Unrest Erupts in Chile Despite Pinera’s Cabinet Reshuffle

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera replaced his Cabinet Monday following days of violent protests that have paralyzed the country, seen the military return to the streets, and led to the deaths of at least 20 people, CNN reported.

Pinera’s announced on Twitter that the purpose of the change was to allow for open dialogue and justice in an attempt to solve the biggest political crisis since the country’s transition to democracy in 1990. The move comes two days after the President asked all of his ministers to resign.

Pinera replaced eight key members of his Cabinet, including the Ministers of Interior, Finance and Labor, as well as the Secretariat of the Presidency, which is akin to the Chief of Staff.

Despite the reshuffle, thousands of protesters returned to the streets of the Chilean capital Monday, calling for Pinera’s resignation and clashing with security forces in violent street battles.

Government spokeswoman Karla Rubilar said in a televised address Monday evening that “people are tired of this violence and chaos.” “How is this destruction helping to make the country better?” she said.

Pinera has called the protesters’ demands “legitimate” in a country that has among the highest levels of income inequality in the world.

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