Hundreds protest in Chile against govt, inequality

Santiago: Hundreds of people took to the streets of the Chilean capital of Santiago to protest against the government and inequality, rounding up a week marked by a feminist strike and student demonstrations.

Banging drums and saucepans, the protesters on Friday sang songs such as “The united people will never be defeated”, “Chile woke up” or “The dance of those who are left over” by the rock band Los Prisioneros, in Santiago’s Plaza Italia, reports Efe news.

Demonstrators also paid tribute to Cristian Valdebenito, a 48-year-old protester who died on March 7 after allegedly being shot by a tear gas canister during another protest in Plaza Italia.

Friday’s gathering was mostly peaceful, although there were clashes around the plaza when police tried to disperse protesters with tear gas and water-launch trucks, as the latter responded by throwing stones.

A dozen hooded men also attacked an abandoned bus and blocked a street with it while a group of students demonstrated in Plaza Nunoa, another roundabout in the capital, and damaged public infrastructure.

The protests in Chile have killed at least 30 and injured thousands since it erupted last October.

They decreased last month following the summer break but resumed in March following the return to work and classes.

This week began with the Monday feminist strike to mark International Women’s Day and continued with student protests countrywide.

The week was also marked by the first public appearance of Gustavo Gatica, a young man who lost his sight in November 2019 after he was shot by pellets on his face.