- Title: Protesters march through Santiago despite Pinera's pleas
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: SANTIAGO, CHILE (OCTOBER 23, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WAVING FLAGS, BANGING DRUMS AND CARRYING SIGNS MARCHING GENERAL VIEW OF CROWD OF PROTESTERS WOMAN BLOWING WHISTLE AND HOLDING SIGN THAT READS 'HEALTH IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE' PROTESTER WITH SIGN THAT READS 'THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GOVERN SHOULD JUST OBEY' VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING, BANGING ON POTS AND PANS, CARRYING FLAGS AND SIGNS PROTESTERS CARRYING AN EFFIGY OF PRESIDENT SEBASTIAN PINERA VARIOUS OF GENERAL VIEWS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING CARRYING SIGNS AND WAVING FLAGS PEACEFULLY PROTESTER BANGING POT WITH WOODEN SPOON, MARCHERS IN THE BACKGROUND GENERAL VIEW OF PROTESTERS MARCHING SOME OF WHOM ARE CARRYING IMAGES OF 'DISAPPEARED' LOVED ONES FROM THE ERA OF THE DICTATORSHIP VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WITH SIGNS AND FLAGS MARCHING PEACEFULLY GROUP OF ANTI-RIOT POLICE FORMING LINE ACROSS AVENUE PROTESTERS MARCHING AND TAKING PICTURES OF ANTI-RIOT POLICE WHO ARE TRYING TO PUSH WATER CANON TRUCK OVER MEDIAN PROTESTERS STANDING IN FRONT OF WATER CANON, HOLDING SIGNS AND WAVING FLAGS GENERAL VIEW OF MARCHING PROTESTERS STOPPED AT INTERSECTION AS ANTI-RIOT POLICE DOUSES SOME WITH WATER CANON
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 17:20
- Keywords: Chile protests prices inequality President Sebastian Pinera
- Location: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- City: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B2BKQX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands of Chileans took to the streets of Santiago once again on Wednesday (October 23), despite President Sebastian Pinera's pleas for forgiveness and announcement of ambitious reforms to quell unrest that has rocked the country and led to at least 15 deaths.
Carrying signs and banging on drums and pots and pans, the massive crowd of protesters marched peacefully through the streets.
Many student groups, healthcare workers, and teachers also joined the protests, leaving the majority of the country's schools closed and many public services hobbled.
Workers at Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said late on Tuesday they would join the general strike called by state unions, raising the spectre of a slow-down in copper output from the world's top producer.
Despite the announcement, Codelco's Chuquicamata mine was operating normally early on Wednesday, according to internal documents viewed by Reuters.
Pinera late on Tuesday said he hoped to turn recent violent protests, which have also seen some 5,000 people arrested, into an "opportunity" for Chile.
The reforms include a guaranteed minimum wage, a hike in the state pension and the stabilization of electricity costs.
The president said the package represented "concrete and urgent steps" to resolve inequality that has sent tens of thousands into the streets to demand an economic overhaul and, in some cases, his removal.
The president's pledges came after the center-right Pinera, a billionaire businessman, was widely criticized for saying on Monday that Chile was "at war" with violent protesters, even as thousands of people held peaceful demonstrations demanding an end to low wages and a high cost of living.
At least 15 people have died in protests that started over a hike in public transport costs, prompting a weekend of riots, arson attacks and looting of businesses and the declaration of a state of emergency by Pinera over a large swath of Chile.
(Production: Jorge Vega, Esteban Medel, Guillermo Garcia)
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