Around the world there are multiple important protests occurring. Citizens in Lebanon, Hong Kong, and Iraq have all stepped up with criticisms of their respective governments. In South America, Chile is no different and is seemingly undergoing a revolution. The ongoing protests began on October 18 after a four percent increase in transportation prices was announced. The Chilean government didn’t expect the seemingly subtle change to cause such outroar but it was the final straw for the Chilean people.
The wealth inequality gap has been building up for years with previous smaller protests about better education standards and a fairer pension system. In 2017 the United Nations reported that the top 1% earn 33% of the country’s wealth, 7% less than America’s.
Students in Chile’s capital Santigo began calling for a fare evasion on social media and later turned to the streets. Protests quickly turned violent with damaged supermarkets and fires. The arrival of police have only added to the chaos, with a Chilean officer’s arrest for shooting a student twice.
The protests have no clear leader or demands, but their strive towards democracy is. The current Chilean constitution was written under former dictator Augusto Pinochet. There are still remnants of the restricted economy, with water still being a private commodity.
Billionaire President Sebastián Piñera has called for a state of emergency and took military action in an attempt to quell the protests. Since the arrival of military troops, 19 Chileans have died. Protests are still ongoing and prices have yet to be reduced, making the future of Chile uncertain.