Anti-government protests during Chilean president′s speech end in violence | News | DW | 22.05.2016
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Anti-government protests during Chilean president's speech end in violence

Demonstrators took to the streets of Valparaiso during the president's annual address to the nation. One person died in the ensuing violence.

An elderly guard was killed in Chile on Saturday after violence erupted during protests staged during President Michelle Bachelet's speech to Congress.

Government officials condemned the death of Eduardo Lara, 71, who was killed after what initially began as a peaceful demonstration in the country's second-largest city, Valparaiso.

"Our condolences go to the family of Eduardo Lara. We reject, condemn and are overwhelmed by the fact that the demonstrations ended in the death of a worker," said a government spokesperson.

Masked protestors reportedly starting throwing rocks at police and setting fire to buildings, some of which burned for hours after the protests had ended. Demonstators have historically taken to the streets each year during the annual speech.

Bachelet was elected in December 2013 on a platform emphasizing economic growth and government reforms, but her reputation has been stained by a sluggish recovery and an ongoing corruption scandal.

blc/jm (AP, AFP)

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