‘Make the world see’: protesters shot as Chile declares state of emergency

Armoured vehicles on the streets of Chile
Eliza Egret

Chile’s hard-right government has declared a state of emergency, deploying thousands of troops and police onto its streets. They’re using live bullets, tear gas, and water cannons on protesters. 11 people have reportedly died so far and almost 1,500 have been detained.

The state declared martial law after days of protests against public transport fare increases. During these protests, footage of extreme police violence spread on social media, with authorities shooting people with live ammunition. Demonstrators responded with anger, blockading neighbourhoods, burning buses, and using burning barricades. And troops were sent on the streets to terrorise protesters.

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Rioting against neoliberalism

At the weekend, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera announced that he would no longer increase the cost of transport. But protesters want to make it clear that they’re not only out on the streets because of fare increases. With extremely low wages and a high cost of living, people have simply had enough.

One protester stated:

Rent, electricity, transportations, health, education and food are not affordable; and people are struggling to make ends meet, as the cost of living keep rising.

She continued:

People won’t stay silent any more, we will fight for our liberty and rights to protest and be respected and treated in a dignified way.

Others tweeted about the real reasons for the unrest:

The whole country remains under a state of emergency, more and more people are being injured, and the death toll is growing. The world must not turn a blind eye.

Featured image via AFP News Agency screenshot

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