Carabineros in Santiago arrested 12 people who were taking part in demonstrations in the vicinity of Plaza Baquedano (also known as Plaza Italia) on Saturday, October 17. Protesters gathered in the square from around 16:00 (local time) on the eve of the anniversary of the outbreak of nationwide anti-government protests in 2019. Amid a heightened security presence, clashes broke out between the demonstrators and security forces, resulting in the arrests.
Authorities in Chile will reportedly deploy 40,000 security personnel in anticipation of demonstrations across the country on the protest anniversary on Sunday, October 18, and in the lead up to the national plebiscite on a new constitution, scheduled for October 25. It is also expected that activist groups and labor organizations will organize further demonstrations on the anniversary.
Further associated demonstrations are possible in Chile in the near term. A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are possible in the vicinity of all demonstrations.
The Chilean national plebiscite 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, particularly Santiago, are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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