Chile proposes aid for poor households as protests continue
Amid ongoing violent protests in Chile, President Sebastian Pinera submitted a proposal to offer aid to poor households.
The proposal, a bill of 124 US dollars per month in cash assistance to 1.3 million families, would cost the country some 185 million dollars in subsidies.
The bill is one of the latest in a string of concessions made by Pinera’s conservative government in an effort to placate the protests, which have been ongoing for more than a month and a half.
During a public event, President Pinera said, “The measure “represents major relief, some help at a time when so many Chilean families need it”.
Earlier on Monday, Pinera announced a plan to reactivate the economy by investing 5.5 billion dollars to promote micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses and create 100,000 more jobs.
The violent protests that started in mid-October prompting the government to declare a state of emergency and the deployment of soldiers in the provinces of Santiago and Chacabuco, as well as in the Metropolitan municipalities of Puente Alto and San Bernardo.
Clashes broke out between the protesters and the police in several parts of the city throughout the day and the subway was shut after attacks on several stations.
In November, the death toll climbed to 23 as the country entered its fifth week of social unrest.
The crisis is the worst in three decades of Chilean democracy and has led to around 2,000 injuries, including some 280 people who suffered eye damage from shotgun pellets.
Although Chile has the highest per capita income of Latin America at $20,000, there is widespread frustration at privatized health care and education, rising costs of basic services and falling pensions.