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29 Nov 2019 | 07:19 AM UTC

Chile: Additional protests scheduled November 29 – December 1 /update 38

Protests continue as groups call for social reforms November 29 – December 1; avoid all protests

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Event

Unions and social groups have continued to call for protests in Santiago from Friday, November 29, through Sunday, December 1. On November 29, protesters are holding a "Super Viernes" protest, with the main gathering in Santiago to be held at Plaza Dignidad/Plaza Italia from 17:00 (local time). Another group is scheduled to gather at Plaza la Monse at 18:00. A nationwide protest has been called for Saturday, November 30, with the largest protests likely in Santiago. On December 1, cyclists plan to protest from 17:00 at Plaza Dignidad/Plaza Italia to call for President Piñera's resignation. Another group will gather on the same day at 16:00 at Parque Almagro.

On Wednesday, November 27, senators signed an agreement for peace, which intends to express a need for the country to enter a process of civil and social reunification through economic efforts and a commitment to democracy. They also called for the immediate end to violence. It is unclear whether this will quell the protests and if additional social measures will be announced to respond to protesters' demands.

A heightened security presence, as well as transportation and business disruptions are expected near 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 he 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 26 people have reportedly been killed and another 13,500 wounded since the start of the protests on October 6. Police have arrested 915 people as of November 26. 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.

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.