20 killed in Chile protests against rise in metro fares

20 killed in Chile protests against rise in metro fares

Over 9,200 people arrested across country during unrest, Justice Ministry says

By Muhammed Emin Canik

BUENOS AIRES (AA) - At least 20 people were killed in violent protests against rising living costs in Chile, according to the country’s Justice Ministry.

The ministry said on Tuesday that a total of 1,218 people, including 745 security officers, were also injured since the start of the demonstrations on Oct. 6.

The anti-government protests, which began as a reaction to a now-suspended 4% transport fare hike, turned violent on Oct. 19.

During the unrest, 49 subway stations were destroyed and 26 buses were set on fire. Over 9,200 people were arrested across the country, the ministry added.

Demonstrators plan to hold more mass protests during the weekend in order to demand resignation of President Sebastian Pinera who replaced eight cabinet members, including his interior and finance ministers.

On Oct. 16, protesters jumped turnstiles at metro stations in Santiago without paying for tickets in protest against a 4% transport fare hike.

Pinera also announced concessions, including rolling back the fare increase, an increase in the minimum wage, and putting a hike in electricity prices on hold until next year in a bid to contain the strife.

Half of Chile’s workers make $550 or less monthly, according to the country's statistics authority.

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