Protesters in Chile return to the streets

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 29, 2019 - Duration: 01:24s

Protesters in Chile return to the streets

President Sebastian Pinera faced new protests on Monday after he replaced eight cabinet members, a house-cleaning aimed at taming the biggest political crisis since Chile's return to democracy in 1990.

Eve Johnson reports.

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Protesters in Chile return to the streets

A fresh bid to soothe public anger in Chile ended in chaos on Monday (October 28).

In Santiago, protesters set a downstown shopping center on fire leaving firefighters scrambling to put out the blaze Demonstrators hit the streets by the thousands, facing off against security forces and water cannons.

Earlier in the day, President Sebastian Pinera had announced a big government reshuffle.

He replaced eight cabinet ministers including his finance and interior ministers.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT SEBASTIAN PINERA SAYING: "This is not the same Chile from a few weeks ago.

Chile has changed, and the government must change with it to confront these new challenges and these new times." For years, Chile has boasted one of the most stable and prosperous economies in Latin America But the rising cost of living - and inequality - has sparked public anger Last week, protests spilled onto the streets and quickly spun out of control, leaving at least 17 dead and thousands arrested.

Pinera has already pledged a raft of reforms like boosting the minimum wage and pensions, and lowering the price of things like medicine and public transportation.

But a recent poll found most Chileans still feel that he's not doing enough.

And going by the mood on the streets, Chile's biggest political crisis in decades isn't over yet.

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