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Thousands of Chilean youths demonstrate in Santiago

by Ace Damon
Thousands of Chilean youths demonstrate in Santiago

Thousands of young Chileans rallied in Santiago on Thursday demanding better social services, while the government and opposition leaders debate the response to nearly two weeks of protests.

The protests, which paralyzed much of that South American country, forced the cancellation of two major international summits planned for Chile.

According to the Associated Press (AP) news agency, despite some acts of vandalism and clashes with the police, the march toward the presidential palace was mostly a peaceful parade, held on Thursday night, the first of four. days of a long weekend.

According to AP, despite the presence of several thousand people at the demonstration, several sources indicated that the huge waves of protests over the past two weeks seem to be, at least temporarily, falling in intensity.

"I think there is a factor of some fatigue here. People have been protesting every day for over ten days, most of the outskirts of Santiago," said Jose Solis, a student of psychology.

At a meeting on Thursday, Chilean finance and interior ministers proposed changes to special corporate tax incentives, but opposition leaders to President Sebastian Pinera considered the measures insufficient, echoing the demands of protesters who want a new constitution in the country. to replace the 1980 Charter, written under the then-existing military dictatorship that allows many social services and natural resources to be partially or fully privatized.

A proposed increase in subway tariffs, meanwhile repealed, triggered 14 days of protests in Chile that turned into calls for deep changes in the country.

Clashes between protesters and police and armed forces have already killed 20 people and injured hundreds.

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