The President, Sebastián Piñera, said this Sunday that his government “has prepared” to face possible situations of violence in March, when various social organizations have called different marches after the end of the summer break.
“The Government has prepared to safeguard (the) public order and promote a March of agreements, to increase pensions, create the guaranteed minimum income and improve health,” said the president on his Twitter account, who will return this week to the I work after a few days of vacation.
The crisis that has shaken the country since October, the most serious since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), with some thirty deaths and thousands of injured, has decreased in intensity in February – the month chosen by the majority of Chileans for vacation – but is expected to pick up steam again in March.
The protests, which began in response to the increase in the subway fare and later turned into a revolt against the Government, were massive and almost daily at the beginning, but for a couple of months they have been limited only to Fridays in the case of Santiago.
“Agreements and non-violence is the way,” insisted Piñera, referring to the social projects that the Executive has presented in Parliament and that are pending discussion.
Among the groups that will demonstrate in March is the feminist movement, whose great march will be held on March 8 at noon in Plaza Italia, a roundabout in Santiago converted into the epicenter of the social outbreak and renamed by the protesters as “Plaza de la Dignidad ».
Last year’s march for 8M gathered more than 200,000 people in Santiago and was one of the most massive in the recent history of the country, but this year’s concentration is expected to be even more massive.
Carabineros announced that it will deploy a contingent made up mostly of female agents that day, an unprecedented measure so far.
The police force has been in the spotlight since the beginning of the crisis and various organizations such as the UN or Amnesty International (AI) have accused them of having committed serious human rights violations, many of them related to sexual crimes.
The feminist movement has been very present in the social upheaval, especially since the irruption of the LasTesis collective and its performance “A rapist on your way”, turned into a global feminist anthem.
Students, teachers, the movement against the AFPs – the controversial companies that manage pensions – and the Mapuche people, among others, are also expected to demonstrate in March.