Reports indicate that thousands of conservative activists demonstrated on October 27 across Chile under the slogan “March for Jesus” to protest against an abortion bill and the Gender Identity Law. The largest demonstration took place in Santiago outside La Moneda Presidential Palace and at Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Square). Scuffles between activists and counter-demonstrators reportedly resulted in three injured, including a security agent. The Gender Identity Law was passed on September 12 allowing citizens to change their official gender details in national documents.
The demonstrations follow earlier protests by Christian activists against President Sebastián Piñera. Considering that a bill to legalize abortion in the country is currently being debated in Congress, further demonstrations will most likely take place over the coming weeks, especially as sizable religious groups feel disenfranchised with Piñera’s center-right government. Notwithstanding limited violence during the protest in Santiago, further events could potentially escalate if progressive groups call for counter-demonstrations.