CIEE Security Alert – Chile (Update)

Mon, 10/28/2019

The State of Emergency imposed in multiple regions (to include Santiago and Valparaiso) due to the past violent unrest was lifted at 0000hrs (0300 UTC) today, Monday, 28 October.  Curfews in both Santiago and Valparaiso were also lifted over the weekend prior to this.  Multiple planned protests are expected this week in both Santiago and Valparaiso, but thus far most all large protests have been relatively peaceful in recent days.  Though the president is reportedly taking measures to appease protesters, including replacing 8 cabinet ministers today, local media source polls have found that 80% of Chileans do not find his proposals adequate, and many are calling for further protests.

In Santiago today, businesses and school activities are beginning to return to normal. Public transportation capacity has largely rebounded, and many elementary and high schools are resuming classes. However, there are also reports of traffic jams, significant damage to the metro system in some locations, and broken glass littering the streets in some areas.  According to reports on social media, there are calls for a protest on Tuesday, 29 October, at the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago.  There are protests organized for every day this week.

Our host university campuses in Santiago are open Monday-Wednesday this week to support student service needs and to host student discussions surrounding the recent events, however classes are not being held these days.  All CIEE-delivered courses have continued throughout the disruption.

In Valparaiso today, in the morning, some protesters erected some road barricades and threw stones at buses in an attempt to disrupt public transportation. Bus lines did cease operating as a result by mid-day. At the time of this alert, there is currently a demonstration taking place near the National Congress building. Only a portion of local High Schools have resumed classes.   Some, but not all, stores and banks remain closed as well. There are protests organized for every day this week.

All courses at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Valparaiso have been cancelled through Wednesday, due to its proximity to protest actions.  Classes at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez have resumed today.  All CIEE-delivered courses have continued throughout the disruption.

Universities across Chile are closed on Thursday and Friday, in observance of national holidays.  Further academic-related updates will be relayed to sending schools, parents, and guardians this week by email.  CIEE Staff are checking on participants daily to ensure they are being kept informed, feel safe, and understand the programming/academic plan for the days ahead.

CIEE will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with our participants to ensure their ongoing safety.  CIEE has reminded all participants to stay in contact with their families.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-40-STUDY.