November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Here in Santiago, the Red Chilena contra la Violencia Domestica y Sexual commemorated the day with a candlelight march down the Alameda, the city's main east-west thoroughfare. The march, symbolically, ended in front of the La Moneda presidential palace, where participating groups gathered on the grass and spread their banners. One group set up rows of candles to commemorate victims of femicide -- women whose murder, usually at the hands of current or former husbands or boyfriends, was related to unequal relationships of power between genders -- and another gathered signatures for a petition to make the HPV vaccine free.
The turnout was decent, although I think the ranks would have swelled even more if the march had been more highly publicized beforehand. Most of the people I spoke with about it had no idea it was going to happen. As I was walking down the Alameda to join up with the march that night, I saw a man glance down the street toward the crowd and heard him ask, "Was there a game or something?"
Publicized or not, I hope the march helped raised consciousness about gender violence in a country where at least one television network considers this comedy.
Below are more photos from the march. I lost my Photoshop when the good people at the computer repair center deleted my entire hard drive, so here they are in all their naked glory: