The statements of the first Chilean lady in a WhatsApp audio generated great controversy in the southern country.
President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, with his wife Cecilia Morel. / Photo: Government of Chile
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
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Leer en español: Esto fue lo que dijo Cecilia Morel de la crisis en Chile
The crisis in Chile led the first lady, Cecilia Morel, to affirm that the citizen protests looked like an "alien invasion." According to a 51-second audio sent by WhatsApp, Morel said that "we are absolutely overwhelmed, it's like a foreign invasion, alien, I don't know how to say it."
Piñera's wife said in the same audio, addressed to a friend, "please, let's keep calm, call people of good will, take advantage of rationing meals and we will have to reduce our privileges and share with the rest".
The information Morel related to her friend seemed to be apocalyptic. "They advanced the curfew because it was known that the strategy is to break the entire supply chain, food, even in some areas water, pharmacies, tried to burn a hospital and tried to take the airport, that is, we are absolutely overwhelmed, it's like a foreign invasion, alien, I don't know how to say it, and we don't have the tools to fight them”, said Cecilia Morel.
Before the statements, the answers were swift. Chilean politicians and citizens of the southern country expressed their annoyance at Morel's claims. According to the BBC, her comments reflect the disconnection between the country protesting because of the abuses and the social and business elite that Sebastián Piñera represents.
Initially, it was thought that the audio was false, but Chilean media were given the task of verifying if it was real. In fact, the audio had been sent by Morel and this was verified by the newspaper La Moneda. Morel sent the message to one of her friends and it leaked over the weekend until it went viral.
After the controversy, the first lady had to apologize and did so through her Twitter account last Tuesday.
Hoy no estamos para más divisiones, sino para unirnos, escucharnos, dialogar y buscar soluciones. Lo que estamos viviendo es muy profundo y todos los actores de la sociedad debemos trabajar por disminuir la desigualdad, ser más humildes y mejorar las oportunidades para todos.— Cecilia Morel Montes (@ceciliamorel) 22 de octubre de 2019
How are the marches going in Chile?
Mass protests in Chile have left 18 people dead so far (October 23). President Sebastián Piñera announced on Tuesday measures to contain the marches and apologized to the country for political mismanagement and lack of vision.
Acogemos con humildad legítimas demandas sociales y mensajes q los chilenos han entregado. Es verdad q problemas se acumulaban desde hace décadas y los distintos Gobiernos no fuimos capaces de reconocer situación en toda su magnitud. Reconozco y pido perdón x esa falta de visión— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) 23 de octubre de 2019
Among the measures announced are:
- 20% increase in the basic solidarity pension
- Insurance that covers part of the drug expense
- Creation of a minimum monthly income of $ 350,000
- Stabilization of electricity rates
- Creation of the Ombudsman's Office
Hemos escuchado fuerte y clara la voz de la gente expresando pacíficamente sus problemas, sus dolores, sus sueños y sus esperanzas de una vida mejor. Hoy quiero compartir con todos mis compatriotas las principales medidas y componentes q impulsaremos con esta #NuevaAgendaSocial pic.twitter.com/gSb88mMrvG— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) 23 de octubre de 2019