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    An aerial view shows demonstrators gathering during a protest against Chile's state economic model in Santiago, Chile October 25, 2019.

    Chile's President Says Heard Message of More Than 1Mln Protesters in Santiago

    © REUTERS / PABLO SANHUEZA
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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said the authorities had heard the message of more than one million protesters who gathered in Santiago for a large-scale anti-government demonstration.

    "Today, a large-scale and peaceful march is underway. During it, Chileans are asking for a more fair and united country. It opens a large road to the future and hope. We all heard your message ... God willing, we will walk this road for better Chile for everyone," Pinera wrote on Twitter late on Friday.

    Earlier in the day, more than one million people gathered in central Santiago for the largest protest in the country's history.

    An aerial view shows demonstrators gathering during a protest against Chile's state economic model in Santiago, Chile October 25, 2019.
    © REUTERS / PABLO SANHUEZA
    An aerial view shows demonstrators gathering during a protest against Chile's state economic model in Santiago, Chile October 25, 2019.

    Late in the day, outside the presidential palace, the police used water cannons and tear gas against the demonstrators. Gunshots are heard in the area.

    Notably, 11:00 p.m. on Friday (02:00 GMT on Saturday) will mark the beginning of a curfew in Santiago.

    Chile has been mired in protests since 6 October, when the authorities increased subway fares. What started as peaceful public demonstrations has turned into wider discontent with social policies and violent clashes with law enforcement agencies. At least 19 people have been killed as a result of the unrest.

    Demonstrators march with flags and signs during a protest against Chile's state economic model in Santiago, Chile October 25, 2019.
    © REUTERS / IVAN ALVARADO
    Demonstrators march with flags and signs during a protest against Chile's state economic model in Santiago, Chile October 25, 2019.

    The country's authorities have since proposed a series of measures to calm the protesters, promising to allocate $1.2 billion to solve social problems. They have also introduced a curfew in a number of cities, yet protesters frequently defy it.

    Related:

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    Death Toll From Riots in Chile Rises to 10 - Local Authorities
    Protesters Gather in Santiago, Chile - Video
    Mass Protests Continue in Chile After Death of up to 15 People in Violent Clashes - Video
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    Sebastian Pinera, Protests, Chile
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