The Unitary Central of Workers of Chile (CUT) and Public Sector Bureau (MST) unions have called for a march in Santiago on Wednesday, November 20, amid an ongoing two-day nationwide strike. Participants will gather at Plaza Italia, recently named Plaza de la Dignidad by protesters, at 11:00 (local time) and will march to undisclosed locations.
The National Association of Employees (ANEF) announced it would remain on strike from Monday, November 18, through Friday, November 22, to show opposition for the government's violent response to protests and violations of human rights. Related strikes are to be expected. The ANEF is also considering implementing an indefinite strike in the coming days.
Additional protests, including spontaneous ones, are therefore to be expected over the next several days in Santiago and other major urban areas across the country.
The government announced on Tuesday, November 19, that police will no longer use rubber bullets to disperse protests due to the fact that the method has left over 220 people with vision problems or the loss of their eyes.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are expected at all demonstrations. Further clashes between demonstrators and police officers cannot be ruled out.
President Sebastián Piñera announced on November 17 that the government will allow citizens to vote on a new constitution and that it is willing to consider raising pensions by more than 20 percent. An agreement reached by politicians on November 15 will organize a referendum in April 2020, where Chileans will vote whether to replace the current charter of rights (magna carta) from Pinochet's dictatorship and a new legislative assembly.
At least 24 people have reportedly been killed and another 2000 wounded since the start of the protests on October 6. Demonstrations broke out 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. Security forces have been accused of using excessive force and other human rights violations while dealing with the unrest.
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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