Chile leader Pinera says will not resign
Santiago, Chile - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Tuesday he will not resign in the face of deadly protests over inequality and poor social conditions that have entered their third week.
Asked by the BBC in an interview whether he will step down, the billionaire conservative leader said, “No.”
“These problems have been accumulating for the past 30 years,” Pinera said. “I am responsible (for) part of it and I assume my responsibility, but I’m not the only one.”
Fresh clashes broke out on Tuesday, adding to the violence gripping one of Latin America’s most prosperous countries. It has forced the government to cancel two major international economic and climate summits and open talks with the leftist opposition.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the capital, and in the southern cities of Concepcion and Vina del Mar, west of Santiago.
Police firing birdshot injured two students among a group trying to overrun a public high school in Santiago, police said. The students were treated at a hospital and released.
Citing public order fears, South American football chiefs announced they were switching the venue for a major continental soccer final from Santiago.
This month’s showpiece Copa Libertadores final will now be held in the Peruvian capital Lima, soccer authority CONMEBOL said after meeting in Paraguay.
Prosecutors say 20 people have died in unrest since the protests began on October 20.
A UN human rights mission is investigating allegations of police brutality.
In his interview, Pinera defended his decision to declare a state of emergency but promised to look into allegations of police violence and abuse.
The interview came as the
President announced a package of measures for small and medium-sized businesses hit by the unrest. Some 6,800 companies affected by rioting, looting and fires will benefit from financial aid and tax deductions.
Demonstrators and riot police clashed again in the capital Santiago on Tuesday, when around 2,000 people gathered in the capital.
People take part in a demonstration against Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, in Buenos Aires on Tuesday