Arrests, protests and looting in Santiago on the anniversary of the military coup
Some eleven people were arrested in Chile following the rioting and looting in Santiago on the 48th anniversary of the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet that in September 1973 overthrew the government of democratically elected Socialist president Salvador Allende.
Despite the violent protests the Chilean Interior minister Juan Francisco Galli said he was proud because the Carabineros have learnt the lesson. Contention measures impeded violence from extending.
Overall no major inconveniences happened, although minority groups were involved in rioting and some looting in downtown Santiago.
From the very beginning the traditional march in the Chilean capital recalling the coup set a bus on fire, stoned other public transport, set up barricades and fought with the Carabineros. Disorders and clashes also occurred close to the General Cemetery where the annual marches generally conclude.
However in the evening incidents again sparked in different neighbourhoods of Santiago, this time with closed streets, Molotov bombs, some looting and even shots, according to a report from Carabineros.
Nevertheless, there was also a peaceful side, hundreds with Chilean and Communist party flags marched close to the presidential palace la La Moneda and laid floral wreaths at the monument dedicated to ex-president Allende.
Other peaceful protestors gathered at the National Stadium for a vigil to honour the victims of the seventeen-year dictatorship. Lawmakers and members of the Constitutional assembly participated in the event.
The Santiago national stadium was one of the main detention centres, and torture chambers during the first months of the military coup. It is believed that some 3,200 people were killed by the military while another 40,000 were tortured and imprisoned.