On a new Friday of protests in Santiago de Chile, a group of protesters set fire to the statue of General Manuel Baquedano, located in the square that bears his name in the country’s capital and which is the epicenter of the social outbreak that began in October 2019.

The protesters placed tires at the base of the monument and set them ablaze, covering the statue in flames until approximately half an hour later the police dispersed those present and with a wagon wagon put out the fire.

The carving, built in bronze and which has presided over the square since 1928, did not suffer major damage, according to what could be seen in a live broadcast on social networks.

The statue honors Manuel Baquedano González (1826-1897), Chilean military and politician, who was provisional president of the country between August 29 and 31, 1891 and commander-in-chief of the Army during the War of the Pacific (1879-1884), which pitted Chile against Bolivia and Peru.

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“I strongly condemn the affront to the statue of the Chilean Army General Manuel Baquedano. Violence and intolerance have no place in a democratic society, and must be condemned and rejected with all force ”, Defense Minister Baldo Prokurica wrote on Twitter.


The incident ended a day of protests that brought together hundreds of people in the Baquedano Square, popularly known as Plaza Italia and renamed by the protesters after the social outbreak as Plaza Dignidad.

The monument to General Manuel Baquedano on fire during the protests against the government of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera. (EFE / ESTEBAN GARAY).

Although on a lesser scale, the mobilizations have not stopped since October 18, 2019 began in Chile a wave of protests against inequality and demands for socioeconomic reforms that left some thirty dead and thousands injured, in addition to accusations of human rights violations against the security forces.

The epicenter of this phenomenon was Baquedano Square, one of the main urban hubs in the capital and a common place where Santiago residents congregate to demonstrate or celebrate sporting triumphs, among other things.

In order to decompress the street protests, the political parties agreed to hold a plebiscite on a new Constitution, which took place on October 25 and in which almost 80% of the population approved to change the Magna Carta inherited from Pinochet. .

However, every Friday hundreds of people gather in the center to beat pots or shout slogans against the government, inequality and for the release of detainees.

The demonstration on this day, the first after the end of the southern summer holidays, was the most massive in recent weeks.

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