Published: Thu, November 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Thousands of Academics Demand Chile End Violent Crackdown Against Protests

Thousands of Academics Demand Chile End Violent Crackdown Against Protests

One related to the actions of 12 police officers in Nunoa, a bohemian suburb of Santiago, where protesters defied a curfew to conduct successive nights of large but mainly peaceful demonstrations, a spokesman for Guerra told Reuters, without providing further details.

Protests that have gripped Chile for almost three weeks to demand better salaries and pensions, and a more equal distribution of the wealth, shrunk in size on Tuesday.

The violence has also forced the government to cancel the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and United Nations climate change meeting that were previously scheduled to meet in Chile.

At the same time, complaints about excessive force by police and soldiers have also been on the rise and include charges that police killed, tortured and sexually assaulted civilians during the weeks of protests.

Prosecutors say 20 people have died in unrest since the protests began on October 20.

The demonstrations then spilled into the wealthy Providencia neighborhood, the hub of Chile's financial sector, where protesters lit fires, battled with police, looted a pharmacy and at least two banks, and damaged government buildings.

Pinera said state agents who committed abuses would be punished just as severely as those who carried out vandalism or violence in the protests.

The interview came as the president announced a package of measures for small and medium-sized businesses hit by the unrest.

The protests and violence were on a smaller scale to Monday's huge rally marking the beginning of a third week of protests in Santiago.

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In Chile, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Santiago again on Monday against rampant economic inequality.

Law enforcement utilised tear gas, water cannons, and hooded infiltrators to disperse the crowds. One officer was hit in the face with a Molotov cocktail.

Looting and vandalism was reported in the cities of Vina del Mar, Valparaiso and Concepcion.

Protesters organised rallies on Monday under the slogan 'This is not over'.

"There will be no impunity", he said, defending the stepped up security measures as "democratic and constitutional".

Pinera held talks with opposition parties last week but they said he failed to convince them he has the will to make the necessary changes to calm the protests.

Chile's protests are part of a wave of unrest this year around South America, including protests against Bolivia's President Evo Morales over a disputed election and Ecuador's Lenin Moreno over economic liberalization reforms.

A survey by pollster Cadem published on Sunday indicated that 87 percent of Chileans favored such reforms.

The government said Chile's economy grew three percent in September but it forecast a contraction of 0.5 percent in October due to the unrest.

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