Protests Chile: Hundreds of thousands take part as peso tanks

In Chile, unrest has been ongoing for almost a month and now it is starting to hit the nation's currency. The national currency dropped to a record low on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands took to the streets with anti-government demonstrations showing no signs of abating.

Citizens marched peacefully in Santiago, gathering in the capital's Plaza Italia district, brandishing both national and Mapuche indigenous group flags. Nearby, protesters confronted police, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.

Demonstrations were also in full flow in the coastal city of Valparaiso as citizens forced government offices and local transport to shut down. 

Chile is one of the wealthier countries in Latin America, but it is also one that has a large disparity between the rich and the poor, which has been cited as one of the main reasons behind the unrest. The Chilean peso hit a record low of 784 pesos to the US dollar, while the government has admitted unease at the fall in value.

"It's a sign of concern that we're looking at closely," Finance Minister Ignacio Briones told dw.com, adding that the depreciation "is a sign of the instability that we are experiencing.


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