The Chilean military reportedly deployed to Santiago after President Sebastián Piñera declared a state of emergency in the capital on Saturday, October 19, following some 12 hours of clashes between police and demonstrators denouncing increased public transportation fares on Friday, October 18. The government did not immediately announce an associated curfew. More than 150 police officers were wounded and over 300 people detained in the protests and accompanying clashes. The state of emergency is slated to last for up to 15 days, during which time security forces are granted additional powers to restrict citizens' movement and right to assembly in the capital. Service on the Santiago metro network remains suspended and cultural and sporting events have been canceled over the weekend of October 19-20. Some diplomatic services have urged expatriates and visitors to carry identifying documents at all times and avoid crowds amid the unrest.
A heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in the coming hours and days across Santiago. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
On October 6, the Chilean government announced an increase in metro and bus fares. Students subsequently began jumping over metro turnstiles to protest the fare hikes, presaging mass demonstrations in the capital over the perceived high cost of living.
Individuals in Santiago are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, budget extra time to reach their destinations if traveling through areas affected by demonstrations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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