Skip to main content

Semana Roja

Semana Roja

Semana Roja, a riot which swept Santiago, Chile, from 22 to 25 October 1905. Upset by the high price of food, a mass of about 20,000 to 30,000 of Santiago's poorer urban residents, including women and children, demonstrated to demand that the government rescind an import tax on Argentine meat. Some of the protestors, who had initially behaved peacefully, became unruly. When various demonstrators began to loot, the local authorities overreacted by opening fire and charging the crowds. It soon became clear that the police could not calm the situation. With the army away on maneuvers, Santiago's officials created a "white guard," consisting of members of the upper class and some of the foreign community, who brutally repressed the demonstrators until the army could return and restore order. Death toll estimates reached 250. Although this riot should have forced the upper class to recognize that it had to address the needs of the lower classes, the elites instead tended to blame the demonstration on foreigners, anarchists, and unspecified troublemakers. Conversely, the riot galvanized the working class and encouraged the formation of unions.

See alsoPeru: Peru Since Independence .


De Shazo, Peter. Urban Workers and Labor Unions in Chile 1902–1927 (1983), pp. 124-126.

Garcés, Mario. Crisis social y motines populares en el 1900. 2nd Edition. Santiago: LOM Ediciones, 2003.

Izquierdo, Gonzalo. "Octubre de 1905: Un episodio en la historia chilena," in Historia 13 (1976): 55-96.

Ortiz Letalier, Fernando. El movimiento obrero en Chile, 1891–1919. Santiago: LOM Ediciones, 2005.

                                        William F. Sater

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Semana Roja." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 21 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Semana Roja." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (July 21, 2019).

"Semana Roja." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved July 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.