‘Obligation to defend democracy'? Chilean army extends curfew as death toll in violent riots mounts (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Added 10-20-19 09:37:01pm EST - “The Chilean army has declared another curfew as it struggles to contain violence that was initially triggered by transport fare hikes in Santiago, but spilled over beyond the capital, fueled by outrage over social inequality.” - Rt.com
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To prevent looting and arson attacks, thousands of armed troops have been patrolling the capital over the weekend, under the state of emergency introduced in Chile for the first time since the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Following another day of clashes with protesters, the general in charge of security in Santiago announced the extension of curfew until 6am Monday morning.
“This is not an action against the citizens, these are not restrictions for the sake of restrictions,” General Javier Iturriaga del Campo. “We do this to protect people’s lives.”
The death toll from the unrest in the meantime increased, after firefighters found five more bodies in the basement of a looted and burnt-out warehouse. Earlier, at least three people were reported killed in two separate arson attacks on supermarkets.
Crowds of angry protesters were setting fires to busses and metro stations, as well as looting shops and destroying public property. Authorities reported over 100 “serious incidents” in which nearly 1,500 people were arrested across the country by Sunday, including 614 in Santiago alone.
The state of emergency has now been extended to five more cities beyond Santiago – and over 9,000 armed soldiers are deployed in the streets. Defending the government’s heavy-handed response to the crisis, President Sebastian Pinera stated:
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