Environmental grievances a factor in Chilean unrest

Economic and social grievances have been widely cited as contributors to the riots that broke out in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 18, setting off a chain reaction of protests and violence that has left 25 dead and 2,500 injured. But concern about environmental degradation in the country, especially in rural areas, has played a role as well, experts say. Proof, they say, can be seen in the environmental issues expected to be addressed in a rewrite of the Chilean constitution that political parties, largely due to the protests, agreed on Nov. 15 to begin discussing in the coming year. Those issues include access to water, natural-resource extraction and pollution associated with electric-power generation. The unlikely catalyst for the ongoing unrest was an increase in Santiago metro fares, and the principal problems cited as fuel for the nationwide rioting and protests that followed were socioeconomic inequality and deficiencies in... [Log in to read more]

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