Santiago in flames: Chile declares state of emergency as violent protests rock capital (PHOTOS)
Harrowing photographs show the mayhem in downtown Santiago, following violent protests sparked by a recent fare hike for public transport in the Chilean capital. The country’s president has announced a state of emergency.
Addressing the nation in the early hours of Saturday, President Sebastian Pinera said that he would invoke a special state security law to prosecute black-hooded rioters who have set fires, looted, and destroyed public infrastructure in the capital.
The government increased prices for metro rides in early October, prompting high school and university students to take to the streets.
In his speech, Pinera promised that he would work to “alleviate the suffering of those affected by the increase in fares.”
The demonstrations became especially violent on Friday, with photographs showing people clashing with riot police.
Protesters also set fire to a metro ticket office and an office building in the city center.
The metro system has been closed, with authorities stating that “serious destruction” made it impossible to operate trains safely.
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