Protests erupt in Santiago, São Paulo

santiago protest

Protesters and riot police clashed on the outskirts of the Chilean capital Santiago May 17, amid growing anger over food shortages during the lockdown imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Police deployed armored vehicles, water cannons and tear-gas to put down protests in the poor district of El Bosque. Residents blocked traffic and hurled stones at police in running clashes that lasted most of the day. Sporadic incidents were also reported in other parts of the city. Nightly pot-banging protests have been held for weeks in several neighborhoods, promoted under the hashtag #CacerolasContraElHambre—or, pot-banging against hunger.

President Sebastián Piñera, in a televised address after the protests, pledged assistance to those in need. Chile has recorded more than 46,000 cases of COVID-19 so far, with 478 deaths.

That same day, hundreds of protesters poured out of the favelas to fill the main streets of São Paulo, Brazil. In an audacious move, the favela residents marched on the state governor’s palace, demanding more support in the face of the lockdown.

With President Jair Bolsonaro openly dismissive of the crisis, COVID-19 has claimed over 15,000 lives in Brazil. São Paulo is one of the country’s worst-hit areas, with nearly 3,000 deaths so far. The city’s mayor, Bruno Covas, is warning that hospitals are at 90% capacity and could be fully overwhelmed over the next two weeks. He accused those who violate lockdown orders of playing “Russian roulette” with people’s lives. (BBC News, BBC News, Bloomberg, NHK World, Radio Rebelde, Piensa Prensa)

Photo: Piensa Presna

  1. More than 20 killed in Rio favela raid

    Police in Rio de Janeiro raided the Vila Cruzeiro favela before dawn May 24. setting off a fierce firefight that authorities said killed more than 20 people. It was the second deadliest favela raid in the city’s history, after that at Jacarezinho almost exactly a year ago, which left 28 dead. President Jair Bolsonaro hailed the police in the Vila Cruzeiro as “warriors” who “neutralized” the suspects. (AP, Zyri)  

  2. Nearly 20 killed in Rio favela raid

    Police in Brazil say 19 people have been killed during a raid against a criminal gang that controls one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent favelas. Some 400 heavily-armed military police were deployed to the Alemão favela in the early hours of July 21. Officials said 16 of the dead were suspected criminals, while a police officer and a bystander were also slain The operation lasted all day and left thousands trapped in their homes. (NPR)