In pictures: Clashes in Chile amid national strike

4 weeks ago
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Mass protests and a nationwide strike have brought parts of Chile to a standstill as discontent over inequality in the country continues.

The unrest began almost a month ago, originally triggered by a now-suspended rise in the price of metro fares in the capital Santiago. But protests quickly spread across the country, reflecting wider anger against the government.

The strike on Tuesday was supported by unions in various industries. It drew widespread participation across the country, while large demonstrations were held in several cities.

The action came as the value of the national currency hit a record low.

Thousands of people took to the streets in Santiago to protest against the government of President Sebastián Piñera.

People waved the flags of Chile and the Mapuche indigenous group during the demonstration.

Here, a group of protesters stand underneath graffiti saying “inequality” as they demand greater social reforms.

Chile is one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries but also one of its most unequal – it has the worst levels of income equality among the 36 member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Marches also took places in other parts of the country on Tuesday, including the city of Concepción

While many marched peacefully, clashes once again broke out in the capital between groups of protesters and police.

Protesters were seen throwing rocks at security forces, while riot police used water cannons and tear gas in an effort to disperse them.

The clashes continued as night fell, with some protesters setting up burning barricades.

Similar unrest broke out in other cities, including Concepción, where a government building was reportedly evacuated after a fire broke out.

The coastal city of Valparaíso ground to a halt amid the strike, with mass protests there also turning violent.

Mr Piñera made an address to the nation amid the protests.

Previous efforts by the president to quell the unrest – including increasing the minimum wage and basic pension – have not appeased the demonstrators.

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BBC News – Latin America & Caribbean

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