The civil society group NO+AFP which opposes the private pension system in the country reportedly staged peaceful protests nationwide on September 21, particularly targeting offices of private social insurance companies. In Santiago, a few hundred protesters converged in the city center, causing minor disruptions to passersby. The protests were triggered by news of a corruption scandal purportedly involving schemes to avoid insuring disabled and handicapped people, while tampering with contributor’s pensions to obtain higher profits. Moreover, reports suggest officials in the Ministry of Labor are potentially involved. NO+AFP has subsequently called supporters to take part in a larger demonstration across urban areas on October 24.
The relatively low turnout of the protests is probably owed to the fact that the scandal hit the news last week. That said, NO+AFP is generally capable of attracting larger crowds to protest actions, especially in Santiago. Although future events held by the same organizers will probably transpire peacefully following precedent, social outrage over the said alleged schemes is liable to lead to limited acts of violence against offices belonging to private insurance firms. While further protests are likely to materialize over the coming days, these will not witness considerable turnouts. In turn, as the event on October 24 will likely garner public attention, it will probably attract large numbers, potentially leading to wide disruptions in Santiago’s center.