Chileans have protested every day since October 18th. What began as a rejection of a metro fee hike has become a solid stance against inequality. The slogan on the streets of Santiago is, “No son 30 pesos, son 30 años.” It’s not 30 pesos, it’s 30 years.
Thirty pesos ($.04) may sound like a small increase, but that raised the metro fare at rush hour to $1.17. Chilean minimum wage provided only $13.60 a day then ($408.00/month). As an example of expenses, travel to work and back again at rush hour would be 17% of the cost of living for one day, leaving $11.26 for food, rent, gas, electric, phone and so on. Last month Piñera raised minimum wage in response to the protests. People now make $480 a month, which allows them $16/day to live on. Is it enough?
It’s 30 years since the Pinochet dictatorship ended, and the Constitution he wrote in 1980 has not been rewritten! That is why it was so easy for Piñera to declare a national emergency and deploy 9,500 soldiers in the streets.
Chile by the Numbers
46 Number of years since the Pinochet coup ended democracy in Chile
39 Number of years ago the present constitution was written
30 (-1 month) Years since Pinochet stepped down
13 years ago Pinochet passed away
25 Days of protests
80 metro stations damaged or destroyed
4271 people detained by the authorities
2500 protesters wounded (400 from buckshot and rubber bullets)
800 police officers wounded
180 protesters with severe trauma to an eye
30 protesters who were blinded in one eye
23 Chileans dead since the protests began
20.357 Law under which Piñera may be prosecuted for crimes against humanity
1.2 Million Number of Chileans who protested in Santiago October 25th
I combed the news sources in English and Spanish to provide these facts. What do you think about what’s happening in Chile? Is it in the newspapers where you live?
Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco. ¡Olé! –Rebecca