Thousands march in Chile as gov’t says protests hit growth


SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Thousands of Chileans are marching again in the streets of the capital to demand improved social services even as the government says the wave of protests is diminishing growth expectations in one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries.

Monday’s protest was mostly peaceful, but some rock-throwing demonstrators clashed with riot police in Santiago.

Finance Minister Ignacio Briones said Chile’s gross domestic product is estimated to be a lower-than-expected 2% to 2.2% this year as a result of the protests.

The demonstrations began last month after the government announced a hike in subway fares and expanded to include demands over education, health services and economic inequality.

They have forced the cancellation of two major international summits, and at least 20 people have died in violent clashes, looting and arson.

Men dressed as clowns, one dressed as the the movie character “The Joker” flying a Mapuche indigenous flag, are sprayed by a police water cannon during an anti-government protest in Santiago, Chile, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Chile has been facing weeks of unrest, triggered by a relatively minor increase in subway fares. The protests have shaken a nation noted for economic stability over the past decades, which has seen steadily declining poverty despite persistent high rates of inequality. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)