Travel advisory: Government of Canada warns of civil unrest in Chile

The Government of Canada is warning travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Chile due to ongoing demonstrations and civil unrest.

The security advisory notes that on Oct. 18 a popular uprising started in reaction to economic measures imposed by the government. Since then, demonstrations in Santiago and other cities across the country have developed into nationwide protests and civil unrest. Further, violent incidents have occurred, including arson, looting and clashes between protesters and security forces, which have resulted in several casualties.

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On Oct. 27, the Government of Chile declared a state of emergency, which has since been lifted. However, the advisory notes that travellers should:

  • avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • expect a heightened security presence
  • allow extra time to reach your destination
  • contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

As of Nov. 15, the Canadian government added that travellers should be aware that Chilean law prohibits political activities by foreigners. Anyone seen participating in demonstration or promoting dissent, including on social media, may be detained and/or deported.

The current advisory states that Canadians should exercise a “high degree of caution” in Chile.

“There are identifiable safety and security concerns or the safety and security situation could change with little notice. You should exercise a high degree of caution at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.”

The advisory adds that the number of armed assaults has increased significantly since the beginning of 2019 in Chile and tourists have been attacked, even during the daytime.

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