Anti-government demonstrators gathered in Santiago on Wednesday, October 8, amid continued protests ahead of a constitutional referendum scheduled on October 25. Reports indicate that dozens of demonstrators gathered in Plaza Baquedano, where isolated clashes occurred with police. Traffic was briefly disrupted in the vicinity of the plaza. There were no immediate reports of any casualties resulting from the clashes.
Tensions increased following clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Santiago on Friday, October 2, during which officers are said to have pushed a teenage protester off the Pio Nono bridge into the Mapocho River. Additionally, police fired water cannon and tear gas at some 2000 demonstrators who had gathered at Plaza Baquedano and at least 16 people were arrested following the clashes. Four police officers and one protester were also injured during the unrest.
A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are possible in the vicinity of all demonstrations. Further demonstrations are to be expected in Chile in the near term.
The Chilean national plebiscite which is scheduled for October 25 will address whether a new constitution will be drafted to replace the Pinochet-era constitution in the wake of anti-government protests in 2019. Moreover, it will be decided whether it will be determined by a directly elected constitutional convention or a mixed convention of members of parliament and elected citizens. This new constitution would then be put to another referendum in 2022.
Those in Chile are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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