Chile Is At Its Worst in Three Decades and No One's Said a Word
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Chile Is At Its Worst in Three Decades and No One's Said a Word

We hear you, Chile!

Chile Is At Its Worst in Three Decades and No One's Said a Word

Chile; the country in Latin America presumed to be the most prosperous and economically stable, has been sent into a state of emergency after various ongoing political injustices, mainly the privatization of basic necessities. The recent 3% price raise in metro fares were the tip of the iceberg in the crisis in Chile, together with nearly-complete economic inequality, pitiful salaries, poor healthcare, and unreasonable work hours. The state of emergency has been extended north and south of the country, with over 10,000 arrests across regions.

The current unrest is expanding outside the capital city of Santiago to port cities of Valparaiso and Coquimbo. Violent protests, looting, and barricades have broken out, which have left Santiago's metro stations and supermarkets destroyed and charred, and eleven deaths have been confirmed as of October 21st. Santa Cruz resident Lorena Navarro explained to me, "They're burning supermarkets, the small shops in the metro stations, even buildings. They have even robbed houses. It has all been happening from the inequality in the country".

President Piñera has likened the protestors to criminals, saying on Sunday that the government is "is willing to use violence and crime without any limits" to inhibit the protestors. Navarro added that the people feel "a lot of anguish and fury, and there are even rumors that the carabineros (Chilean national police) are the ones starting the supermarket fires". Chile is on its way to being a first world country due to its stability, but the corruption and lack of government action is putting that all on hold.

Plaza Baquedano, Santiago Chile in June, 2019Photo by Carly Baysinger

I lived in Chile for a month on a study abroad trip and didn't really hear anything negative about the government because compared to the rest of South America, Chile is leading in technology and stability. When I lived there, I felt so safe all the time throughout the cities I saw. Its honestly heartbreaking to see the street in front of the apartment where I was close to burning buildings and seeing the metro stations I loved to travel on unrecognizable. I cannot imagine what the Chileans are experiencing with their method of getting to work shut down, grocery stores being looted. I read somewhere about a woman walking 20 blocks for diapers just to see the grocery store had burned down. For the sake of the amazing people and country, I truly hope Chile is able to restore the peace and stability. Also, above anything, remember that the people protesting are not criminals as the media may make them to be; they are fed up with 30+ years of ongoing injustice and are using their voice.

Plaza Baquedano, Santiago Chile October 20, 2019 Photo by Carlos Figueroa

¡Fuerza Chile!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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