On Saturday, October 26, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera publicly called upon his cabinet ministers to resign after one million people participated in a march in Santiago on Friday, October 25, calling for social justice and protesting inequality. President Pinera also announced that the countrywide state of emergency would be lifted on Sunday, October 27, along with the numerous military curfews in place in urban centers.
Further protests and a heightened security presence are expected over the near term, particularly in urban centers.
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. According to the Chilean National Institute of Human Rights, 2840 people have been arrested and 582 have been injured in the protests. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) indicates that at least 18 people have been killed. 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.
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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