The keys to violence in Chile, from the idyllic economy to vulnerable society



The police arrest a protester in the streets of Santiago de Chile.

Chile was considered the model country of Latin America, an economy that kept growing, an exporting country and was creating a powerful middle class while increasing its GDP per capita. This weekend, Chile will surprise the world with an explosion of violence and a massive protest that puts everything in question. What happened? A series of questions and answers to explain it:

Why did the protests erupt?

The Chilean middle classes – it was a mistake to think that this protest focuses only on the lower classes – have been suffering and complaining about the rising cost of lifetime. “A series of unsolved problems accumulated, such as health and education, and consecutive price increases were added this year in the light, water, transport, medicines, things in people’s daily lives,” he said. the journalist Federico Grnewald. “About 74% of families are also over-indebted, the light goes up again in January and you pay a ticket as if you were in London. Salaries do not increase and the government expands a reform to reduce the number of working hours. discomfort overflows. ” And in these weeks there was a phrase that raised anger in wide swaths of the population. Economa Minister Juan Andrs Fontaine said: “He who gets up early will be helped with the transport fare.

How is Chilean society structured?

It is a very classist and discriminatory society, a country that automatically distinguishes according to skin color and economic power. It is also a country of strong influence of Catholicism more orthodox and permeated by a strong machismo. Some of these behavior patterns have begun to change in recent years, especially since the mass demonstrations of students in 2011, during the first government of conservative Sebastin Piera. A tour of Santiago de Chile is enough to notice the differences: in the center, “Sanhattan”, the beautiful and impressive financial and business sector of the capital, which Chileans like to compare with Manhattan. In the hills, in the highest sectors of the city, impressive mansions and most of clear faces. On the periphery, depressed neighborhoods and the predominance of the dark complexion of the original peoples. And the middle class? He hadn’t grown up, wasn’t he thriving? Yes, Chile made great progress and its people won in education and civility, but the analyst Alejandra Pizarro warns of her fragility: “60% of the Chilean middle class is very vulnerable. Anything that happens plunges them into poverty. That’s why you live psychologically with anguish and fear. ” Statistics confirm that the gap between the richest and the poorest continues to grow despite 20 years of consecutive economic boom.

What is Chile today? A desirable model or a failed model?

“Chile is today a middle class country, and in the context of nations it is a country that came out of the lower class and became a middle class. Chile’s economic success , plus the underlying economic consensus that existed post-dictatorship is already exhausted, it is probably exhausted after the marches of students in 2011, “explains Jaime Bellolio, the government’s critical government deputy. Claudio Ramrez, Chilean lawyer and entrepreneur, summarizes it with an impact image: “Chile has not found its story yet, it is very corporate, it has nothing to itch. It is a good Holiday Inn, a business hotel.” “We are facing the most difficult moment that has had to live (to Santiago) since the return to democracy,” said Santiago Metropolitan Mayor Karla Rubilar.

Why so much violence?

Chile was one of the main stages of the Fra War in Latin America, with a strong presence of revolutionary organizations of communist inspiration. And the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990 was one of the toughest in the region. When democracy returned, Pinochet himself starred in something unusual for other countries, because he remained as head of the Army, first, and senator for life, then. Used to obey and duck your head in a class society, the Chilean reaction, once it arrives, can be fierce. The fact that the carabineros frequently suppress peaceful demonstrators with chariots of water and tear gas inflamed many these days. Others expressly sought violence and promoted looting. “Although they are looting they are not all criminals, but protected in the group commit crimes,” warns psychiatrist Ricardo Capponi. “These are regressive behaviors that occur when protected by a large group. The protests were initiated by students, but then they were led by political groups. A political agreement is needed then.”

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