Santiago: After more than a million people joined a peaceful rally on Friday in the capital Santiago, calling for social justice, Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera has dismissed his whole cabinet in order to form a new government and introduce social reforms demanded by protesters. It is however not yet clear what form the reshuffle will take.
“We are in a new reality,” the President said. “Chile is different from what it was a week ago,” he tweeted further. The president also announced that a curfew imposed in cities across Chile a week ago had been lifted. The opposition has called for an end to the ongoing state of emergency.
Santiago Governor Karla Rubilar also tweeted saying that a million people marching in the capital “represent a dream for a new Chile”. Organisers said it was the biggest demonstration there since democracy was restored in 1990. On Wednesday the president announced a package of reforms aimed at ending the protests, including increasing the basic pension and minimum wage.
At least 17 people have been killed and hundreds injured since the anti-inequality protests began over a week ago. Chile is one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries but has the worst levels of income equality among the 36 member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).