Things That Matter

Protesters In Chile Have Been Brutally Attacked By Police And Now The President Just Admitted The Police Are Guilty

From Haiti and Puerto Rico to Ecuador and, now, Chile, communities around the world are standing up against policies that they view as contributing to growing income inequality.

After Chile’s President had announced a planned increase in public transit fares, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to announce their opposition to the plan. Chile has already been combating extreme income inequality and a growing cost of living that has outpaced wage growth, making Chile one of the most expensive Latin American countries to live in.

This growing inequality has led to major demonstrations across the country and with them, accusations of police brutality.

Chile’s President Piñera has admitted for the first time that police have abused protesters.

Credit: AFP

Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera condemned for the first time what he called abuses committed by police in dealing with four weeks of violent unrest that have rocked the South American nation.

“There was excessive use of force. Abuses and crimes were committed, and the rights of all were not respected,” the president said in a speech to the nation Sunday as it marked a month of turmoil that has left 22 people dead and more than 2,000 injured.

Accusations of police brutality and human rights violations have been levelled since the protests broke out, prompting the United Nations to send a team to investigate. Amnesty International has also sent a mission.

“There will be no impunity, not for those who committed acts of unusual violence, nor for those who committed excesses and abuses. We will do what is best for the victims,” Pinera said, referring to protesters first and then the security forces.

Public prosecutors in Chile are investigating more than 1,000 cases of alleged abuses.

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The accusations range from torture to sexual violence – by the police and military. Police have also been accused of stopping rescuers helping a dying protester.

Chile’s independent human rights watchdog said it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest last Friday.

Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescuers to properly treat the victim, Chile’s publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said.

Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital. The case joins more than 1,000 others currently under investigation by public prosecutors. Accusations of abuses by security forces ranging from torture to sexual violence have multiplied during weeks of anti-government unrest.

Even the country’s highest medical body has expressed concern at the growing injuries.

Credit: Reuters

Last week, Chile’s main medical body said at least 230 people had lost sight after being shot in an eye with lead or rubber projectiles while participating in demonstrations. Of those, at least 50 people will need prosthetic eyes.

“We are facing a real health crisis,” said Dr Patricio Meza, vice-president of the Medical College of Chile.

“In three weeks, we have had the highest number of cases involving serious ocular complications due to shots in the eye.”

At demonstrations, it’s common to see police firing pellet guns at crowds. Often, “they’re firing at 90 degrees, which is to say, directly at the face,” Meza said. He said most of the injured say it’s the national police force – known as the Carabineros – who are the ones firing.

Furious Chileans have been protesting social and economic inequality, and against an entrenched political elite that comes from a small number of the wealthiest families in the country.

Credit: EPA

The massive demonstrations have been mostly peaceful, but it’s common to see hooded protesters infiltrate the gatherings, hurling rocks, raising barricades and confronting police, who clamp down with violence.

The demonstrations started originally over a rise in the fare of the metro in the capital, Santiago, but quickly spread across the country and widened into more general protests against high levels of inequality, the high price of health care and poor funding for education.

Harsh repression by the security forces further stoked the anger of those protesting as did the response by President Piñera, who declared a state of emergency and said the country was “at war”.

The government and protesters have reached at least one agreement – and that is the plan for a new constitution.

Credit: Prensa Latina

On Sunday, Pinera also praised an agreement reached last week under which Chile will draft a new constitution to replace the current one that dates back to the rightwing dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990.

Many in Chile see this step – getting rid of a charter that smacks of a dark, repressive chapter in the country’s past – as a way to help end the crisis.

“If the people want it, we will move toward a new constitution, the first under democracy,” Pinera said in a speech from the presidential palace.

Chilean Actor Jorge López Is The New Netflix Heartthrob Every Needs To Know About

Entertainment

Chilean Actor Jorge López Is The New Netflix Heartthrob Every Needs To Know About

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Netflix has a good eye in finding and showcasing some incredible talent in Latin America. The streaming giant produces shows like “La Casa de las Flores” and “Siempre Bruja.” “Élite” is another Spanish-language show produced for Netflix and one of the newest members in Chilean heartthrob Jorge López. Let’s take a moment to appreciate López.

Chilean actor Jorge López is one star that is one the rise.

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Ni tan malo 👾

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The 28-year-old is one of the actors in Netflix’s “Élite.” The drama is about three well-to-do teenagers living in Spain and the usual telenovela drama and situations ensue.

López plays Valerio Montesinos Hendrich for Netflix’s “Élite.”

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📸💋 #Elit3 @icanteachyou

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Valerio is the brother of Luceria Montesinos Hendrich, played by Danna Paola. His addition to the show just shows the growing role of Latin American talent in Netflix productions. The show was produced in Spain and is currently in its third season.

López got his first big break thanks to Disney Channel Latin America.

López was cast as a main character on the Disney Channel Latin America telenovela “Soy Luna” in 2016. Over the course of two years, López was in 220 episodes of “Soy Luna.” We got to see López show off his singing and dancing chops while in “Soy Luna” and it further solidified his future in the entertainment business.

