On Sunday, October 20, the Mayor of Santiago, Karla Rubilar, announced that three people had died following some 12 hours of clashes between police and demonstrators who had taken to the streets of Santiago and its surroundings on Saturday, October 19. The individuals died in a supermarket fire as it was being ransacked during the citywide protests. Further protests denouncing increased public transportation fares are likely in the coming days.
On Saturday evening, General Javier Iturriaga del Campo of the Chilean military declared a curfew in Santiago and Chacabuco provinces, and in the communes of Puente Alto and San Bernardo. The curfew will be enforced between 22:00 and 07:00 (local time). President Sebastián Piñera had declared a state of emergency in the capital earlier in the day, following violent clashes between police and protesters. Piñera also subsequently reversed the public transportation price hike. 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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