Chileans clash with police armed with water cannons during a protest against the private pension system in Santiago. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NATURAL (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Chileans protesting against the nation's private pension system on Friday (November 4) were dispersed from the Plaza de Armas in the middle of capital Santiago, by riot police officers using water cannons. Scenes were chaotic as protesters faced off with riot police. Under the current system, launched in the 1980s during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, six private pension funds known as AFPs manage some $178 billion dollars in assets. Critics of the system, led by a group called No More AFP, say workers are forced to give their earnings to for-profit funds that do not provide adequate retirement benefits. Several demonstrators were arrested in Santiago. Dogs ran wild with the protesters while they confronted the riot police in their vehicles. Center-left President Michelle Bachelet has offered a plan to raise the pension contribution rate by five percentage points. That would cost about $3.8 billion dollars a year, with the state paying $1.5 billion dollars. But opponents say they want more radical changes and a dismantling of the current system. Meanwhile, protesters blocked streets in Santiago and other cities with flaming barricades and burned two public transport buses. Most of the barricades had been dismantled by mid-morning.