October 28, 2019 / 4:04 PM / 16 days ago

Chile's Pinera fires interior, finance ministers amid unrest

Chile's newly appointed Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel looks on as Chilean President Sebastian Pinera signs a document next to former minister Andres Chadwick during a cabinet reshuffle at the government house in Santiago, Chile October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - President Sebastian Pinera dismissed his interior and finance ministers on Monday in a major Cabinet reshuffle aimed at taming the biggest political crisis since the country’s return to democracy in 1990.

Pinera replaced interior minister Andres Chadwick, a cousin and longtime confidant, with Gonzalo Blumel, a presidency minister who serves as the current liason with the legislature. He appointed Ignacio Briones, an economics professor, to replace finance minister Felipe Larrain.

The announcements follow a week of riots, arson and protests over inequality that have left least 17 dead, led to the arrest of more than 7,000 people and caused $1.4 billion in losses for Chilean businesses.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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