01/16/2020, 14.26
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Report shows that violent protests and political upheavals are the 'new normal'

According to Verisk Maplecroft, unrest in places like Chile and Hong Kong will continue this year. Taken by surprise, the governments of the world are ill-prepared to deal with social grievances. Repression ends up radicalising protesters and provoking more violent actions.

Singapore (AsiaNews) – The violent protests and political upheavals of 2019 that challenged governments in places like Hong Kong and Chile are bound to be the “new normal,” this according to a report released yesterday by Verisk Maplecroft.

The study by the UK-based global risk and strategic consulting firm predicts “continued turmoil in 2020” as governments around the world continue to be surprised by protests and are ill-prepared to address the underlying social grievances that spark them.

“We all need to buckle up for 2020,” said Miha Hribernik, head of Asia risk insight for Verisk Maplecroft, speaking to Bloomberg. “The rage that caught many governments off-guard last year isn’t going anywhere and we’d all better adapt.”

Titled Political Risk Outlook 2020, the report notes that unpreparedness has led several government leaders to crack down on protest movements, often with arbitrary arrests and indiscriminate violence, further radicalising protesters and sparking more violent actions.

The report notes that, among the countries that saw more unrest, Chile and Hong Kong were affected by significantly more violent protests.

Chile rose from the 91st place to 6th after streets protests broke out on 14 October 2019, causing the death of 29 people and property damages estimated at US billion.

Similarly, Hong Kong rose from 117th to 26th after seven months of pro-democracy protests. Although prompted by a since-withdrawn controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, Verisk Maplecroft noted that in the former British colony the “root cause of discontent has been the rollback of civil and political rights since 1997.”

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