Tens of Thousands Protest Bush in Chile

November 27, 2004

On November 19, an estimated 50,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Santiago, Chile, protesting the presence of Bush at the annual Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.

The march was organized by the Chilean Social Forum and nearly 100 other groups. Participants denounced U.S. corporate domination of Latin America and spoke out against the U.S. wars in Iraq and elsewhere.

Earlier in the month, some Chilean opposition groups even filed a complaint in the courts to have Bush held as a war criminal.

Many demonstrators also denounced U.S. support for the military coup that overthrew President Allende in 1973. One demonstrator, 58-year-old Tom Soto, referred to that coup as "an example of the kind of state terrorism that the United States always claims to be against."

The government mobilized over 5,000 police officers and used armored vehicles, tear gas and water cannons against the demonstrators.