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Home News UN rights chief says ‘disturbed’ by Chile unrest

UN rights chief says ‘disturbed’ by Chile unrest

Published on 21/10/2019

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, who is also Chile’s former president, said Monday she is “disturbed” by the violence shaking her country and urged immediate dialogue to ease the crisis.

“I’m deeply disturbed and saddened to see the violence, destruction, deaths and injuries that have occurred in Chile over the past five days,” Bachelet said in a statement.

The rights chief led Chile as a socialist politician from 2006-2010 and from 2014-2018, when she was replaced by President Sebastian Pinera, a conservative.

“In the interest of the nation, I urge the government to work with all sectors of society to find solutions that can help calm the situation and address the grievances of the population,” Bachelet said.

Chile is suffering from the worst outbreak of social unrest in decades, with Pinera claiming the country was “at war.”

The deadly unrest was initially sparked by anger over metro fare hikes and wider social inequality.

Troops have been deployed onto the streets for the first time since Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship between 1973-1990.

Bachelet said it was essential to carry out a “profound examination of the wide range of socio-economic issues underlying the current crisis.”

She called on protesters to conduct themselves peacefully and for all violence — including alleged misconduct by the security services — to be investigated.