Now, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the man behind the characters.

Everyone tries to do the cool, almost candid pool shot with the shirt ever so carelessly opened. It is fair to say that López delivered on this look. He was able to hit the pose just right and we are all better for having this pop up on social media.

You’ve gotta appreciate a man who can accessorize his outfit without going overboard.

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Fresquito el bad bunny

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Legit, where do we get that fan? It just seems like one of those things that we need in our repertoire. Fans are super in and there is nothing wrong with wanting to jump on a bandwagon, especially if it is fashion. Right?

The actor is stunning even when he is rocking an overload of fake tattoos.

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🎃

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Of course, the tattoos are the first things you will notice in this photo are all of the tattoos. But we have some questions. What is going on with the fak blood from the ear? What is this for? That nail polish, however, is *chef’s kiss*.

People who can embrace their less than gorgeous side are truly beautiful creatures.

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🥱

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Being goofy is just as sexy as looking sexy. López is a great example of what that kind of effortless sexy looks like. It is about confidence and it is obvious that this man is just dripping with confidence, as he should. Just look at him.

Thank you, Netflix. We appreciate being able to get to know López a little more.

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@suspiciousantwerp the love never disappears

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You can check out “Élite” on Netflix to see more of López. We could all use a new novela to watch right now to get ourselves out of our current routines.

READ: Look At These 25 Maluma Thirst Posts That We Definitely Double Tapped

Chile Is Testing Out Immunity Cards For People Who Have Been Cured Of The Virus

Things That Matter

Chile Is Testing Out Immunity Cards For People Who Have Been Cured Of The Virus

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Chile is asking itself the same question that many of us are asking ourselves: when is “this” going to end, when will we be able to return to the life we knew before the pandemic, or at least how to begin to recover what used to be normal life.

For governments, the priority seems to be jump starting their economies amid a global pandemic. Some states in the U.S. are already reopening non-essential businesses (like gyms and beaches…really?!) while countries like Mexico are allowing most businesses to stay open so long as they practice social distancing measures.

Chile – which was in the throes of a nationwide lockdown – has decided to take a different approach. The government there plans to allow those in low risk groups and those who have already been infected with the virus and have recovered to return to near normal activities. But at what cost?

Chile plans to issue the world’s first Coronavirus immunity cards.

The country’s health officials confirmed plans to be the first country to issue coronavirus “immunity passports,” which would allow individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to go back to work. Health Ministry Undersecretary Paula Daza said that 4,600 people have recovered from the deadly virus. According to officials, those citizens can “help the community enormously” by getting back to work. Chile has tested more people for the coronavirus than any other country in Latin America.

In principle, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for 14 days or more will be eligible for antibody testing. Chile has a population over more than 19 million people, so the roughly 4,600 people who would receive these ‘immunity cards’ make up a very small segment of the population.

If the strategy works, the ID cards could – little by little – help Chile reopen its economy and get its population back to work. But the strategy isn’t without risks.

From a flourishing black market to several unknowns related to the Coronavirus – the government’s plan has many risks.

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If there is an ID card that would enable to you to take to the streets, get back to work, and return to a somewhat normal life – you would want it right? And so will many others – including those who have not yet developed any anti-bodies to the virus and are still at-risk. That’s what has many officials worried about Chile’s ID plan. It could create a black market for fake immunity cards.

Not only does this pose a threat of at-risk populations getting fake immunity cards – but since they’ll likely be available at a cost most Chileans can’t afford, this leaves only the privileged able to get them.

Chile says they will certify immunity, but does it even exist?

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The idea that a person who recovers from COVID-19 can be immune to the virus has its foundations in the way the human body reacts to thousands of other viruses that we live with in our daily lives.

Since there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 at this time, the goal is to keep the patient as stable as possible while his or her immune system copes with the virus. To this extent, it is understood that those who manage to recover have developed the necessary antibodies to do so. Some recovered patients are having their antibodies ‘harvested’ to inject into other patients still battling the disease.

However, the World Health Organization has explicitly discouraged the issuance of immunity cards because the presence of antibodies simply indicates that the body has reacted to the virus, not necessarily proof of immunity.

So far, Chile has had a well-planned response to the pandemic and has escaped much of the turmoil of other countries in South America.

Local governments have instituted rolling quarantine orders in different locations based upon number of new cases, access to medical care, and the percentage of elderly residents. They also instituted complete lockdowns, closed the borders to all travel, and instituted overnight curfews to limit people’s movements. The measures seem to be working.

Chile has seen roughly 12,000 confirmed cases of the virus but less than 200 deaths. The country has also initiated widespread testing, which is why the government is so confident in its plan to issue these immunity cards.

“We are doing well, so far, but it’s too soon to declare victory,” said Paula Bedregal, a public health expert and professor at the medical school of Universidad Catolica de Chile. “We aren’t in winter yet, when things can get more complicated, and the virus is starting to appear more among more vulnerable groups.”

Bedregal added that real information is lacking in some of the poorest areas, making it harder to know if the system in place will continue to succeed.