Strikes at Chile ports as unrest spreads

Unrest in Chile has spread to the country’s ports in the form of strikes as curfews are imposed in Santiago and other cities.

The unrest began last week when students protested a rise of the metro fares, now suspended, and increasing living costs and has rapidly escalated into violence, arson and looting.

On Monday, strikes were taking place in 20 Chilean port, including San Antonio and Valparaiso, local media said, in solidarity with the protesters across the country. It is in the Central region, where San Antonio and Valparaiso are located, that most of Chile’s commodities and fruits are exported. Workers said they would evaluate if continuing the strike on Tuesday.

Workers from BHP’s largest mine Escondida called for a 10 hour-stoppage late Monday or early Tuesday in solidarity and the mining umbrella union CTMIN is calling for a general mining strike on 23 October.

According to news reports 11 people died, mostly during looting of supermarkets on fire, over 1,500 were detained and damages have reached $300m. The government declared a state of emergency Friday with soldiers having been deployed in Santiago where an 8pm-curfew imposed in the capital and several other cities.

Posted 22 October 2019

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Michele Labrut

Author Bio ▼

Americas Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime News Seatrade correspondent Michele Labrut has continuously covered the maritime sector of Central & Latin America since moving to Panama City in the 1980s. Author of Seatrade's annual Panama Maritime Review and of several books, Michele also writes for Time magazine and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In 2012 she was awarded the Order of Merit (Knight grade) by the French Government for her services to international journalism.

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