Chile: Night Of Fury To Demand The Withdrawal Of Pension Funds
Above photo: Burning barricade in the streets, Santiago, Chile, July 14, 2020. Twitter/ @frente_foto.
Citizens expect lawmakers to pass a law allowing them to withdraw 10 percent of the savings which private pension fund insurers control.
From Tuesday night until early Wednesday morning, Chilean citizens took to the streets to support a pension-related bill and protest against President Sebastian Piñera.
Today the Lower House is expected to vote on a bill that will allow Chileans to withdraw the 10 percent of their savings that remain controlled by the repudiated Pension Fund Insurers (AFP), which are private companies that control pensions in this South American country since that time of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990).
“This initiative is supported by a large majority of the people, which claims to have the freedom to dispose of the money. The government, however, has done everything in its power to prevent the bill from going ahead,” Prensa Latina explained.
During Tuesday night, in several cities of the country, citizens banged pots from their homes as a way to show their discontent. In the country’s capital, massive protests were reported in neighborhoods such as Ñuñoa, Recoleta, Quinta Normal, Lo Prado, Quilicura, Huechuraba, Independencia, Maipu, Estacion Central, and Cerro Navia.
People needs social security; it’s a human right! Chile is one of the countries where pensions are administered by private actors: AFP, which has profited for 3 decades sin dictatorship while Chileans are getting old & poor people. #NoMasAFP #cacerolazonacional #EstadilloSocial2 https://t.co/vBQGACtHdC
— Cecilia Prieto 🇨🇱🏴 (@Cecilia_PrietoB) July 15, 2020
In these places, the curfew and the threat of police brutality did not prevent citizens from taking to the streets to build barricades with cardboard and pieces of wood.
Local media also reported the burning of dozens of vehicles in Santiago, where at least five supermarkets were looted.
In this city, the Chileans even went to protest in front of four military police headquarters, which were also the object of their fury. Over 60 people were arrested because of the demonstrations.
On Wednesday morning, the military police redoubled their presence in Dignity Square, which has become the emblem of the Chilean resistance to neoliberalism.