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In Chile, Protests Show No Signs of Dying Down

Nov 8, 2019 | 21:35 GMT
Riot police officers stand guard in front of a burning barricade during a protest against the government of President Sebastian Pinera on Nov. 7, 2019, in Santiago, Chile.

Riot police officers stand guard in front of a burning barricade during a protest against the government of President Sebastian Pinera on Nov. 7, 2019, in Santiago, Chile. It won't be easy for Pinera to please the country's broad protest movement.

(MARCELO HERNANDEZ/Getty Images)

With Chile's protests poised to enter their fifth week, the prospects for a timely and tidy resolution are dim. Already, the sustained demonstrations in Santiago and other cities have led to at least 20 deaths, cost the economy an estimated $1.5 billion and forced the government to cancel the mid-November Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit at the last minute. Following the spread of demonstrations into Santiago's wealthier neighborhoods earlier this week, President Sebastian Pinera unveiled a carrot-and-stick approach on Nov. 7: While announcing plans to enhance the government's ability to monitor and punish violent protesters, he also heralded the beginning of "citizen dialogues" next week. But government concessions and efforts at dialogue will be hard-pressed to resolve the factors fueling the protests for two reasons: the deep-seated nature of the grievances and the fragmented nature of the groups voicing them. And for businesses operating in Chile, that will mean continued disruption...

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