Day of the Young Combatant

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Day of the Young Combatant
Observed by Chile
Date March 29
Next time 29 March 2015 (2015-03-29)
Frequency annual
A poster promoting the celebration of Día del joven combatiente.

Day of the Young Combatant (Spanish: Día del joven combatiente) is a non-official commemoration day, celebrated each March 29 in Chile. It commemorates the deaths of the brothers Rafael and Eduardo Vergara Toledo, which occurred on March 29, 1985 during the military regime era in Chile. The brothers were reportedly members of a pro-Marxist, anti-government insurgent group called MIR.

The commemoration has evolved into a day of violence directed against whatever government happens to be in power in Chile. The violence often involves throwing rocks against buildings, vehicles, and police, as well as fire-bombing with Molotov cocktails. The violence is directed, not only against the government, but also against motorists, banks, pharmacies, electrical power companies, private homes, and other property. The center of the violent protests is in the Villa Francia neighborhood, in Estación Central Commune of western Santiago. Whereas some commemorations in Chile involve peaceful marches, the Día del Joven Combatiente is almost always focused on arbitrary acts of violence by hooded persons. For this reason the day is sometimes referred to in Chile as the Día del Joven Delincuente (Day of the Criminal Youth). In recent years, newspapers and government agencies have disseminated warnings to the public about the possibility of power outages and violent disturbances.

Another day commemorated in a similar way is September 11, the day of the 1973 coup d'état.

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