The “people’s uprising” against the high cost of living that began last Friday 18 October and reverberated throughout the country has evolved into, mainly, peaceful demonstrations that take place in the evening. These gatherings have taken on a “carnival” atmosphere and attended even by families.
However, there has been looting and vandalism in some sectors of Santiago and other cities, mainly in areas of low-income groups. Because of this there is a night-time curfew in place.
Our opinion, from a locally-based-in-Santiago point of view is that things are calming down and life is returning to normal during the day. The Santiago metro is getting back to normal, children are going back to schools, buses are running and so on.
However, with the weekend approaching there could well be a “spike” back to unrest as students and people who are not at work take advantage to “be a problem” for the authorities.
We feel that over the coming week that life will return to how it was prior to the demonstrations.
We wish to stress that tourist destinations such as Torres del Paine, San Pedro de Atacama, Pucon and Easter Island are a very long way from Santiago and other cities and in these destinations “life is normal”. To illustrate what we mean if you can imagine a public disturbance in, say, New York in the USA and you had a holiday booked to see the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon would not be the slightest bit affected by the unrest in New York. Going to Torres del Paine and the other tourist destinations is like that – a very long way away from any unrest.
Santiago airport is open and functioning.