Santiago – A teenage boy was fatally shot and a score of other people injured in protests associated with a 48-hour general strike in Chile, authorities said Friday.
The shot that killed 14-year-old Manuel Gutierrez Reinoso came from a group of police engaged in a confrontation with protesters in Santiago, the victim's family and friends told reporters.
Called by the CUT labor federation with support from dozens of student, grassroots and political groups, the strike pressed demands to remove lingering vestiges of the 1973-1990 military dictatorship, boost taxes on corporations, reverse the privatization of pensions and allocate more resources to health and education.
Gutierrez Reinoso was shot in the chest while on a pedestrian bridge in the capital municipality of Macul and died later at a nearby hospital.
Police announced an interval investigation of the shooting, while attorney Washington Lizana said he planned to take legal action on behalf of the dead teen's family.
Another civilian, 18-year-old Mario Parraguez Pinto, was shot in the eye and is in critical condition at a Santiago hospital.
Seventeen police were also injured, including Capt. Cesar Martinez, who was struck in the face by buckshot during a clash in the Santiago district of La Pincoya, which experienced a second consecutive night of shooting, barricades and fires.
Strikers and their supporters mounted marches Thursday in the capital and other major cities, with a total turnout of 600,000 - according to organizers - or 175,000, to cite police figures.
The government of President Sebastian Piñera, a right-wing billionaire who has seen his approval rating plummet to 26 percent, insists the general strike had little impact on the Chilean economy.