Latin America & Caribbean

In pictures: Clashes in Chile amid national strike

Mass protests and a nationwide strike have brought parts of Chile to a standstill as discontent over inequality in the country continues.

The unrest began almost a month ago, originally triggered by a now-suspended rise in the price of metro fares in the capital Santiago. But protests quickly spread across the country, reflecting wider anger against the government.

The strike on Tuesday was supported by unions in various industries. It drew widespread participation across the country, while large demonstrations were held in several cities.

The action came as the value of the national currency hit a record low.

Thousands of people took to the streets in Santiago to protest against the government of President Sebastián Piñera.

An aerial view of people demonstrating against the government of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, in Santiago on 12 November, 2019. Image copyright AFP

People waved the flags of Chile and the Mapuche indigenous group during the demonstration.

Protesters shout slogans and wave flags of Chile and the Mapuche people during a national strike and general demonstration called by different workers' unions on 12 November, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. Image copyright Getty Images

Here, a group of protesters stand underneath graffiti saying "inequality" as they demand greater social reforms.

Chile is one of Latin America's wealthiest countries but also one of its most unequal - it has the worst levels of income equality among the 36 member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

People demonstrate under graffiti reading "Inequality" during a protest demanding greater social reforms from Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in Santiago on 12 November, 2019. Image copyright AFP

Marches also took places in other parts of the country on Tuesday, including the city of Concepción

Demonstrators march against Chile's government in Concepcion, Chile, 12 November, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

While many marched peacefully, clashes once again broke out in the capital between groups of protesters and police.

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest in the central Plaza Italia in Santiago, Chile, 12 November 2019. Image copyright EPA

Protesters were seen throwing rocks at security forces, while riot police used water cannons and tear gas in an effort to disperse them.

Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest demanding greater social reform on 12 November, 2019. Image copyright AFP
Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest demanding greater social reform on 12 November, 2019. Image copyright AFP

The clashes continued as night fell, with some protesters setting up burning barricades.

A demonstrator makes a burning barricade during a national strike and general demonstration called by different workers' unions on 12 November, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. Image copyright Getty Images

Similar unrest broke out in other cities, including Concepción, where a government building was reportedly evacuated after a fire broke out.

Riot police stand amid tear gas and smoke from a burning barricade during a protest against Chile's government in Concepcion on 12 November, 2019 Image copyright Reuters

The coastal city of Valparaíso ground to a halt amid the strike, with mass protests there also turning violent.

Demonstrators clash with security forces during a protest against Chile's government in Valparaiso on 12 November, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

Mr Piñera made an address to the nation amid the protests.

Previous efforts by the president to quell the unrest - including increasing the minimum wage and basic pension - have not appeased the demonstrators.

People watch a television broadcasting a speech by Chile's President Sebastian Pinera in an emergency room of a hospital amid anti-government protests in Santiago, Chile, 12 November, 2019 Image copyright Reuters

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