SANTIAGO – At least three police officers were injured and 98 people were arrested in the Young Combatants Day demonstrations in Chile, officials said Sunday.
The arrests were made between early Saturday and early Sunday, with 92 people detained in Santiago alone, the Carabineros militarized police force said.
Protesters took to the streets of Santiago and other cities across Chile this weekend, erecting barricades, firing shots and clashing with police mark Young Combatants Day.
Day of the Young Combatant marks the deaths of brothers Rafael and Eduardo Vergara Toledo, Revolutionary Left Movement, or MIR, members killed by the security forces on March 29, 1985, in Villa Francia, located in the Santiago metro area, during a protest against Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 military dictatorship.
Groups of anarchists and other protesters have marked Day of the Young Combatant with acts of violence and vandalism in recent years.
Demonstrators engaged in acts of vandalism for a second straight night, with larger numbers of protesters in the streets of poor neighborhoods around the capital, police said.
Protesters sabotaged power lines, leaving several thousand people without electricity.
Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo visited the wounded officer in the hospital and told reporters that the suspects would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“We are going to take legal action because what we cannot allow as a country is for incidents, even if they are isolated cases of vandalism, to affect the daily lives of thousands of people,” Peñailillo said.
Some of the worst violence was reported in Villa Francia, where groups of young masked men put up barricades, fired shots and fought with police.
Some reporters covering the protests were wounded by pellets fired at them in Villa Francia, media reports said.
Other incidents were reported in the La Granja neighborhood, where protesters burned a bus, as well as in the Quilicura, La Pintana, Cerro Navia, San Bernardo and Huechuraba districts.
Clashes between police and demonstrators also occurred in the cities of Valparaiso and La Serena.