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16 Oct 2020 | 07:32 PM UTC

Chile: Anti-government demonstrators gather in Santiago and Valparaiso October 16 /update 5

Anti-government demonstrators gather in Santiago and Valparaiso on October 16; avoid protests as a precaution



Groups of demonstrators gathered in Santiago's Plaza Baquedano on Friday, October 16, ahead of a constitutional referendum scheduled for October 25 and part of ongoing weekly protests. Reports indicate that police were patrolling the area and had erected barricades around key buildings, although no clashes were immediately reported. Advocates for the approval of the national plebiscite on a new constitution have been protesting weekly on Fridays in Santiago and are also likely to intensify protests and call for further demonstrations nationwide.

There were also reports of demonstrations near Valparaiso's Plaza Anibal Pinto, where protesters reportedly used burning objects and barricades to block traffic.

Authorities in Chile will reportedly deploy 40,000 security personnel in anticipation of protests across the country on Sunday, October 18, and in the lead up to the national plebiscite on a new constitution, scheduled for October 25. On Sunday, activists have called for protests nationwide, particularly in Santiago, to mark the one year anniversary of violent anti-government protests in 2019. It is also expected that activist groups and labor organizations will organize further demonstrations on the anniversary. Most anti-government demonstrations in Santiago have typically taken place at Plaza Baquedano and La Alameda.

Further associated demonstrations are possible in Chile in the near term. A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are possible in the vicinity of all demonstrations.  


The Chilean national plebiscite will address whether a new constitution will be drafted to replace the Pinochet-era constitution in the wake of anti-government protests in 2019. Moreover, it will be decided whether it will be determined by a directly elected constitutional convention or a mixed convention of members of parliament and elected citizens. This new constitution would then be put to another referendum in 2022.


Those in Chile are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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