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Update: The Chilean Uprising

Chilean Protests

What began in Chile last week and seemed like simply a protest against increased bus fares has exploded into a country-wide mobilization of dissent. The disruptive demonstrations have raged on despite the Chilean government rescinding its price-hike for the metro and resulted in Piñera mobilizing armed forces against his people. Chile remains in a state of emergency with the military enforced curfew forcing thousands of residents back into their homes before sundown.

The current death toll has risen to 18 with over 5,400 people arrested so far for curfew violations. The anger towards the government and its economic policies was compounded by the President Piñera’s apology Tuesday evening which fell largely flat. Students are at the core of the movement and memes have proliferated the internet as a way to expose the severe inequity within the country and a nationwide strike is expected to take place within the next few days.

Many are concerned that Piñera’s move to use military force against his own citizens distracts from dealing with the real issues of inequality in the nation. It is clear the governing class is out of touch with the nuances of the economic divide that exists there. The repeatedly tone deaf messaging has exacerbated the frustrations of those who still see Chile as two separate countries. So far, the chances for structural change seem bleak.

Over the course of the last few years, tensions have risen worldwide. This in depth report by Al Jazeera covers the various protests over occurring in various parts of the globe by breaking down the social injustice that is driving people to voice their concerns.


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