In Chile, hunger uprisings in Santiago’s suburbs are exploding

Residents of a poor city on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, El Bosque, clashed with police on Monday to protest the lack of food in prison. About twenty people were arrested.

Slogans are hostile to the government, stones and tear gas can be seen … In the small town of El Bosque, a poor suburb of Santiago de Chile, residents demonstrated on Monday, May 18, against food shortages linked to the housing space to restrict the spread of Covid-19 epidemic.

“It’s not quarantine, it’s help, food, it’s what people are asking right now,” native Veronica Abarca told AFP.

Barricades were erected and violence escalated into collisions with sticks and stones on the protesters’ side and tear gas and water cannons on the police’s side. Police reported 21 arrests, distributed over several hours in the afternoon.

Economic activity slowed down for several months

President Sebastian Piñera’s government on Friday ordered the inclusion of the entire population of the metropolitan region, which concentrates 80% of the country’s coronavirus cases. But economic activity has slowed for months already, while the country has been gripping lively social unrest since October last year.

The municipality of El Bosque issued a press release condemning the deterioration of the “quality of life for residents” and the lack of regard from the central government to the poorest. “These are the residents who, after more than a month without being able to work without seeing any concrete action by the state, are protesting today,” wrote Mayor Sadi Melo.

On Sunday, the president announced the distribution of 2.5 million lunches to his most disadvantaged citizens. The corona virus killed 478 people in Chile, in more than 46,000 cases.

With AFP