The Chilean Red Cross has stated on Monday, November 4, that it estimates 2500 people have been injured in the ongoing wave of nationwide protests. The organization states its figures are significantly higher than those provided by the government since it treats victims at protest sites who are afraid of going to hospitals for fear of further repression or targeting.
The National Association of Human Rights Defenders of Chile has reported that the government has violated human rights in a systemic and widespread manner since the nationwide protests began in October. In a statement, the entity said that state agents have arrested thousands of protesters illegally and arbitrarily, including 475 children and adolescents. It also cited 66 complaints of homicide, torture, and sexual violence.
Another round of protests is planned for Wednesday, November 6, called by the No+Tag movement to demand that the government lowers highway tolls and road taxes. Participants plan to gather at 07:00 (local time) in their vehicles at two locations in the metropolitan region: Quilicura and San Bernardo, before driving slowly and occupying all lanes on Highway 5 leading to Santiago. Multiple organizations are expected to join the demonstration, including truck drivers, taxi unions, and civil society groups.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are expected along the demonstration routes and in Santiago. Clashes cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations began on October 6 after the Chilean government announced an increase in metro and bus fares. The mass protests escalated in Santiago and other cities over the following days to denounce high costs of living, rising electricity prices, the privatization of water, and other social issues. Some estimates indicate that 7000 people have been arrested and 20 people have been killed since the start of the protests. The United Nations announced it would send a mission to Chile in order to investigate claims of human rights abuses during the wave of protests. Movement participants have now begun to call for the creation of a new Constitution through a Constituent Assembly in order to replace the current charter of rights (magna carta) which dates back to Pinochet's dictatorship.
Individuals in Chile, particularly in Santiago, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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