- Title: Riot-hit Chile presses forward after another night of violence, looting
- Date: 24th October 2019
- Summary: SANTIAGO, CHILE (OCTOBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF MORNING STREET SCENE, COMMUTERS HEADING TO WORK GENERAL VIEW OF RESIDENTS OF SANTIAGO SWEEPING THE STREETS AND SIDE WALKS AFTER ANOTHER NIGHT OF RIOTS GENERAL VIEW OF THE PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS HOTEL THAT HAS BROKEN WINDOWS AND WAS RANSACKED BY LOOTERS VARIOUS OF INTERIOR OF HOTEL, BROKEN GLASS, OVERTURNED TABLES, AND MORE DEBRIS STREWN ALL OVER THE PLACE AFTER LOOTERS RANSACKED IT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GENERAL MANAGER OF THE PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS HOTEL JOSE MIGUEL SAYING: "At around 6:30pm, a group of about 60 guys walked in, 50 to 60 guys threatening to kill us, saying they were going to burn the hotel, that they were going to destroy everything, that they were going to burn all of us inside the hotel. We had to negotiate with some type of coordinator they had so they would at least give us 20 minutes to evacuate the guests and the personnel." HOTEL DINING ROOM COMPLETELY RANSACKED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GENERAL MANAGER OF THE PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS HOTEL JOSE MIGUEL SAYING: "We had to evacuate all of the guests, the personnel and abandon the hotel. Afterwards, they obviously broke everything, looted and destroyed everything." GENERAL VIEW OF EXTERIOR OF HOTEL WITH GUESTS AND EMPLOYEES STANDING AROUND, ALL THE WINDOWS BROKEN GENERAL VIEW OF COMMUTERS CROSSING STREET INTERIOR OF BUSINESS THAT WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY LOOTERS, GRAFFITI ON WALLS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED COMMUTER WHO WALKS THROUGH PLAZA ITALIA SAYING: "This is a tragedy for Chile. We Chileans are not like this. I think that the majority of the people, the ones who do not go out and protest and destroy everything, I think they feel differently. We have made significant strides in Chile, there's still much to do, but I think that these types of things don't do anything good for Chile." GENERAL VIEW OF BUSINESS THAT WAS DESTROYED BY LOOTERS GENERAL VIEW OF RESIDENTS AND STREET CLEANERS ALIKE SWEEPING STREET AND SIDEWALK STREET CLEANERS AND RESIDENTS USING SHOVELS TO REMOVE PIECES OF BRICKS AND ROCKS FROM SIDEWALK COMMUTERS DISEMBARKING FROM BUS COMMUTERS WALKING ALONG SIDEWALK (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED COMMUTER WHO WALKS THROUGH PLAZA ITALIA SAYING: "I do think that this shake-up, that shake-ups in general can serve us quite well. Crisis produce opportunities and I believe that Chile will rise above. The question is how long will it take."
- Embargoed: 7th November 2019 14:19
- Keywords: fire prices riots violence protests transportation aftermath Chile looting
- Location: SANTIAGO AND OSORNO, CHILE
- City: SANTIAGO AND OSORNO, CHILE
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B2GJK1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The capital city of Santiago with about 6 million people awoke to relative calm on Thursday (October 24), as vendors peddling orange juice and fruit cups once again appeared on street corners.
Public markets reopened and thousands of commuters, dressed in work outfits and clutching coffees, made their way to work on the still hobbled underground transport system that has suffered more than $300 million worth of damage.
Trash, broken glass, graffiti and tear gas lingered in the aftermath of protests that went late into Wednesday evening, but ended peacefully.
Thousands of striking workers, including healthcare professionals and teachers, banged pots and carried banners past darkness in Santiago and other cities.
The marches were closely monitored by police and soldiers.
The unrest has included arson attacks and looting. At least 18 people died, according to one official count. Chilean prosecutors have since clarified that two of the total died in a car accident unrelated to the riots.
Employees and guests alike returned to one Santiago hotel, the Principado de Asturias, to find all of the windows broken and the interior completely ransacked.
General manager Jose Miguel described a harrowing situation.
"At around 6:30pm, a group of about 60 guys walked in, 50 to 60 guys threatening to kill us, saying they were going to burn the hotel, that they were going to destroy everything, that they were going to burn all of us inside the hotel," he described.
"We had to negotiate with some type of coordinator they had so they would at least give us 20 minutes to evacuate the guests and the personnel," Miguel added.
Chile's President Sebastian Pinera and lawmakers prepared on Thursday to push forward social equality reforms.
Pinera is expected to ship a bill to Congress that would overturn a recent hike in electricity rates, one of several measures he hopes will turn the violent demonstrations into an "opportunity" for Chile.
In Chile, anger over inequality and cost of living sent tens of thousands into the streets to demand an overhaul in one of the region's traditionally most stable, and wealthy, nations.
Over five days of unrest that appeared to be dying down on Wednesday night, more than 6,000 people have been detained and at least 16 killed.
Pinera's proposed reforms include a guaranteed minimum wage, a hike in state pensions and reductions in public transportation costs. Some, such as a bill to provide insurance against catastrophic illness, have already been delivered to lawmakers.
(Production: Jorge Vega, Esteban Medel, Guillermo Garcia)
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