President Sebastián Piñera on Tuesday has said he will not resign despite the mass anti-government protests. He revealed his mind in an interview with BBC.
On Monday, thousands of Chileans took to the streets again to demand better social services, some clashing with police, as protesters demanded an end to economic inequality even as the government announced that weeks of demonstrations are hurting the country’s economic growth.
Student-led protests erupted in Santiago last month against a rise in subway fares, but the protest soon spread into nationwide daily demonstrations against rampant inequality and long-simmering collective grievances concerning health, education, pensions and other issues.
In response to protests and spates of property destruction and looting, Pinera initially said the country was at war with "a powerful and relentless enemy," declaring a state of emergency. For more than a week, the military was deployed to various parts of the country, enforcing nighttime curfews and cracking down on protests.
At least 23 people have died in the unrest, including five killed by military and police forces, according to officials. More than 4,000 people have been detained and more than 1,600 wounded, according to the National Human Rights Institute.
The demonstrations were originally triggered by a now-suspended rise in the price of metro fares in Santiago. Protesters are now marching to express their discontent over a wide variety of problems.