01 November 2019
The latest on the recent demonstrations in Santiago and Chile is that everything has calmed down. There may well be isolated incidents of small groups that still try to damage property in places like central Santiago at night, but these are now isolated and few. Hotels in the areas of Santiago such as Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura are operating in the normal way.
Transport and everyday life is back to its normal routine, albeit some metro stations are closed because they need to be repaired.
Throughout the past two weeks ALL of Chile’s tourist destinations have been perfectly safe and NOT the slightest bit affected by what has happened in Santiago centre and some other cities. Santiago airport has also NOT been affected at all.
At this moment Santiago airport is operating perfectly normally and places such as Torres del Paine, San Pedro de Atacama, Pucon (lake region), Easter Island and Patagonia in general are all operating normally and open for business. It is important to remember that Chile is a very large country and the tourist destinations are a long, long way from Santiago.
Please plan your trip in confidence and come and enjoy these wonderful places.
CORRECT REPORTING: We would like to take this opportunity to correct some of the erroneous and exaggerated reporting in some of the media outside of Chile. Namely that there has NEVER been any tanks on the streets of Santiago over the past two weeks. This was total “fake news” reporting, which appeared in the UK’s “The Guardian” online newspaper. Shame on you Guardian.
Also, totally over stated has been reports about “brutality” by the armed forces. The people who were breaking into private property, mainly supermarkets, and in many cases setting them alight obviously had to be stopped by the authorities. However, in such situation where the culprit is determined to get away some force may be required to ensure that he or she does not get away. Likewise, in situations where there were militant people clearly being violent towards the police and damaging public and private property the authorities obviously had to try to quell the violence and they used water cannon, tear gas and in some cases hit the guilty party with a truncheon. This method is used by police the World over in situations of crowd disorder. From a locally-based vantage point we can say that some of the reporting has been shamefully wrong and, unfortunately, goes to show how some reporters use a personal political bias to slant their reporting in a particular way to flame the fans of their own political belief. The consequence of such actions is dangerous and can have a devastating affect on peoples lives. It is true that people were hit by rubber bullets and round, plastic pellets, but these individuals were in groups of people damaging private and public property and / or out during a curfew. Yes, some people were “innocent”, but they should not have put themselves in a situation where violent people are present and also not been out in a curfew situation.
To illustrate the point even more, after the large Earthquake in 2010, the BBC showed a picture of a collapsed road bridge in Santiago and accompanied this with a voice over implying that all of Chile was damaged and at a standstill. The reality was that at the same time this report was aired, Santiago was operating normally, the metro was running, buses were running and the streets were full of people walking around in the normal way.
The point being, do not believe everything you read in the press and see in the media.