The President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera sent a bill to Congress on November 6, to increase the minimum wage in a bid to control the situation of three weeks long anti-government protests over inequality in one of the richest nations of Latin America. The bill seeks to guarantee a minimum wage of about $470 a month. The President signed the bill on Wednesday as demonstrations continued with hundreds of honking cars and trucks travelling through an underpass that caused massive traffic jams to demand a reduction in tolls.
The demonstrators are demanding improved social services and equality. Some groups even clashed with the police in the capital. The demonstrators brought the traffic to a halt on some roads and affected many commuters. According to the reports, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones, who was heading to Congress in the port city of Valparaiso stepped down from his vehicle to talk to the truck drivers. He said that the people are facing huge social demands and they are all aware of that. He added that the people are having a really tough time in each and every sector. The protest started last month over a surge in the subway fares which has escalated to a massive form demanding a broad range of changes. A maximum number of the protests were peaceful but some have turned violent. Around 20 people have died in the clashes. Looting and arson have resulted in the cancellation of two upcoming major international summits.
The government has responded to the demands of the protestors and has accepted to meet the demands that must be approved by Congress. The people of Chile complain about facing deep social inequality. The widespread protests took place across the major cities of Chile. The riot police have fired water cannons to disperse the violent crowd and break the clashes at one of the tallest skyscrapers. A UN Human Rights team has been gathering information about hundreds of people allegedly injured by the police during the protests. The team has collected evidence about ruptured eyeballs, broken bones and other serious injuries inflicted by police pellets or the impact of tear gas canisters. A state medical college in Chile said more than 180 people have suffered severe eye injuries and most of them are caused by rubber bullets.