CIEE Security Alert – Chile (Update)

Thu, 11/14/2019

All CIEE participants in Chile remain safe. Protest activity has continued to prompt significant disruptions in recent days in Chile. A general strike occurred on 12 November and was accompanied by a protest that disrupted local transportation beginning at 11:00 local time (14:00 GMT) in Plaza Italia in the capital Santiago. Tens of thousands participated in the protest. Although the largest demonstrations occurred in the capital, others took place across the country. Instances of looting, vandalism and the construction of makeshift barricades on main roads and highways prompted security forces to disperse demonstrators using tear gas and water cannons in multiple cities, which included Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. A church in the Lastarria area of Santiago, several shops, and local businesses were looted, including an attempt by protesters to attack the Argentinean Embassy.

Flights remain available at Santiago’s main airport – Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCEL/SCL) – despite an employee strike on 12 November, but any escalation in protest activity could disrupt access. Despite continued calls from Pinera for dialogue and negotiation, unrest is expected to continue in the near term in Santiago, Valparaiso, and other major cities as protesters’ demands have yet to be fully addressed. Opposition leaders have continued to demand the president’s resignation. Due to the perceived success of the 12 November general strike, similar actions are likely to follow.  For today, 14 November, there is a national call to protest for the “Camilo Catrillanca” case. The protest is expected in multiple cities of Chile and the attendance is expected to be significant. 

CIEE continues to provide optional private transportation to and from classes. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with our participants to ensure their ongoing safety.  We have 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.