The Chilean government has suspended the use of tear gar by police to disperse protests.

The decision comes after police used tear gas on a demonstration in the capital that drew some 30,000 people opposing proposed dams in Patagonia. A tear gas canister fired by police in the city of Concepcion wounded one person in the eye.

Another protest on the issue is planned this Saturday at the Congress building in Valparaiso as President Sebastian Pinera delivers his annual report about his government.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter says the government is awaiting medical reports that could "clarify beyond any doubts" the safety of using tear gas in situations of "public disorder or vandalism."