Chile unrest: Advice for business and other travellers

Violent protests in Chile have left 18 dead and led to around 5,000 arrests so far. The protests began on 14th October over an increase in metro fares and have since developed into a broader expression of discontent over the cost of living.

Chile has one of the highest levels of income inequality in Latin America and the current movement has primarily been led by the working class and students. However, because much of the unrest has occurred in and around metro stations, many bystanders have been caught up in the violence.

Advice for those in the area (Source: Healix International)

Risk assistance firm, Healix International has been facilitating evacuation and offers the following advice to workers and travellers remaining in the area:

• Avoid protests. Protests may arise in any location, but they should be detectable from a distance due to the noise of the protesters

• Avoid all metro stations and bus stops. Use alternative transport, preferably a pre-booked driver, and allow additional time for journeys

• Maintain a flexible itinerary. Be aware that gatherings often occur spontaneously and deteriorate at short notice.

• If a higher risk protest location is unavoidable, do not wear military style clothing or anything that could be mistaken for a uniform. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks. Know where all exits are.

• If you are caught outside in the middle of a riot or unrest, do not appear to take sides or attempt to photograph or film events. Move out of the crowd and find the nearest building to seek refuge. Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Keep your head down and avoid confrontation. Walk rather than run to avoid attracting attention.

• If you are caught in the middle of a riot or unrest while in a vehicle: remain inside your vehicle unless it has become the focus of the protest and avoid major roads and anticipate roadblocks. Do not drive towards large crowds; you may become a target. If driving is likely to endanger your safety further, exit your vehicle, lock it and move to the nearest building and seek refuge.

• Abide by curfew hours of 20h00 to 06h00 in Santiago; 18h00 to 06h00 in Valparaiso and Concepcion.

• Abide by all directives issued by the security forces or authorities.

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