Espinosa says they have the “support” of the president to “act”
MADRID, Oct. 20 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Chilean Minister of Defense, Alberto Espina, has indicated on Saturday that there are more than 9,000 military personnel deployed by the curfew decreed in the country, the first in more than 30 years, which governs the provinces of Santiago, Valparaíso and Concepción because of the protests that have happened since the beginning of this week due to the rise in the price of the subway.
“We are fully aware that we are experiencing high levels of crime and looting and there are cases in which we have not been able to bring protection … but I want to point out that this will increase by 1,500 (the military); there are currently 7,541 Army officials, more police and Investigative Police “, explained Espinosa, as collected by 'La Tercera'.
According to the minister, the military covers the 136 subway stations and 43 critical infrastructure facilities, such as water, electricity, fuel and gas distribution, subway workshops or airports. “The armed forces have concentrated on protecting basic facilities,” he said.
In this sense, Espina has also specified that the military “has the full support of the president to act with all the means at his disposal”, but has assured that “they will fulfill their duty in a rigorous and respectful manner”.
The head of the National Defense, General Javier Iturriaga – appointed by Piñera on Friday and who is in charge of the state of emergency decreed on Friday – announced this Saturday that he has established a “total” curfew in the provinces of Santiago and Chababuco and the communes of San Bernardo and Puente Alto.
“Taking into account the legal obligation we have to protect people and their property, I have made the decision to decree the suspension of personal freedom of movement through a total curfew in the provinces of Santiago, Chacabuco and communes of Puente Alto and San Bernardo, “Iturriaga said, as collected by 'La Tercera'.
Thus, he has specified that during this Sunday “the situation will be evaluated”, but he has pointed out that they hope that “citizens can return to normal activities”.
“We invite all citizens to return to their homes and to evaluate the measures that the government has arranged and cooperate to protect their family, their integrity and their own property,” he stressed.
The restriction of freedoms “implies that people must remain in their homes and those who require, for reasons of health, emergency, need movement they must request the corresponding safe-conduct in the nearest police station,” concluded the head of the National Defense.
Hours later, to the curfew the regions of Valparaíso and Concepción have been added. The head of the Naval Zone of Valparaíso, Juan Andrés de la Maza has informed that the curfew will remain until 07.00 (local time) this Sunday, except for the communes of Easter Island and Juan Fernández, according to Radio Cooperative.
The mayor of the city, Jorge Sharp, has assured that “the reality of Valparaíso is not very different from what is happening in Santiago and other communes of the region,” while ensuring that, in his opinion, “it was it is necessary to take more intelligent actions by the Government. ”
“In several parts of the city there are some complex situations, with commercial stores, some supermarkets, which are burning, but within the framework of what is happening throughout the country,” he added.
On the other hand, as for the province of Concepcion, Chadwick has informed that the curfew has also been decreed until 07.00 (local time) this Sunday.
The head of the National Defense in Concepción, Rear Admiral Carlos Huber, has subsequently affirmed that the armed forces were already in the various locations in the region. “We are talking about 1,000 troops,” he said.
The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, has announced the suspension of the rise in the price of the subway after the protests that have shaken Santiago, the capital of the country, since the beginning of this week.
“We are going to suspend the rise in subway tickets, which will require the approval of a law that must be very urgent until we reach an agreement that allows us to better protect our countrymen against sudden and unexpected increases in the price of the dollar and of oil (…) and that are the cause of the increase in tariffs, “he explained in a press conference.
In addition, the president of Chile has informed that he has summoned the main powers of the State to a meeting to “know their opinions and also their proposals to face and overcome this difficult situation.”
Likewise, it has notified a “wide and transversal” dialogue table with citizens to hear “proposals to better meet the demands of our countrymen, such as the high cost of living.”
In this context, he stressed that “violence has no place in a society” like Chile, referring to riots in the protests, which on Friday threw a balance of 308 detainees and 160 wounded, mostly police, according to his own Chilean Government