Thousands of Chileans have taken to the streets again to protest the country's pension plan, known as the AFP, demanding a new social security system and repudiating a bill put forth, which they say doesn't go far enough.
The demonstration was organized by the National Coordinator No+AFP and was launched after the bill presented by the Chilean government showed that the desired adjustments to AFP were not manifested in the new draft.
“We are very clear that the message has not been understood, what the citizens in this country have said very clearly is no more AFP. We want to end the profit and business of the pension fund managers and restore in Chile a system of social security that provides decent pensions,” said Carolina Espinoza, spokesperson of NO+AFP, explaining that the changes, which amount to an additional 5 percent to be given to a state administration body, is not the solution they were looking for.
"Starting the March #NOmasAFP in Santiago. Thousands of Chileans and Chileans say strong and clear #NOmasAFP."
According to another member, Luis Messina, the situation must be taken seriously and a public demonstration against AFP is even more necessary than it has ever been in the past.
“The fact that the government has kept the workers' savings, who unfortunately can not dispose of it, at the service of the great economic groups, is the concrete realization that state institutions can not solve the problem of Chilean pensions,” Messina said.
“We have to unite because the changes will only come from our hand to the extent that we empower ourselves," he said.
Protesters have been joined by about 1,500 people, including those of the Ukramau and teachers unions.
“Unfortunately, they have already had a year with these mobilizations and there is no solution from the government. The solutions they have given are not the right ones, they are not the most logical," explained one protester to Coorperativa.
"We expect it to be a massive statement that we do not want more AFP. We are making a call, as part of the coordination, and we hope that citizens, in general, participate in this process," said Gabriela Farias, president of the National Federation of University Health Professionals Fenpruss, adding that they want to show Chilean authorities the strength of the people and how invested and involved they are in the removal of the pension system.
So far, the Chilean government has not delivered on its promise of pensions to its citizens who for years contributed to its funds, only to see it fail. Kaosenlared reported that for every four pesos collected, less than three will return to the system.