Mass demonstrations continue throughout Chile on Wednesday, October 23, despite new economic reforms announced by President Sebastián Piñera the previous night. According to media reports, as many as 100,000 students, teachers, and trade unionists gathered in Santiago’s Plaza Italia to demand greater reforms. Large rallies also took place in other major cities including Valparaíso, Concepción, La Serena, and Curicó. Over 20,000 soldiers have been deployed to maintain order, particularly in the capital Santiago. The nationwide strike is expected to continue on Thursday, October 24.
Overnight curfews from Wednesday into Thursday morning remain in effect for several areas including (all times local):
- Santiago (22:00-04:00)
- Arica (22:00-05:00)
- Antofagasta, Calama, Tocopilla, and Mejillones (21:00-05:00)
- Iquique and Alto Hospicio (22:00-05:00)
- La Serena and Coquimbo (20:00-05:00)
- Valparaíso (18:00-05:00)
- Rancagua (20:00-06:00)
- Talca (21:00-06:00)
- Concepción (18:00-06:00)
- Valdivia (21:00-06:00)
- Puerto Montt and Osorno (21:00-06:00)
Additional transportation disruptions are expected to continue in the coming days. Border crossing points from Chile into Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru may be closed through Wednesday night. Flight disruptions at Santiago International Airport (SCL) are also ongoing, with some airlines including LATAM and Sky Airline canceling some flights on Wednesday and into Thursday.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the coming hours and days across Santiago and other major urban areas. Further protests are likely - particularly in and around the capital. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations began on October 6 after the Chilean government announced an increase in metro and bus fares. The mass protests escalated in Santiago and other cities over the following days to denounce high costs of living, rising electricity prices, the privatization of water, and other social issues. According to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), at least 18 people have been killed during the protests and over 200 have been wounded.
Individuals in Chile, particularly in Santiago, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
Travelers flying via SCL are advised to confirm flight reservations prior to leaving for the airport and to contact their airline for additional information.
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