Chile’s President Promises Aid as Protesters Demanding Food Aid with Police

Tensions are still running high in a poor community outside Santiago, Chile, a day after dozens of protesters demanding food aid during the coronavirus lockdown clashed with police. Police fired water cannons at protesters in the “El Bosque” neighborhood who threw stones and firebombs at them and lit barricades blocking streets.Police clear a barricade during clashes demanding food aid from the government during the COVID-19 lockdown, at a poor neighborhood in Santiago, Chile, Monday, May 18, 2020. The face off occurred a day after President Sebastian Piñera announced on national television, the start of a five-point aid program, beginning with the distribution of 2.5 million baskets of food and other essential items for the most vulnerable and middle-class families in need. Pinera’s announcement comes with just under half of the country still under lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Quarantine measures have hit thousands of Chile’s poorest individuals, preventing them from generating enough income to support their families.  The surge in unemployment caused by shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus has forced many poor Chileans to turn to a growing number of soup kitchens. Chile’s Health Ministry has reported 46,059 cases of coronavirus, with 478 deaths. 

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