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26 Nov 2019 | 02:26 AM UTC

Chile: Trade union calls for a nationwide general strike and protests November 26 /update 35

Trade union announces nationwide general strike and protests on November 26; heightened security presence and associated disruptions expected

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Event

The National Association of Fiscal Employees (ANEF) has called for a nationwide general strike and protests on Tuesday, November 26. ANEF has said that the work stoppage will begin at 00:01 (local time). The union has also called for nationwide protests at 11:00. In Santiago, participants plan to gather at Plaza de la dignidad, while local ANEF councils are organizing other protests around the country. ANEF has also called for caceroleo protests at 21:00 on Tuesday.

A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are expected at all demonstrations. Clashes between demonstrators and police officers cannot be ruled out. 

Context

President Sebastián Piñera announced on November 17 that the government will allow citizens to vote on a new constitution and that it is willing to consider raising pensions by more than 20 percent. An agreement reached by politicians on November 15 will organize a referendum in April 2020, where Chileans will vote whether to replace the current charter of rights (magna carta) from Pinochet's dictatorship and a new legislative assembly.

At least 24 people have reportedly been killed and another 2000 wounded since the start of the protests on October 6. Demonstrations broke out after the Chilean government announced an increase in metro and bus fares. The mass protests escalated in Santiago and other cities over the following days to denounce high costs of living, rising electricity prices, the privatization of water, and other social issues. Security forces have been accused of using excessive force and other human rights violations while dealing with the unrest. Health sector employees protested on November 21, to call attention to the use of violence among police officers. They marched to Palacio de Tribunales to file an appeal that requires police to adhere to certain protocols and refrain from assaulting health employees and volunteers during protests.

Advice

Individuals in Chile, particularly in Santiago, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.