Chile Sees Lockdown Food Riots

Protesters and police have clashed on the outskirts of the Chilean capital Santiago amid tension over food shortages during lockdown.

Local television showed police using tear gas and water cannon to quell unrest on the streets of El Bosque, where poverty is high.

President Sebastián Piñera, in a televised address after the protests, pledged to get food to those in need.

Chile has more than 46,000 cases of Covid-19 so far, with 478 deaths.

A recent surge in cases prompted the national capital to go under a strict and total lockdown this weekend.

In a separate development on Monday, dozens of members of Chile’s senate and two government ministers went into preventative isolation following recent contact with infected colleagues.

Why were there protests?

Groups of protesters were seen throwing stones and setting fires in parts of the El Bosque neighbourhood.

District mayor Sadi Melo told local radio it was facing a “very complex situation” because of “hunger and lack of work”.

In a statement, local officials said they had distributed about 2,000 aid packages but warned the government they could not meet demand.

President Piñera later pledged his government would provide 2.5 million baskets of food and other essentials over the next week or so.

“We will prioritise the most vulnerable families,” he said, describing the plan as “historic”.

Following the announcement, the governor of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, Felipe Guevara, tweeted (in Spanish) to encourage residents to follow the rules and stay at home for their own safety.

“I understand the deep anguish of millions of Chileans, thousands are starving,” he wrote, whilst also dismissing controversy over comments he made about the protests on television.

Unrest across Latin America

The Santiago protest is part of a growing pattern of resistance to the lockdowns all over Latin America.

In Brazil, hundreds of people from Sao Paulo’s largest favela marched to the state governor’s palace demanding more support.

In Colombia people have been hanging red cloths outside their homes when they are hungry.

And in El Salvador, people have been banging pots to protest against the lockdown.

Latin American governments are struggling with how to keep their large poor populations in lockdown with few financial resources and weak social systems.

Source: BBC

  1. Wiley Coyote says

    Historically, both the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution began with food riots. Just saying.

  2. michael houston says

    oil based paint put in balloons and thrown……quite effective for smearing windshields making it impossible to see through…..

  3. cechas vodobenikov says

    Chile was coca colonized by amerika during Pinochet—the only Latin amerikan nation u will ever hear amerikan organized sound—amerikans call it music….”world domination manifests itself as an intellectual or if u prefer, a cultural diktat. this is why the Americans have so zealously tried to bring down the intellectual and cultural common denominator of the entire world down to their own level.. try to convince an amerikan that their values will destroy Russia–u will not be able to”. Alexandr Zinoviev
    “the people of north amerika tolerate a level of ugliness in their daily lives nearly without precedent in the history of western civilization”. Yuri Bezmenov

  4. dreamjoehill says

    Chile, poster child for the underlying authoritarianism of capitalist “liberty”

    Liberty for the wealthy and powerful = oppression and poverty for the working class masses.

    Chile’s pension system was “restructured” – aka looted – under Pinochet’s regime, which had Milton Friedman, the father of capitalist libertarianism in the US, as its economic advisor.

    In Chile capitalist “liberty” was imposed by murdering 20,000 and torturing many times more.

    Chile still reels from the experience

    Friends of Chile Benefit May 9, 1974 – Full Set List

    01. Introduction (Phil Ochs) > Guantanamera (Pete Seeger/Arlo Guthrie)
    02. Estadio Chile (Pete Seeger)
    03. Oh, Mary Don’t You Weep (Pete Seeger/Arlo Guthrie)
    04. He Was A Friend Of Mine (Dave Van Ronk)
    05. Recitation (Dennis Hopper)
    06. Try Me One More Time (Arlo Guthrie)
    07. Deportee (Arlo Guthrie)
    08. Presidential Rag (Arlo Guthrie)
    09. California Girls (M. Love & D. Wilson)
    10. Ring The Living Bell (Melanie)
    11. My Rainbow Race (Melanie)
    12. Victor Jara (Arlo Guthrie)
    13. Allende’s Last Speech (Dennis Hopper)
    14. Deportee (Arlo Guthrie & Bob Dylan)
    15. Pablo Neruda Poem (Dennis Hopper)
    16. North Country Blues (Bob Dylan)
    17. Spanish Is The Loving Tongue (Bob Dylan/Van Ronk)
    18. Blowin’ In The Wind (Cast)
    19. Change In The Weather

  5. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

    Coming to a country near you….

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