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Piñera says the Chile protests involved foreign intervention

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The Chilean President said that he has received information from the U.S. State Department. suggesting that behind the violence there is more at play than “habitual criminals”

Chile’s president Sebastián Piñera said his government is investigating foreign intervention in last month’s violent protests in one of the most prosperous countries in the region.

“There’s a lot evidence that behind this situation there are forces that previously they did not know were operating within Chile. He recalled that Venezuela’s Socialist President Nicolas Maduro had been publicly supporting the protesters.

Piñera admitted that Chile’s intelligence service was working “but required “a deep transformation and modernization.” But commented that the government had also received information from the U.S. Department of State and other agencies that suggested that behind the violence there is more than “criminals “groups associated with drug traffickers.”

With more than three weeks of daily protests across the country, there’s no sign that the toughest protesters will leave the streets. “No one predicted this explosion of this violence, crime, killings, vandalism and arson, and therefore I don’t think anyone knows when it’s going to end,” said Chile’s president.

He said violent protesters should receive “the full weight of the law.” But so commentators believe that excessive use of force on the part of the Chilean authorities exacerbated the unrest. At least five Chileans died as a result of injuries from rubber bullets.

“If there have been violations… in case of excessive use of force…. [that must be investigated] and tried by the courts of justice”, secured Piñera.

The Chilean government proposed a package of measures aimed at calming the protesters, including an increase of the minimum wages and pensions, with an estimated cost of at least USD 1.5 billion which will be an added burden to taxpayers.

“Many pretend to be the interpreters and representatives of the people, but no one has given them this role. It’s better to listen to the people and then find solutions within our constitution, democracy and institutions, and not outside of them as some would like causing anarchy,” Piñera said.

While he said that the widespread call to change the Constitution is valid and must be addressed, he hinted that it would be wrong to convene a constitutional assembly just to rewrite the document.

Source: La Cronista ( translated )

 

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