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Protests in Santiago a week ahead of anticipated Chilean national referendum

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CHILE, Santiago — Live from Santiago on Sunday, October 18, as protesters take to the streets of Santiago ahead of the widely anticipated Chilean national referendum on October 25. Chile was rocked by a wave of protests considered to be the largest in decades, sparked by a now-suspended metro fare hike.

The demonstrations evolved into a movement with wider grievances aimed at addressing the rising cost of living, pension reform, and police conduct during protests amid calls for the resignation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. Following the unrests, Pinera signed a decree summoning the constitutional referendum on April 26, 2020, for Chileans to decide if they want a new constitution, and if so, whether it will be drawn up by a constitutional commission among citizens or a mixed committee with half of its members from current lawmakers and the other half from elected members.

The referendum was postponed to October 25, 2020, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Pinera is expected to give an address on the same day commemorating the start of the social movement and stating the steps taken by the Chilean government to accommodate the demands of the protesters.

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