- Title: Chile awakened: Mass protests brought major change in 2019
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: SANTIAGO, CHILE (FILE - OCTOBER 30, 2019) (REUTERS) MARCH OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS TOWARD THE MONEDA PALACE DURING DAY OF GENERAL STRIKE PEOPLE MARCHING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHILEAN TEACHER, REINALDO CASTILLO, SAYING: "The way out of this (protests) is going to be our president listening to the people or he steps down. He should say: it got to this point, others should come in who want to govern Chile for a better country which is what we all want." PEOPLE MARCHING SANTIAGO, CHILE (FILE - NOVEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS RUNNING VOLUNTEER MEDICS, PERSON SHOUTS "WOUNDED!" MEDICS LOOK AT WOUND ON PROTESTER'S LEG MEDIC EMBRACES PROTESTER VARIOUS, MEDICS ATTENDING TO WOUNDED PROTESTERS FIREWORKS EXPLODE BY POLICE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CIVIL DIRECTOR OF 'HEALTH IN THE STREET' ORGANIZATION, PATRICIA MIERES, SAYING: "We've seen how the disproportionate use of violence is injuring hundreds of people at this time, so it's very painful. I think that's the best way to describe it: it's very painful, it's very strong. We've never seen this in Chile, at least our generation has never seen anything like this." VARIOUS, MEDICS WITH PROTESTERS SANTIAGO, CHILE (FILE - NOVEMBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, WATER CANNON VEHICLE SPRAYING PROTESTERS POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS POLICE VEHICLE DRIVES BY SPRAYING GAS VARIOUS, WATER CANNON VEHICLES SPRAYING PROTESTERS IMAGE OF INDIGENOUS CHILEAN ACTIVIST WHO WAS KILLED BY POLICE, CAMILO CATRILLANCA, ON BANNER AT PROTEST VARIOUS, PROTESTERS ON STATUE IN PLAZA ITALIA WITH FLARES AND WAVING FLAGS
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 14:23
- Keywords: Chile Chilean President Sebastian Pinera clashes constitution march mobilizations political change protests reforms timeline violence
- Location: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- City: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA006BAD3UX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A timeline of the sporadic protests that developed into massive mobilisations that threatened Chile's political order and have led to promises of reforms by the government of President Sebastian Pinera.
The country and one of Latin America's strongest economies has been rattled by two months of unrest.
The crisis started over a hike in public transport fares and has left at least 26 dead and thousands injured. It also has sparked fierce internal criticism of the government, as well as by international human rights groups and the United Nations for alleged human rights violations by its police and its army, which was briefly called on to the streets.
Pinera was heavily criticised for declaring early in the crisis that Chile was ''at war with a powerful enemy,'' and being slow to stamp out police abuses.
Pinera said more than 2,500 police officers had been injured in the unrest, some seriously.
International rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have ratcheted up pressure on the Pinera administration for its handling of the crisis, citing abuses by police ranging from rape to torture.
The Chilean Ophthalmological Society has said more than 200 people suffered severe eye trauma in the demonstrations, mostly due to police rubber bullets.
Pinera sent a bill to congress on Monday (December 16) to strengthen protections for the country's security forces.
The draft statute makes attacks on law enforcement officials by rioters an ''aggravated'' offence, with tougher penalties.
It also blocks offenders convicted of such crimes from applying for parole until they have served at least two-thirds of their sentences.
The Chilean police said at the beginning of December it would overhaul its riot squad and was carrying out 856 internal investigations of alleged abuses committed during the protests.
Although Chile's government had agreed to write a new constitution to replace one dating back to the Pinochet dictatorship, bowing to demands of protesters, this brought a provisional calm to a quietly tense situation.
(Production: Esteban Medel, Patrick Alwine, Geraldine Downer)
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