After weeks of protests and riots, state of emergency has been declared in Chile. This declaration was made following a protest movement which killed dozens of people. Chile’s president then made a series of speeches to stop the crisis.
Chile is currently experiencing crisis as a coalition of parties across the country’s political spectrum says it will support a constitutional poll next year to decide if and how the county’s 1980 Constitution should be altered in response to the demands of the protesters.
This protest movement, which began as the second half of October begins, resulted in more than 20 people dead, as per the attorney general’s office. 20 subway stations and more than 15 buses were also set aflame across the country’s capital. In addition to this, protesters also made noise banging their pots and pans together on their balconies, a lmown traditional “cacerolazo” protest.
Following this, Chile President Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency in Santiago, which can last for 15 days granting the government additional powers to restrict the freedom of movement, as well as the right to assembly of the citizens. This also means that soldiers will return to streets which sparked fear among some citizens. But according to Pinera, this declaration is aimed to “ensure public order,” as well as the “safety of public and private property.”
Furthermore, Pinera added, “There will be no room for violence in a country with the rule of law at its core,” trying to assure the public that there will be no one who will abuse such declaration and power while it’s not been lifted. And in order to somehow appease the protesters, the Chile’s president, Pinera, also announced that he would suspend the rise in transit fares.
However, the violence did not stop. Instead, the first protest-related casualties were reported. Human rights organizations began to denounce abuse of authority as well.
Pinera released a statement after saying, “We are at war against a powerful enemy.” This message has triggered a powerful citizen reaction even more. People’s protest did not stop in the streets. Worse, they took it even to the social media declaring, “#noestamosenquerra” (“we are not at war”).
Such move made the President Pinera changed his tone and on October 22nd, he made his fourth speech apologizing to the country for his previous words. He also announced a series of short-term measures to combat inequality, which what the protesters are also fighting for.