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(CNN Spanish) - Barricades in the streets, burned buildings, clashes with the police and destroyed Metro stations. This is Santiago de Chile after the fifth day of demonstrations against the rise of the underground transport passage, implemented by the government of Sebastián Piñera this week and which left the adult rate at $ 1.20 at peak times.
President Sebastián Piñera decreed a state of emergency, called an exception regime, for the provinces of Santiago and Chacabuco, as well as for the municipalities of Puente Alto and San Bernardo in the Metropolitan Region. That implies that the government reserves the power to restrict or suspend the exercise of some citizen rights by virtue of national defense or security. It all started this Monday with mobilizations promoted by secondary students, but as the days went by thousands of adult workers were added, who accuse that the minimum wage is maintained at about 420 dollars, which would imply an expenditure of almost 48 dollars a month just going to and from work using the Metro.
Since the government, meanwhile, justify the rise due to the price of the dollar and oil, among other factors. “One thing is to manifest and another thing is the vandalism we have observed. The subway is vital for all the inhabitants of the Metropolitan Region. This desire for all this is not protest, it is crime. We all have the right to express ourselves, but not to destroy, ”said Sebastián Piñera, ensuring that“ the people who attacked police and destroyed, will have to face justice. We cannot tolerate that there is a group that believes it has the right to destroy public property. ”
The serious damages caused during this afternoon to the Metro stations - which are currently estimated at more than US $ 700,000, according to the government - forced the suspension of train service throughout the capital, causing a road collapse and forcing the Santiago residents to return on foot to their homes. Buses and other means of public transport were not enough.
The situation worsened as the afternoon progressed. The Interior Minister, Andrés Chadwick, decided to invoke the State Security Law "for all those who are responsible for causing damage to the goods of the Santiago Metro and prevent it from developing normally." However, this only increased the discontent of the people, who went out into the streets to protest with pans.
So far, Carabineros de Chile has not delivered any official balance on detainees or injured, while President Sebastián Piñera has met with several ministers and senior managers of Chilean police in the Palacio de La Moneda, assessing how to proceed in the face of the crisis.
In the streets of the capital, until now, there are still some clashes between protesters and the police; buses, buildings and Metro stations on fire, looting at supermarkets and various stores.