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Latin American Weekly Report - 24 October 2019 (WR-19-42)

CHILE: The unexpected powder-keg

A country often described as one of the wealthiest and most politically stable in Latin America has experienced a sudden and widely unexpected social explosion. After a week of relatively low-level student-led protests over public fare increases on the Santiago underground system, public anger suddenly took off on 18 October, and the days immediately following, with violent clashes, looting, and arson, as well as parallel peaceful protests flaring up across the entire country. By the time this edition went to press there were 15 dead, over 1,500 arrested, burnt metro and bus stations, and economic losses that were being assessed in the “hundreds of millions of dollars”.

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