Student protests turn violent in the wake of Rechazo victory

On Tuesday, student protesters converged on Santiago Centro primarily asking for improvements in education. Other groups then joined the march to register their discontent with the outcome of last Sunday’s referendum. A day later, metro evasions by students took place again.

As a throwback to the days ahead of October 18, 2019, when the estallido in Chile started, several metro stations in Santiago registered massive evasions by students. As if they once again tried to initiate a revolt in their country, they jumped the turnstiles and forced several stations to close down. A day earlier, massive and sometimes violent protests took place in the center.

On Sept. 6, secondary students filled Santiago Centro to protest in support of better education standards and facilities, access to food supplies, and the liberation of people arrested during the Estallido Social (the social outburst that began in October 2019).

The march took place on one of the capital’s primary thoroughfares, Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, also known as “La Alameda,” and it aimed to reach Moneda Palace, the seat of the president

However, other groups, including those unhappy that the proposed new constitution had been rejected in Sunday’s referendum, soon joined the student protest and tension grew.  Shortly after that, things turned violent when some students, followed by outside individuals, started throwing objects at the police.

The situation then degenerated into a familiar chaos when protesters set fire to a metro bus, set up several flaming barricades, and attacked the outside of the Ministry of Education building. Marco Antonio Ávila, Chile’s education minister, denounced the attacks. He reported the attack on Twitter and commented, “Violence is never the right path to follow. Especially if it is used against workers.” 

During the protest, at least 35 people were arrested, and 14 of them were minors.


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