“Nos están marcando”
Cristobal Olivares (Chile)
The Chilean rebellion began on October 18, 2019. The trigger was the 4.1% increase in the subway fare ($30 CLP = $0.039 USD). This provoked massive evasions of the subway, at first by high school students but then generalized and expanded throughout the country.
This discontent led to one of the largest social uprisings in recent decades: on October 25th, the most massive protest on record since the end of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship took place, after more than one million people took to the streets to demand social change.
The demands are varied and are still in force: change in the pension system, increase in the minimum wage, better public health, a new Constitution and the resignation of President Sebastián Piñera. In response to the protests, the president declared a State of Emergency during the first days of the rebellion, which led to the suspension of basic freedoms, including freedom of movement. Curfews were imposed for the first time since the dictatorship and heavy police repression of protesters has been historic.
At the beginning of March 2020, around 3,838 people had been injured and according to the Chilean Society of Ophthalmologists and human rights organizations, 460 of them ended up with severe ocular complications, loss of the eyeball and also loss of sight. This figure has made Chile a world record holder in eye mutilation, due to the indiscriminate use of pellets and tear gas bombs by Carabineros special forces, who have fired their weapons directly into the faces of the demonstrators.