One man was killed and another wounded yesterday as opponents of the military government backed a call for a general strike by forcing buses off the streets and keeping many workers away from their jobs, police and union leaders said.
A police spokesman said Fernando Montecinos, 23, died in a hospital from head wounds received when police cleared a barricade in the south of the city. He added that a 17-year-old was shot and wounded. Another youth was wounded Monday night and a woman was injured by one of 11 bomb blasts in the capital, Reuter reported.
Disturbances were reported at universities and in many poor districts on the outskirts of the capital. Union leaders said 95 percent of the capital's buses did not run and more than half of the city's industrial workers stayed away from work.
"While it is true that as far as workers are concerned it has not been 100 percent, the result has been much more than we expected," said Rodolfo Seguel, President of the Workers' National Command. The industrialists' organization SOFOFA said, however, that a survey of 70 firms showed hardly any absenteeism.
The government kept up a hard line against the strike, with a news ban on radio stations
In Washington, State Department spokesman John Hughes expressed "deep concern" over rising violence and postponement of political party legalization in Chile and said the United States is "reviewing carefully how recent developments may affect U.S. interests."