Chile protests: hundreds of thousands take part as peso hits record low

14:37 | 14/11/2019 Global Economy

Unrest has been ongoing for almost a month and now it is starting to hit the nation's currency. Tear gas and water cannons have been used by police as a way of dealing with protesters.

chile protests hundreds of thousands take part as peso hits record low
Protesters clash with security forces during a protest against Chile's government in Valparaiso, where government buildings were forced to close down

Chile's currency dropped to a record low on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands took to the streets with anti-government demonstrations showing no signs of abating.

Citizens marched peacefully in Santiago, gathering in the capital's Plaza Italia district, brandishing both national and Mapuche indigenous group flags. Nearby, protesters confronted police, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.

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Demonstrations were also in full flow in the coastal city of Valparaiso as citizens forced government offices and local transport to shut down.

Chile is one of the wealthier countries in Latin America, but it is also one that has a large disparity between the rich and the poor, which has been cited as one of the main reasons behind the unrest.

Currency drop

Meanwhile, the Chilean peso hit a record low of 784 pesos to the US dollar, while the government has admitted unease at the fall in value.

"It's a sign of concern that we're looking at closely," said Finance Minister Ignacio Briones, adding that the depreciation "is a sign of the instability that we are experiencing."

Theo Dw