injured and more than 3,500 arrested since the protests started. “Pinera extinguished the fire with gasoline,” says Gianina Araya, a protester in Chile’s capital. “No one will forgive him for that.”
“Many people have already been killed and tortured,” she says, adding that it makes her angry that “the government doesn’t care.”
The National Institute for Human Rights has registered almost 100 cases of torture and sexual abuse. The case of a 23-year-old man who was arrested, stripped, beaten and sexually abused by police officers with a baton caused an outcry. More than 15 women who have been sexually abused or raped by police officers or soldiers have turned to the Association of Feminist Lawyers (ABOFEM).