Chile’s Pinera extends state of emergency, says ‘we are at war’

By Aislinn Laing and Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s authorities will lengthen a state of emergency to cities in its north and south, President Sebastian Pinera stated late on Sunday, after at least seven individuals have been killed amid violent clashes and arson assaults over the weekend.

“We are at war against a powerful enemy, who is willing to use violence without any limits,” Pinera stated in a late-night televised assertion at military headquarters in Santiago.

He confirmed the state of emergency he declared for Santiago on Saturday evening, which introduced the navy onto the streets, could be prolonged to the north and south of the capital.

Protests led by college students started two weeks in the past over fare hikes on public transport.

Pinera stated Santiago´s metro and bus system would function a partial service on Monday, together with hospitals and a few colleges and crèches, and appealed for Chileans to band collectively and assist their neighbors to get on with their lives and stay secure.

“Tomorrow we will have a difficult day,” he stated. “We are very aware that (the perpetrators of riots) have a degree of organization, logistics, typical of a criminal organization,” he stated.

“Today is not the time for ambiguities. I call on all my compatriots to unite in this battle against violence and delinquency,” he stated.

Interior Minister Andres Chadwick instructed information convention in Santiago earlier on Sunday evening that the choice to increase the emergency measure got here amid an “escalation of violence and vandalism.”

He cited 70 “serious incidents of violence” on Sunday, together with the looting of 40 supermarkets and different companies. Chadwick stated navy and police numbers have been at 10,500 in Santiago and could be bolstered the place mandatory.

Protesters flee from tear fuel throughout a protest in opposition to Chile’s state financial mannequin in Santiago October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Santiago and different Chilean cities have been engulfed by a number of days of riots, together with peaceable protests, after the rise in public transport prices. The violence prompted Pinera to reverse the transfer and declare a state of emergency.

Chadwick stated seven individuals had been killed in incidents associated to the protests, with out giving additional particulars.

He stated the state of emergency utilized in Santiago early on Saturday could be rolled out to Antofagasta, Valparaiso, Valdivia, Chillan, Talca, Temuco and Punta Arenas.

There was transport impasse in Santiago and chaos at the worldwide airport on Sunday, the place flights into and out of the capital have been suspended or canceled as a result of crew members and airport employees have been unable to get to work, the town’s governor stated.

Prosecutors stated 1,462 individuals had been charged by mid-afternoon on Sunday in reference to that day’s protests, 614 of them in Santiago, That adopted 179 arrests in Santiago on Saturday.

The navy authorities mandated by Pinera with reestablishing order in Santiago declared on Sunday one other night-time curfew within the capital as the federal government struggled to comprise violent protests, looting and arson.

Slideshow (28 Images)

The basic in cost of safety in Santiago introduced the curfew would start at 7 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Sunday and finish at 6 a.m. on Monday (0900 GMT).

However, a number of massive demonstrations continued previous the mandated curfew hour, witnesses and Chilean media reported.

Reporting by Aislinn Laing and Fabian Cambero; Additional reporting Natalia Ramos and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Paul Tait

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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