Biggest Chilean 8M Protest Ever

On Sunday, the largest number of protesters ever in Santiago, Chile turned out for the International Women’s Day march! The march is called “8M” in Chile, for 8th of March. The carabineros (police) admit there were 150,000 people downtown. Funny thing is, the organizers estimated 2 million people. Something doesn’t quite add up. Even the law of averages pushes the numbers close to a million marchers. The administration of the Metropolitan Region estimated more than 1,200,000 attendees. That sounds closer to the truth. The protest was against gender violence and discrimination and for equal pay.

One thousand six hundred police were called out to custodiar (take care of) the protest, make sure it was peaceful. Although it was, the carabineros used water cannons, pepper spray and tear gas on the women and girls in several locations to keep them from amassing at full force. There were 12 marchers wounded and 36 taken to jail.

Protests persist and the police’s human rights violations continue in Santiago and throughout the country. Both are under-reported in the US and Chilean news. I am worried because the national plebiscite is next month. The Chilean population will vote 26 April if they want a new constitution (a majority do) and whether they would like the convention made up of everyday citizens (Constitutional Convention) or a mix of the parliament and elected citizens (Mixed Constitutional Convention). Considering the blatant censorship and the police brutality since last October, I doubt an honest outcome for the election. I fear the iron fist reaction to the protests that would happen if the majority of Chileans vote for a Constitutional Convention (which seems likely) but the official results say a Mixed Constitutional Convention won the vote (which is predictable).

Please keep the people of Chile’s welfare in your thoughts and prayers.

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco. ¡Olé! -Rebecca



Rebecca Cuningham

14 thoughts on “Biggest Chilean 8M Protest Ever

  1. They ALWAYS lie about how many people march/show up…everywhere. I’ve marched in Washington a few times and they always try and make it seem as if there were less than there were. The insanity of using pepper spray, water cannons, etc., is how absolutely terrified that women will finally stand up for themselves. Men are afraid of women, especially women who speak out. I’m sorry that happened to them but I’m not surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve noticed a discrepancy in the official numbers versus my experience when I’ve marched too. The repression is brutal in Chile right now. Some men may be afraid, but others are marching alongside the women.


  2. Good article and important to know as we here in Europe are at times very ignorant of what is happening in American countries. Thank you for such interesting news Rebecca. All the best,


    1. Thank you for your comments, Francisco. Covid is the most pressing news on people’s minds internationally right now. However, I am disappointed in the coverage by El País of the Chilean constitutional congress. Gracias, Rebecca

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I do see your point. I like to focus on how the women feel empowered and are marching. But, yes it is also sad. This year the marches were disrupted with tear gas and firehoses. The fight hoes on.


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