The figures are worrisome and reveal the serious social situation of these countries
Group of people gathered making a demonstration. / Photo: Unsplash - Reference image.
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
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Leer en español: ¿Cuántas víctimas han dejado las protestas latinoamericanas?
Latin America is in crisis. In several countries there are protests, marches and strikes against the governments that preside over them. The demonstrations, which in some countries have led to political changes that respond to the demands of people, have left human and economic losses.
Here we recount what the protests in the region have left, which several media have called the "Latin American Spring."
Since April 2018, Nicaragua has been immersed in a political crisis that has also led to an economic crisis. The dealers demand the resignation of President Daniel Ortega, who has responded with violence and repression to the demands.
The protests have left infrastructure damage, people dead, wounded and exiled. According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), 325 people died and 70,000 are exiled. In addition, according to BBC figures, approximately 600 people have been captured and 100 remain in prison.
Recently, there were riots in a church when the mothers of some of the prisoners announced a hunger strike to ask for their freedom. The police besieged the place and water and energy services were cut. According to witnesses, the authorities allowed Ortega supporters to attack those who were inside the religious precincts. A nun and a priest were injured.
October 20 marks the beginning of the political crisis in Bolivia. When it became known that Evo Morales had won the presidential elections, after the vote count was suspended, the opposition took the streets of the country.
For about a month, the opposition requested the holding of new elections and subsequently demanded the resignation of Morales. The situation worsened when, the now former president, announced his resignation and his supporters also took to the streets to express their discontent.
Although the situation should have been appeased, the interim government headed by Jeanine Añez has been accused of human rights violations for excessive use of violence and a decree that empowers the military to act in self-defense without legally answering for their actions. According to the IACHR, protests in Bolivia leave 23 people dead and 715 people injured.
A reduction in violence is expected with the announcement that the Legislature passed a law to convene new election elections. The elections, which will not include Evo Morales, will be held within a maximum period of five months. The exact date has not yet been determined.
CIDH actualiza las cifras de víctimas en #Bolivia: desde ayer son 9 fallecidos y 122 heridos desde la represión combinada de la policia y fuerzas armadas. Se totaliza por lo menos 23 personas muertas y 715 personas heridas desde el inicio de la crisis institucional y política. https://t.co/y9LIbOITRT— CIDH - Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (@CIDH) 17 de noviembre de 2019
Read also: Violence in Bolivia does not stop
After the announcement of the rise in the subway passage in Santiago, the protests have taken the streets of the southern country. The president, Sebastián Piñera, has been cornered before the demands and had to go out to apologize for the actions of his government and the previous leaders.
In Chile, 23 people have died because of the protests, according to DW. In addition to the dead, the National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) notes that there are 2535 injured. They include the hundreds of people who have lost their sight because of the actions of the public force.
Social pressure has led to the realization of a Constituent Assembly. On November 15, Congress assured that in April 2020 there will be a plebiscite to define whether it is done or not. It will then be the Chileans who decide if changes are made in the Magna Carta.
Through his Twitter account, Piñera said he will work in a "fairer and more equitable" Chile. The president added "the agreement for a new Constitution, achieved by parliamentarians in the early hours of Friday, means a broad and solid commitment, which I am sure has the majority support of citizenship."
The discontent against the government of Iván Duque took shape on November 21, when different sectors joined in a national strike that so far takes six days. Thousands of citizens march throughout the coffee country and have gathered at various points to make cacerolazos against the president. Although the majority of protests have been characterized by being peaceful, the excesses by vandals and the excessive use of force by the authorities have been registered in the media and social networks.
The protest days leave one fatal victim. Dilan Cruz, an 18-year-old student who was the victim of a shot by an agent of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) while protesting in downtown Bogotá. The impact, which he received in the head, kept him in a clinic in Bogotá with a reserved prognosis and induced coma during three days.
In Colombia, people protest for different reasons, including tax reform, the proposal of a lower minimum wage for young people under 25, possible pension and labor reforms, shark hunting authorization, the killing of children in a military operation against the FARC dissidents, among others.
Esto es histórico. La gente no iba a permitir que se instalara una narrativa de caos y violencia y se autoconvocó de nuevo a las calles para rescatar su #21N. Muchos deberían escuchar, no solo el “viejo”. Video Vía. @Ginebra_co pic.twitter.com/b54YFvASl3— Félix de Bedout (@fdbedout) 22 de noviembre de 2019
Venezuela and Ecuador
These three countries are no stranger to the protests that convulse the region. Venezuela has been in political and economic crisis since the beginning of 2013 due to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. In this period, thousands of citizens have left their country and have sought refuge and new opportunities in other nations. Between 2014 and 2018, the figure is estimated at 3 million Venezuelans who have left the oil nation, according to the United Nations High Commissioner. Human Right Watch highlights that more than 12,500 people have been arrested. At the moment there is no official number of dead and injured.
In Ecuador, protests began over the announcement of the elimination of gasoline subsidies. Lenín Moreno was in the midst of strong protests that led the country into a political crisis. What was called the "package", a series of austerity measures promoted by Moreno, included low salary in public contracts, reduction of public employee vacations, the elimination of fuel subsidies, among others. The Ombudsman's Office revealed that in 11 days of protests (from October 9 to 13) there were 8 dead and 1340 people injured.