Violence flared in Santiago on Wednesday between troops and rightwing demonstrators just as a two week old strike against Chile's Marxist-led government appeared to be ending.
Violence flared in Santiago on Wednesday between troops and rightwing demonstrators just as a two week old strike against Chile's Marxist-led government appeared to be ending. The fighting shattered five days of relative calm in the capital.
Leaders of the Lorry Owners Federation who took vehicles off the road on October the Eleventh are reported to have agreed on a formula to end their strike. The stoppage was called to protest against a Government plan to set up a State-run transport system in the south of the country. However, it sparked off widespread protests against the socialists' policies of President Salvador Allende's Popular Unity Coalition.
On Tuesday (Oct 24) leaders of the country's five political parties - opposed to the two-year-old Popular Unity Coalition Government-called on their supporters to stay at home in a 'Day of Silence' protest. Though tension abated in Santiago, police continued to guard key points and the Army maintained its midnight to 6 am curfew. On Wednesday (Oct 25) the peace was shattered when gangs of youths taunted police in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to spark fresh trouble.