World Monster celebration in Chile after the referendum amending the Constitution of the Pinochet era
Chile protest anniversary turns violent as churches burned, police fire tear gas
Tens of thousands of Chileans gathered in the central square of Santiago to mark the one-year anniversary of mass protests that left over 30 dead and thousands injured, with peaceful rallies on Sunday devolving by nightfall into riots and looting. © Esteban Felix/AP Police used water cannon to disperse protesters in Santiago on Sunday. People gathered early in the day in demonstrations downtown and in cities throughout Chile that gained size and fervor through the evening.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators celebrated in the streets of Santiago de Chile the result of the referendum in favor of a new Constitution to replace that inherited from the Pinochet era. This vote was organized a year after a massive popular uprising against social inequalities.
Police used water cannons to try to disperse the crowd before the results were announced, to no avail. According to almost final results covering more than 99% of the polling stations, the votes in favor of a new Constitution won by far with 78.3% of the votes, against 21.7% for the vote rejecting this option.
Chile's constitution vote could chart a new course for the country
After fierce protests, Chile's referendum Sunday will decide whether the country should replace its dictatorship-era constitution.The unrest has roiled a country hailed by the World Bank as "one of Latin America's fastest-growing economies" but where there is deep-seated anger over government policies seen as favoring the rich.
Video: Chile prepares for a historic vote on the Constitution (France 24)
Reacting to these results, Conservative President Sebastian Piñera called in a televised address to " unity ”of the country to draft the“ new Constitution ”.
“Until now, the Constitution has divided us. From today, we must all work together to make the new Constitution a space of unity, stability and a future, "said the head of state.
A year ago, to the day, thehad a turning point when 1.2 million people had gathered on this emblematic square, renamed “Place de la Dignité”.
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