After all, what is happening in Chile?

Amid the growing popular demonstrations that emerged throughout 2019, another country has gained international prominence in recent days: Chile. Seen as a symbol of stability within South America, the country that is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has faced protests that have highlighted a new political crisis.

Tariff increase in Chile

The increase in public transport fare on October 6, 2019 was the trigger for last Thursday (17), a wave of demonstrations to take over the country. With the increase of 30 pesos, the tariff value would rise to 830 pesos - which corresponds to R $ 4.73 in the Brazilian currency today. In the face of outrage, some students jumped through the station turnstiles to use the subway without paying for the ticket.

Demonstration in Santiago (Source: Wikimedia)

On Friday (18), the situation worsened, with several establishments being destroyed by some protesters. The government declared a state of emergency, and with that, sought to suppress the protests, which gave no respite. On Saturday (19), there was a curfew in some locations. According to President Sebastián Piñera, the country would be at war.

Due to constant pressure, the government has retreated from the tariff increase. Until the morning of Tuesday (22), it was reported that 15 people died in the clashes in Chile. This week demonstrations continue and a general strike has been called for October 23.


Protesters allege that their discontent has a deeper origin, because although the amount spent on transportation represents a considerable amount within the budget and its increase is not welcomed, they believe that the standard of living of the population has not improved. Chile.

It is believed that although the center-left and center-right governments have taken command of the country on an interim basis over the past 13 years, the prospect of improving the Chilean population's life would have diminished in the face of the country's structural problems, accentuating the wear and unrest over this period.

Chile, according to OECD data from 2017, is marked by contrasts: it has one of the highest per capita incomes while being one of the countries with the greatest economic inequality within the group.