Chilean police crack down on protests against pension authority

A demonstrator clashes with a riot policeman during a rally against Chilean pension fund administrators, in Santiago, Chile.  Photo: teleSUR

Santiago de Chile, October 25 (RHC)-- Hundreds of Chileans protested against the private pension system in Chile, in a demonstration that ended with at least twelve detainees after a confrontation with the police.

"We have reunited here again after Chile woke up in 2016 with massive marches in the country demanding a pension system that allows, at the end of active life, to have a dignified old age, an issue that today in Chile does not happen," Carolina Espinoza, the national leader of the coordinator "No more AFP," said to EFE.

In 2016, that organization began protests across the country against the current private pension system, based on the individual contributions to private companies (AFPs, Pension Fund Administrators) and taxes levied in 1981 by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Currently, 90.75 percent of Chile's retirees receive pensions of less than 154.304 pesos per month, almost half of the minimum wage established in the country.  This represents a monthly pension equivalent to between one third and 50 percent of the income that pensioners received during their working life.

Espinoza said that "in this country, we are suffering the scourge that means pension with pensions of misery that are well below the minimum wage, which is already an absolutely insufficient salary to live in Chile."

The protest that was held next to the National Library was also joined by a group of leaders of the Unitary Workers' Confederation (CUT), headed by its president, Barbara Figueroa.

When the demonstrators tried to march down the Alameda, the main avenue of the Chilean capital, riot police issued a warning and immediately charged at the demonstrators with tear gas and water cannons.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino


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