Published: Mon, October 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Chile protests continue even after government backs down on fare hike

Chile protests continue even after government backs down on fare hike

The appeal failed to prevent further rioting and looting, not just in Santiago but also in the cities of Valparaiso and Concepcion, where a state of emergency has also been declared.

"Unfortunately, five bodies have been found inside the factory" in Renca, Santiago Fire Brigade Commander Diego Velasquez told local media. Barricades were erected in several parts of the city and masked protestors armed with sticks and stones clashed with riot police, who repelled them with water cannon and tear gas.

Nearly all public transport in the capital of seven million people were paralyzed on Sunday, with shops shuttered and many flights in and out of Santiago's worldwide airport cancelled. "I have heard with humility the voice of my compatriots". "That is how democracies are built".

The conservative president was speaking after meeting with the chairmen of the Congress and Senate and the head of the Supreme Court.

Protesters again set buses on fire in downtown Santiago, resulting within the suspension of products and providers.

Almost 10,000 soldiers have been deployed while an overnight curfew was imposed on Santiago and a state of emergency called in five regions.

Malls closed early Saturday, while the subway stopped all operations and hasn't said when they'll resume.

The protests continued after nightfall, with people clanging pots and blocking traffic.

Pinera acknowledged that demonstrators had "good reasons" to protest.

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Despite Mr Pinera's lifting of the fare hike, subway and public transportation services remained suspended late on Saturday, and the state of emergency was still in place.

A demonstrator holds up his hands toward advancing soldiers. Initially, the demonstrations focused on jumping over the stations' turnstiles and blocking public roads.

Earlier this month, the government increased fares to $1.17 (£0.90) for a journey during peak hours, blaming higher energy costs and a weaker peso.

Protesters and police clashed over the course of Friday in various parts of Santiago. As night fell, the police lost control and rioters looted shops in some areas.

It was not immediately clear how many people had been detained or injured.

"We are going to suspend the metro fare hikes", Pinera said, adding that an urgent law will be required on the matter and that talks will be held to overcome this "difficult situation". The state of emergency lasts for 15 days and can be extended by the government for another 15. The president was seen at a restaurant Friday night celebrating the birthday of one of his grandsons.

Flights operated by Chilean airlines LATAM and Sky Airline were suspended or delayed on Sunday morning after the curfew, a public transport shutdown and ongoing riots left flight crews struggling to get to work, Rubilar said.

Chile in recent decades has been considered an oasis of calm and security amid volatility in some other South American countries.

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