Oct 26, 2019
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Saturday said he would reshuffle his cabinet after over 1 million Chileans poured into city streets across the country Friday to demand structural reforms to the country's government and economic system.
The move by Pinera came as the protest movement mobilized people in the captial Santiago and beyond.
"We're asking for justice, honesty, ethical government," protester Francisco Anguitar toldAFP Friday.
Pinera made the announcement late Saturday morning.
\u201cBREAKING: Chile's President \nPi\u00f1era has asked his ministers to resign, in the most dramatic move since protests began a week ago. The military also announced an end to the curfew. Yesterday's protest, by more than 1 million Chileans, is forcing change.\nhttps://t.co/gZMtMarDnp\u201d— David Begnaud (@David Begnaud) 1572103249
The timeline and plan for the replacement of ministers remains unclear. On Saturday, Reutersreported that a document obtained by the news agency "suggested Pinera was considering replacing the heads of at least nine ministries, including the ministries of interior, defense, economy, transportation and environment."
Chilean senator Felipe Kast on Twitter credited the Friday protests with prompting Pinera's decision.
"A peaceful day that will leave its mark on our history," said Kast. "Chile is not the same as it was yesterday."
\u201cUna jornada pac\u00edfica que marcar\u00e1 la historia. Chile no es el mismo que era ayer. No lo cambi\u00f3 la pol\u00edtica. Es la pol\u00edtica la que debe cambiar. #LaMarchaMasGrandeDeChile\u064b\u201d— Felipe Kast (@Felipe Kast) 1572042057
The protests kicked off on October 15 after high school students occupied subway stations in Santiago to protest fare hikes. The movement exploded from there as demonstrations quickly became about the country's neoliberal economic system and Pinera's government.
Pinera, in response to the protests, authorized a brutal crackdown on protesters by military and police forces. Video from the protests shared on social media showed police and soldiers attacking unarmed demonstrators.
\u201cLa vibrante democracia chilena de @sebastianpinera queda en evidencia en este video que demuestra c\u00f3mo act\u00faa @Carabdechile con el pueblo de a pie. Toda una oda a los DDHH y a las buenas pr\u00e1cticas policiales con las que pretenden dar lecciones a #Venezuela. Cortes\u00eda al autor.\u201d— \u00c9rika Ortega Sanoja (@\u00c9rika Ortega Sanoja) 1572024261
\u201cPolice aim a shotgun during clashes with anti-government protesters in Valpara\u00edso, #Chile, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (@AP Photo/Mat\u00edas Delacroix)\u201d— Latino Rebels (@Latino Rebels) 1572098862
Support for the protest movement poured in from across the world.
Journalist Ben Norton called the protests a "massive rejection of neoliberalism" and linked to photos from the protests.
\u201cThis photo from the protests in Chile yesterday is going viral. The flag on top is from the indigenous Mapuche Nation.\n\nWhile corporate media outlets churn out nonstop propaganda against US enemies, people are rising up against US-backed right-wing client regimes in Latin America\u201d— Ben Norton (@Ben Norton) 1572104821
The demonstrators "represent the dream of a new Chile," tweeted Santiago Governor Karla Rubilar.
"Our country requires more dialogue and peaceful marches!" said Rubilar.
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