Chilean students worried about their homeland

Anger, disappointment, sadness. Students in Cardiff ask: “what can we do to help Chile?”

Chileans find peaceful and constructive ways to help their home country. Photograph: Ivana

Chilean activists in Cardiff are calling for International support from the UK government to tackle the social crisis in Chile.

The Chileans’ protest on Queen Street wants residents to realize that Chile’s demonstrations are opposing extreme social inequality. They hope people can let their MP urges the UK government to provide Chile with assistance.

“Anger, disappointment, sadness,” said Hugo, Cardiff University student. “When I read Chile’s news, I am concerned about what would happen next.”

“The Chile government doesn’t want to find the solutions but responses people by violence,” said Ivana, Cardiff University student. “That is why we create a Chilean group at Cardiff.”

Chile’s social crisis brings this Chileans’ group work together. Photograph: Ivana

The Chilean group’s members vary from local residents to students, they discuss the situation in Chile every week on WhatsApp group and arrange meetings with Latin-Americans, whose countries have similar inequality as Chile.

In mid-October, Chile’s protest was triggered by a 3.7% hike in metro fares. But series of demonstrations quickly escalated into a broader-scale rebellion against polarization, poor health care and lower-income.

The United Nations said more than 4,900 people had been injured in the protests since 17 October. They also reported 113 cases of tortures by members of the force.

The United Nations has accused Chilean police of violating human rights.

Chileans are demanding social reforms. Currently, Chile’s national minimum wage is ₤ 315 per month, but the average rent is ₤ 200 per month. 91% of people ’s pensions are under ₤ 152 monthly.

“If you have a brain tumour, and have enough money to pay for the private service, the next day you’ll be fine. But if you go to the public service, you have to wait for calling. Four years later, you die,” said Ivana, “This happens every day in the public system.”

Hugo and Ivana are the first Chileans to launch a protest for Chile in Cardiff.

Queen street’s protest is the first step of their plan. They will observe the further situation in Chile’s Protest and then decide what action will be taken in Cardiff.

“Hugo probably would dance La cueca-Chile traditional dance on the city centre to catch people’s attention,” said Ivana.