25 Days in Chile Reprise

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

30 pesos from our stay in Chile   Photo: Rebecca Cuningham


Rebecca Cuningham

6 thoughts on “25 Days in Chile Reprise

  1. Rebecca,

    Thanks so much! This is a fascinating way to illustrate the events which have been taking place in Chile, as well as in other Latin American countries. Initially, I was shocked by the events there, since I was assessing the situation based on the fact that Chile is considered to be the greatest economic success story on the continent. However, considering its history under Pinochet and the continued inequality within Chilean society–as you’ve pointed out–the reasons for the outcry are clearer.

    Today, a Colombian friend told me there’s a rumor going around Colombia that Venezuela’s Maduro is sending out spies to work undercover in other Latin American countries in order to sew discord, but I suspect those rumors are being promoted by Colombia’s own very unpopular right-wing government. A national protest has been called in Colombia for November 21st due to disagreements with government policies and the continued assassinations of community leaders and journalists in this country. The protesting groups, which form a very broad-based coalition, are calling for the resignation of the Colombian President, American-educated Ivan Duque.

    My hope is that positive changes–reducing inequality and providing real security for every Colombian–can come about without violence here. As someone who lived through the events of the Arab Spring in the Middle East, I can definitely say it’s an interesting time to be living in Latin America.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Henry. Glad to shed a little light on events in Chile. I see so little in the US press about it. I hope the Nov. 21 protest in Colombia goes well and communicates people’s concerns to the government there. -Rebecca

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Omg! I think that’s not right that the chilians have so little to live on! Is it a very poor country? Is there a lot of poverty there? I say great they are protesting, but sad so many were either wounded or killed!

    Liked by 1 person

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