President of Chile asks for "pardon" and proposes social measures to calm anger

The demonstrations continued on Tuesday, as some 20 unions call for strikes and new rallies.

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. HO / AFP

The leader on the right took a left turn. The Chilean president, Sebastian Piñera, has proposed social measures to end five days of unrest that has killed 15 people, a radical change of tone adopted after a meeting with political parties. The head of state also admitted not to have anticipated the social explosion due to the increase in the price of public transport. "I recognize this lack of vision and I apologize to my compatriots", did he declare. In his speech, he notably mentioned the 20% increase in the minimum pension and the freezing of electricity tariffs.

Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick explained at the end of the meeting, which was attended by center-left opposition parties:

"The president listened with great attention to the various proposals and will soon address the country to propose a social program. "

Read the testimonials: "President, Chileans want change, not words"

"Chile woke up! "

Demonstration in Santiago, Chile, on October 22nd.
Demonstration in Santiago, Chile, on October 22nd. PEDRO UGARTE / AFP

The demonstrations began Friday to denounce an increase in the price of the metro ticket from 800 to 830 pesos (about 1.04 euros). The measure was then suspended by the head of state, but the riots continued, fueled by anger at the socio-economic situation and inequalities.

Tuesday, the death toll in violence, fires and looting rose to fifteen. According to the prosecution, four people were killed by police fire and eleven died in fires and looting, mainly shopping centers. According to the authorities, 239 civilians were injured, along with around 50 police and military personnel, and 2,643 people arrested. On Monday evening, the National Institute of Human Rights, an independent public body, pointed out that among the wounded 84 had been through firearms.

As demonstrations continued on Tuesday, with thousands of protesters gathered in various parts of the capital, Santiago's estimated 7.5 million people were spending a fourth night under curfew. "Chile woke up! "chanted protesters by tapping pots in front of the presidential palace.

The Unitary Workers' Confederation, the country's largest trade union confederation, and 18 other organizations have called for strikes and demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday in Santiago. Public health unions also announced a week-long strike and protest action by the Ministry of Health.

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