Chile did not come to a halt during this week’s two days of protest, despite student and labor groups’ efforts to call a national strike.  A 16-year old boy was shot and killed, over 200 people arrested and government authorities and protest organizers offered different figures on the number of Chileans taking part: 175,000 vs 600,000. There were several incidents of looting and vandalism by encapuchados, the masked youths who seems to turn up at every demonstration. Are they petty criminals?  Provocateurs working for the other side?  No one seems to know, but Arturo Martinez, president of Chile’s largest labor organizations, complained that “the encapuchados sully our movement.”

The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent background piece on the protests:

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