Chile protests: Five dead after looters torch garment factory



今年 10 月 6 日,首都的地铁运营商——圣地亚哥地铁公司决定将早晚高峰时期的地铁票价由 800 智利比索(约合人民币 7.97 元)涨至 830 智利比索(约合人民币 8.27 元)。(就在一星期前,政府将电价也上涨了 10%。)随后智利经济部长胡安 · 安德烈斯 · 方泰勒(Juan Andres Fontaine)提出,如果工人们不想高价乘坐地铁,那他们可以早点起来去工作的地方。但是原本在首都的通勤时间就已普遍需要两小时,至此民怨沸腾。

Five people died after looters掠夺者 torched a garment factory near Chile's capital Santiago, bringing the death toll in violent protests to at least seven.
The military and police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters and a curfew was imposed in major cities.

A state of emergency already in place in Santiago is to be extended to cities in the country's north and south.

The unrest, sparked by a now suspended metro fare hike, has widened to reflect anger over living costs and inequality. 

There is set to be major disruption on Monday with many banks, schools and shops expected to remain closed. 

What is happening on the ground?

Firefighters say they found five bodies inside the garment factory burned by rioters 暴徒in a suburb of Santiago. Earlier reports suggested three others had died in a supermarket fire in Santiago on Saturday. 

Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick said at least seven people had died in incidents related to the protests, without giving details. 

There had been 70 "serious incidents of violence", including 40 lootings of supermarkets and other businesses. Two people also suffered gunshot wounds after a clash with police, officials say. 

"We're facing a real escalation that is undoubtedly organised to cause serious damage to our country and the lives of each of its citizens," the minister said.

Some 10,500 police and soldiers have been deployed to the streets, he added, while officials report more than 1,400 arrests.

In several cities on Sunday, protesters set more buses on fire, smashed up metro stations and clashed with riot police. A night-time curfew was imposed in the areas of Santiago, Valparaíso, Coquimbo and Biobío. 

A state of emergency will be applied to Antofagasta, Valparaíso, Valdivia, Chillán, Talca, Temuco and Punta Arenas, allowing authorities to restrict people's freedom of movement and their right to assembly

In Santiago, almost all public transport was suspended and some flights at the international airport were cancelled or rescheduled because of insufficient crew. 

At least one line of the city's metro was expected to reopen on Monday after the entire system was closed on Friday because of the damage caused during the unrest, the worst to hit one of Latin America's most stable countries in decades.

What does the president say?

President Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire conservative, has been criticised for his response to the protests, the most severe crisis of his current term. 

In a TV speech, he said people who were causing fires, setting up barricades 路障and looting were "criminals".

"We're very aware that [those behind the riots] have a degree of organization, logistics, typical of a criminal organization," he said. "I call on all my compatriots to unite in this battle against violence and delinquency."

Mr Piñera - who took office in March 2018 after having served as president between 2010 and 2014 - has deployed soldiers and tanks for the first time since 1990, when Chile returned to democracy after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

President's language adds fuel to the flames

"We're at war against a powerful and implacable enemy who doesn't respect anything or anyone, and who's willing to use limitless violence and criminal acts." That is how President Piñera described the protests late on Sunday. 

While some of the footage of violent clashes between the security forces and protesters do resemble类似 those coming out of a war zone, the reaction to Mr Piñera's description has been scathing  with  严厉批评的;无情抨击的 opposition politicians calling it "pathetic" and "irresponsible". 

But more important is the effect those words have had on the protesters. If they already felt ignored by the government, President Piñera labelling them as criminals in their eyes proves how little he cares about their concerns. 

With the protest movement gaining momentum动量;势头 while still lacking clear leaders and Mr Piñera's language further stoking 生火the flames, the chance of any meaningful dialogue seems to slip further away. 

It follows simmering煨,炖,徐徐沸腾 discontent in some of the country's universities and schools over lack of resources and underfunding资金不足.

Protester Constanza Gonzalez told the BBC: "This isn't about political parties. I think people are angry and this was a thing that had been coming for quite a long time."

Mr Piñera suspended the rise in the Santiago metro fare on Saturday, saying he had listened "with humility谦逊" to "the voice of my compatriots".


rioters 暴徒
fare hike提价
disruption  中断;破裂
clashed  冲突


assembly 装配;议会;集合

public transport 
severe crisis
barricades 路障
implacable 不能改变的 enemy

scathing  with  严厉批评的;无情抨击的 opposition
footage of violent clashes 连续镜头
simmering discontent  煨,炖,徐徐沸腾 
stoking 生火the flames