Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Carabineros stand guard during a protest against the rise in metro fares near Plaza Italia on October 19, 2019 in Santiago, Chile.

Carabineros stand guard during a protest against the rise in metro fares near Plaza Italia on October 19, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. President Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency in several cities in Chile. (Photo by Pablo Rojas Madariaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

'So Awful': Military Returns to Streets in Chile as Unrest Simmers

The president's suspension of the public transporation fare hike has not stopped protests.

Andrea Germanos

Demonstrators in Chile continued their "pots and pans" protests Sunday following a week of unrest that saw hundreds arrested and the military patrolling the streets for the first time in decades.

A curfew and state of emergency are still in effect in Santiago and several other cities, The Associated Press reported.

Video posted below from online outlet El Monstrador shows a protest Sunday in Santiago's Plaza Ñuñoa:

The country's billionaire rightwing President Sebastián Piñera announced late Saturday that he was suspending a planned 4 percent increase in subway fares. That fare hike had prompted hundreds of young people on Monday to jump metro turnstiles and triggered protests in other cities in the country. But that may not have been the only catalyst. As The Guardian noted, the "latest protests follow grievances over the cost of living, specifically the costs of healthcare, education, and public services."

Reuters reported Saturday: 

Fires continued to burn and looters were seen in flashpoints around the city of six million people where earlier police and military clashed with protesters. There was also significant unrest in the port city of Valparaiso, seat of Chile's Congress, where the government also declared military rule late on Saturday, and in the southern city of Concepcion.

"The center-right Pinera said he would invoke a special state security law to prosecute the 'criminals' responsible for the city-wide damage," Reuters reported.

According to Santiago Mayor Karla Rubilar Barahona, two people died from a fire in a supermarket in the San Bernardo area of the capital and a third person died after being taken to the hospital.

In addition to the curfew and state emergency, the government responded to the unrest by dispatching the military to city streets.

It marks the first time the army marched through the streets of Santiago, AP noted, since  1990, when the brutal dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who ousted Salvador Allende in a U.S.-backed coup, ended.

Another user shared video of soldiers in the city of Valparaiso:

The images, wrote Erika Guevara-Rosas, are "disturbing."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·


Poll Shows Majority in US Want Diplomacy, Not War With Russia Over Ukraine

The survey's findings echo the pleas of progressive lawmakers, who assert "there is no military solution" to the crisis involving the world's two foremost nuclear powers.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Abortion Bans Kill People': Death of Woman Unleashes Protests in Poland

"The politicized tribunal has caused hell for women in Poland that must end as soon as possible—before another one of us dies."

Jessica Corbett ·


Clyburn Asks: Who Would Oppose Means-Testing Child Tax Credit? Answer: Lots of People

"There is literally not a single thing that the means-tested approach is better at than the universal approach," said one policy expert.

Jake Johnson ·


'Time to Rebuild This Nation': Fetterman Speaks Out After Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse

"This collapse is just the latest in a long line of preventable, man-made disasters that prove what so many of us in Pennsylvania and around the country have been saying for years: Our infrastructure is failing our people."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo