Chile’s Pinera to crack down on vandals, looters

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Riot police take up positions as demonstrators protest in opposition to Chile’s authorities in Concepcion, Chile November 6, 2019. Information/Jose Luis Saavedra

SANTIAGO (Information) – Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera introduced a battery of measures on Thursday to tighten safety and enhance penalties for vandals as ongoing riots, looting and violence have left at the least 20 useless over two weeks of protests.

Pinera stated he would ship payments to Chile’s congress to toughen penalties in opposition to looting, acts of violence or destruction dedicated throughout protests. The penalties would enhance if the acts are carried out by hooded vandals making an attempt to cover their identities.

He additionally unveiled plans to beef up intelligence actions amid the persevering with protests, and to greater than double police aerial surveillance.

“One of many principal tasks of the state is to make sure public order and safety,” Pinera stated in a televised speech. He added that police and safety forces in Chile had “whole assist” from his administration.

Chile’s worst unrest for the reason that finish of Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 dictatorship has led to greater than 7,000 arrests, and accidents to 1,659 protesters and 800 law enforcement officials, in line with authorities and rights teams.

Prosecutors are additionally investigating greater than 800 allegations of abuse, together with torture, rape and beatings by safety forces throughout demonstrations which have typically degenerated into riots.

The unrest has grown much less violent in latest days however has proven little indicators of subsiding.

On Wednesday night, hooded vandals attacked a number of outlets, cafes and the headquarters of a proper wing political events in certainly one of Santiago’s extra upscale neighborhoods.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood and Anthony Esposito; Enhancing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang