Pinera (left) could face more uprisings.
Credit: Martin Bernetti

 A teenager died after he was shot in the chest during the latest round of protests in Chile.

Witnesses quoted in local media said that police fired the shot that killed the boy, who has been reported as being either 14 or 16 years old.

He was taken to the hospital on Thursday, and died this morning.

Hundreds of thousands of people had rallied in Santiago, the capital, yesterday for another day of protests, demanding improved education and labor conditions. People burned tires, again, and barricaded roads. 

And again, the government said it wasn’t nearly as bad as the media said it was. President Sebastian Pinera has repeatedly brushed off protesters’ demands since people first took to the street months earlier.

The death of this young boy could start to shift the balance. 

During the massive protests in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, and in Iran’s Green revolution, funerals of those killed during unrest have often helped to fuel protests. Outrage over government forces firing on their own people forced even greater numbers into the streets. 

It’s unclear if that will happen here. But it certainly doesn’t make Pinera look any better.

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