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Montevideo, September 25th 2021 - 11:46 UTC

 

 

Chile's main rock festival turned into major clashes and arson between protesters and police

Tuesday, February 25th 2020 - 07:35 UTC
Full article 13 comments
Tear gas drifting through the hotel forced many guests to flee. The protesters also burned at least ten vehicles. Tear gas drifting through the hotel forced many guests to flee. The protesters also burned at least ten vehicles.
Multiple Grammy-winner Ricky Martin said it was “important to let the leaders of our countries know what we need, provided we do so in an orderly manner.” Multiple Grammy-winner Ricky Martin said it was “important to let the leaders of our countries know what we need, provided we do so in an orderly manner.”

Thousands of protesters armed with stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails clashed with police on Sunday as one of Latin America's biggest music festival opened, in the latest spurt of a four-month-old wave of grassroots anger over economic inequality and other woes.

Police blocked the entrance to a park where the festival was being held in Viña del Mar, a seaside resort about 120 kilometers west of Santiago.

Officers used a helicopter and a balloon with surveillance cameras and drove back the protesters by firing water cannon and tear gas.

“Vandals and criminals are trying to do damage just four blocks from the entrance to the festival. But everything is under control,” Jorge Martinez, the Valparaiso regional governor, told the 24-hour state news channel.

After failing to get into the festival grounds, protesters attacked nearby shops and the renowned O'Higgins Hotel where many festival artists usually stay. Tear gas drifting through the hotel forced many guests to flee. The protesters also burned at least ten vehicles.

Despite the official optimism, the festival's traditional Hollywood-style red carpet opening, one of Chile's most watched televised events, was canceled.

The crowd was able to enter three and a half hours before the start of the show after filing through two security fences mounted in at least four blocks around the park.

Multiple Grammy-winner Ricky Martin, due to perform at the festival, said it was “important to let the leaders of our countries know what we need, provided we do so in an orderly manner.”

At the height of the protests, Martin addressed a message to Chile's President Sebastian Piñera on social media: “You have to know that the will of a people is respected, is obeyed, is fulfilled. Listen to your people.”

Since authorities announced a modest hike in metro fares in the capital Santiago on October 18, more than 30 people have died in protests which mushroomed in an outlet for wider discontent over social and economic inequality and rejection of conservative billionaire Pinera and his government.

A nationwide referendum on changing the constitution, which dates back to the era of military dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 70s and 80s, is set for April.

Top Comments

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  • DemonTree

    Anyone else wondering why people want to protest a rock festival? It's not exactly the G20.

    Feb 25th, 2020 - 11:03 pm 0
  • Chicureo

    DemonTree & Estimado THINK

    The festival in Viña has always been a moment of national pride and pastime, where people peacefully enjoy an eclectic mix of artists of which many are world famous. The disturbances did nothing to assist the public good and many small business people were financially ruined due to looting and arson.

    The small business I'm referencing were kiosk vendors and small shops owned by humble lower income people that were uninsured and are unable to rebuild, much less restock their inventory.

    I've finished my table grape harvest and awaiting a record avocado season. This has been an exceptional weather perfect growing season.

    Feb 26th, 2020 - 05:44 pm 0
  • Guillote

    In part I understand the claim of the people of Chile but I also think that there are many anarchists in these claims. and people who just don't like the political party that won and I what know without any doubt. Here we have Maradona and CFK who talk about many nonsense from Cuba.

    Hipocritas que hablan de presos politicos , persecucion mediatica, judicial y represion policial y lo dicen desde cuba o venezuela

    Feb 27th, 2020 - 01:45 am 0
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