Several journalists, both local and foreign, had to receive first aid on Tuesday (18) after police officers attacked them with tear gas and chemical-laden water while covering of the demonstrations for the third anniversary of the so-called “social outbreak”, the wave of protests that shook Chile in 2019.
The journalists, including a reporter and a cameraman from the Agência EFE, were hit by water cannons while recording the confrontation between radical groups of protesters and members of the police force in the emblematic Plaza Italia, epicenter of the protests three years ago.
Several of them, including professionals from EFE and other agencies, had to be attended by rescue volunteers, after suffering severe burns to their eyes and body as a result of the chemical agents, in addition to vomiting, dizziness and fainting.
Some other journalists were also attacked directly by the agents. tes, who did not distinguish between those who protested and the reporters who did their work, despite the latter being properly protected with helmets and gas masks and identified with press badges or the logos of their companies. In addition, the arrest of at least one journalist was reported.
Although, unlike 2019, firearms were not used, the repression of the marches was similar to three years ago, with hundreds of police officers preventing any gathering of people in the center of the city.
Radical groups, in turn, threw stones, tear gas, Molotov cocktails and other objects at the agents and tried to build incendiary barricades around the emblematic square, where a few thousand people gathered, mainly young people from radical left groups.
In addition, criminal groups destroyed parts of the street furniture and vandalized and robbed several companies.