Hundreds of people took to the streets of the Chilean capital of Santiago to protest against the government and inequality, rounding up a week marked by a feminist strike and student demonstrations.
Banging drums and saucepans, the protesters on Friday sang songs such as “The united people will never be defeated”, “Chile woke up” or “The dance of those who are left over” by the rock band Los Prisioneros, in Santiago’s Plaza Italia, according to the media report.
The protesters also paid tribute to Cristian Valdebenito, a 48-year-old protester who died on March 7 after allegedly being shot by a tear gas canister during another protest in Plaza Italia.
The protests were mostly peaceful, although there were clashes around the plaza after police tried to disperse protesters with tear gas and water-launch trucks, as the latter responded by throwing stones.
Last month, thousands of people gathered onto the street in the Santiago, to celebrate Valentine’s Day by demanding the resignation of the controversial national police chief who is accused of human rights violations during ongoing civil unrest in the country.
Last year, in December, hundreds of people gathered at the Costanera Center shopping mall – next to South America’s tallest skyscraper Gran Torre Santago – with dozens of protesters entering the premises.
The state-run National Human Rights Institute said that there had been 685 complaints of excessive use of force by the security forces.
The violent protests that started in mid-October prompting the government to declare a state of emergency and the deployment of soldiers in the provinces of Santiago and Chacabuco, as well as in the Metropolitan municipalities of Puente Alto and San Bernardo.
Clashes broke out between the protesters and the police in several parts of the city throughout the day and the subway was shut after attacks on several stations.
The crisis is the worst in three decades of Chilean democracy and has led to around 2,000 injuries, including some 280 people who suffered eye damage from shotgun pellets.