Chilean President Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency in the country’s capital Santiago and its surroundings due to the mass riots caused by the increase in fare on the subway. According to piñera, he has taken this step to ensure public safety and protect public and private property, which is under threat because of the actions of the protesters.
In particular, the President pointed to “serious and ongoing” attacks on the metro station. In total due to arson was badly damaged 20 stations. The metro authorities estimated the damage at 700 thousand dollars, reports DW. The work of the metro stations in Santiago suspended all weekend. It is expected that by October 21 damage will be eliminated.
The Chilean authorities decided to raise the fare in the subway for 30 Chilean pesos because of the high cost of electricity and depreciation of the national currency. The highest rate, which involves the use of metro services during peak hours from 7:00 to 8:59 and from 18:00 to 19:59 now costs 830 pesos, or 1.17 dollar, marks RIA “news”.
The increase in prices caused discontent of Chileans, especially students. The first protests began in Santiago about a week ago. First, hundreds of students in protest went without tickets and jumped over the turnstiles. On 18 October, the protests turned into riots. The demonstrators threw stones at police, set fire to cars, smashed subway station, throwing Molotov cocktails and transport facilities and supermarkets.
Energy company Enel Chile accused the protesters in the burning of its headquarters in Central Santiago. Authorities have described the situation as “violence and vandalism” that was “committed by organized groups,” reports RTVi.
According to the Carabineros de Chile, during the protests were arrested 308 people, 156 policemen were injured, five of them seriously. There are reports of 11 casualties among the civilian population. In addition, 49 damaged police cars and 41 metro station. The police used tear gas and water cannons against the demonstrators. In the conditions of state of emergency the army has been mandated to ensure security and order.
According to Chilean laws, the state of emergency is introduced to a maximum of 15 days, then it can be extended on the same time. To increase the period to more days, will require the consent of Congress. The President of Chile promised to gather a working group to discuss ticket prices.