Over 100,000 Chileans March Towards Congress

Featured Over 100,000 Chileans March Towards Congress

The protest included people from the cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, marching towards headquarters of the congress located on Avenida Pedro Montt, in the so-called garden city.

Thousands of Chileans marched Sunday towards the country's congress in the latest mobilization in rejection of the policies of the current government led by President Sebastian Piñera.

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The protest included people from the cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, marching towards headquarters of the congress located on Avenida Pedro Montt, in the so-called garden city.

Local media reported that despite the peaceful nature of the march, police forces did attack the protesters. 

The Carabineros tried to disperse the protesters by firing water cannons and tear gas.

It was estimated that about 100,000 people participated in the Valparaíso march, making it one of the biggest mobalñizations in the unrest since it began a week ago. 

Chileans have taken to the streets to express their discontent and rejection with the country's economic and political model which is based on hyber-capitalist and neoliberal policies, which were introduced under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. 

The protests began against the price hike Santiago subway fares, a measure that has been temporarily suspended by the government following the unrest.

However, the demands add to a long list that includes ending the current pension system, managed by private companies. The university sector also demands free and quality education, while workers denounce the stagnation of wages, the commercialization of health rights and the increase of social services.

In response to popular demand, President Sebastián Piñera announced a package of measures that includes an increase in pensions to certain groups of retirees, a tax contribution to guarantee a minimum wage to a sector of workers, taxes to those who earn more than US$11,000 a month and the dismissal of the cabinet.

The unrest has seen heavy police and army repression against demonstrators. The National Institute of Human Rights of Chile says that 1,092 have been wounded so far, of which 237 were shot by unidentified firearms, 3,193 people have been arrested while 17 complaints of sexual violence have been filed.

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