go to top
A Chilean protester faces off with an armored police vehicle during an anti-government march in Santiago. A protester faces off with an armored police vehicle during an anti-government march in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

If Chile Can Erupt Over Inequality, Anywhere Can

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019

Until just a few days ago, Chile probably looked to most people like the most stable country in Latin America, and the least likely to erupt in massive social unrest. Few if any countries in the region have experienced decades of economic growth and an expansion of the middle class, alongside reliably fair and competitive elections. And yet last week, the streets of Santiago became the scene of violent clashes between thousands of protesters and security forces, leaving more than a dozen people dead and hundreds arrested. In response, President Sebastian Pinera deployed the military, imposed curfews and announced a state of emergency, declaring, “We are at war.”

The sudden, ferocious eruption of discontent caught just about everyone at home and abroad by surprise. If it can happen there, some observers noted, it can happen anywhere. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.