Chileans protest fare hikes for 5th consecutive day

Photo: Reuters

«Using violence and destroying the Metro that with as much effort we have built for decades is really unacceptable»

For the fifth consecutive day, this Friday there were incidents in a fortnight of metro stations in the Chilean capital, where the police presence has increased with the passing of days before the intensity of the protests.

The protagonists of the protests are mainly high school and university students, although other people have joined the call to evade the payment of the ticket, which is worth 830 pesos (about 1.2 dollars) in rush hour.

The majority of the mobilizations of rejection to the rise of the tickets have consisted of massive evasions and to raise the screens of payment so that the passengers enter the platforms without paying. In some cases, however, acts of vandalism were recorded and the young people broke the access doors to the stations, glass and other elements.

The Police, meanwhile, have acted forcefully to stop protesters and has used tear gas inside stations and even in some subway cars.

President Sebastian Piñera said that he will apply «in some cases» the state security law, legislation that regulates crimes against the country’s internal security and that hardens penalties.

«Using violence and destroying, in this case, the Metro that with as much effort as Chileans we have built for decades is really unacceptable. As a Government we will use our powers to maintain order,» Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick said.

The trigger for the protests was the 30 pesos increase in the price of the subway tickets decreed two weeks ago. And the outrage of the users increased with the statements of the Minister of Economy, Juan Andres Fontaine, who urged passengers to get up early to take advantage of the low fare between 6 and 7 in the morning.

Sources: teleSUR, EFE.

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