Protests break out in Santiago de Chile a week before the national plebiscite

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Protesters take to the streets of Santiago before the Chilean national plebiscite that will be held in advance on October 25.

Chile is shaken by a wave of massive protests and riots that have spread throughout all regions of the country and are considered the most serious in recent decades. He increase in the fare of the public transport system, which came into force on October 6, 2019, was the trigger for these demonstrations. The protests achieved part of their objectives, since the increase in the price of the metro ticket was suspended by the president, Sebastián Piñera.

However, the demonstrations became a broader movement aimed at tackling the problem of rising cost of living, pension reform and police behavior during protests in favor of the president’s resignation.

After the riots, Piñera signed a decree calling for a constitutional plebiscite on April 26, 2020, for Chileans to decide if they want a new Constitution and, if their answer is affirmative, if it will be drawn up by a constitutional commission formed by the same citizens or a mixed committee made up of current legislators and elected members.

The plebiscite was postponed to October 25, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic that plagues Chile.
It was expected that the same October 18 Pinera would deliver a speech to commemorate the beginning of the social movement and indicate the steps taken by the Chilean government to meet the demands of the protesters.
In addition, October 18, 2020 marks one year since the most serious protests erupted since the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

The constituent process that will begin with the citizen plebiscite is one of the main citizen demands since the social crisis began in Chile in October 2019 and seeks to replace the current constitution drawn up in 1980 by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

The decision to reschedule the voting was immediately approved by the Chilean Electoral Service (Servel), whose advisers acted in agreement with the political parties.

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