Chile marred by anti-government protests that have left at least 13 dead
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Anti-government protests in Chile are continuing despite the security apparatus being out in force. Indeed, the government curfew in Santiago and other major cities is currently in place. Thus, President Sebastián Piñera now appears to want to reach a compromise to quell the crisis.
Piñera implied that he was willing to reach a compromise with opposition leaders. Hence, he stipulated that Chile needs a “new social agreement …[to] find better solutions to the problems afflicting Chileans.”
The number of deaths is currently 13 based on violent protestors and the police crackdown. Of course, the majority of protestors didn’t want violence to mar heartfelt discontent. However, just like many other parts of the world rocked by tensions – from Hong Kong to Spain – a minority of anti-government protestors are out of control.
The BBC reports, “A state of emergency was first implemented in Santiago on Saturday, and then extended to some other cities, allowing authorities to restrict people’s freedom of movement and their right to assembly.”
A student, representing the feelings of many people who are struggling, gave his heartfelt opinion to The Guardian. He stressed, pointedly, “I want to live peacefully. I live on my own, pay my bills. [But] If I have an accident and can’t work for a month I can’t pay for food and have to drop out of university.”
Hence, the government needs to reach out to the marginalized and listen to genuine discontent. After this, to implement economic reforms that provide hope and opportunities.
If little is done to address genuine discontent then the political system will continue to be marred and open to outbreaks of major protests.
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