Chile's Pinera to crack down on vandals, looters amid unrest
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's President Sebastian Pinera announced a battery of measures on Thursday to tighten security and increase penalties for vandals as ongoing riots, looting and violence have left at least 20 dead over two weeks of protests. Pinera said he would send bills to Chile's congress to toughen penalties against looting, violence and destruction committed during protests. The penalties would increase if the acts are carried out by hooded vandals trying to hide their identities.
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's President Sebastian Pinera announced a battery of measures on Thursday to tighten security and increase penalties for vandals as ongoing riots, looting and violence have left at least 20 dead over two weeks of protests.
Pinera said he would send bills to Chile's congress to toughen penalties against looting, violence and destruction committed during protests. The penalties would increase if the acts are carried out by hooded vandals trying to hide their identities.
Chile's worst unrest since the end of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in 1990 has wrought more than $1.5 billion in damage to businesses and hobbled Santiago's metro system, once the envy of Latin America. Vandals have looted hundreds of grocery stores, left much of the downtown painted over in graffiti and set fire to buildings.
Pinera said he would combat the work of "criminals" by beefing up intelligence-gathering activities, including more than doubling to 17 the drones used in Santiago for aerial surveillance.
"One of the principal responsibilities of the state is to ensure public order and security," Pinera said in a televised speech. He added that police and security forces in Chile had "total support" from his administration.
The political opposition in Chile immediately pounced on Pinera's announcements. Jorge Sharp, the left-leaning mayor of the port city of Valparaiso, said on Twitter that Pinera had missed the point.
"More repression won't resolve the social injustices," Sharp said. "It will only provoke more violence."
Chile's worst unrest since the end of Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship has already led to more than 7,000 arrests, and injuries to 1,659 protesters and 800 police officers, according to authorities and rights groups.
Prosecutors are also investigating more than 800 allegations of abuse, including torture, rape and beatings by security forces during demonstrations that have often degenerated into riots.
The unrest has grown less violent in recent days but has shown little signs of subsiding.
On Wednesday evening, hooded vandals attacked several shops, cafes and the headquarters of a right wing political parties in one of Santiago's more upscale neighborhoods.
(Reporting by Dave Sherwood and Anthony Esposito; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By John McCrank and Anirban Sen (Reuters) -The New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it will delist three Chinese telecom companies, confirming its latest reversal on the matter a day after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the NYSE chief he disagreed with an earlier decision to reverse the delistings
(Reuters) - Deal making among oil and gas producers was at its highest for the year in the fourth quarter of 2020 as the pandemic-driven fallout in commodity prices spurred a wave of consolidation between explorers looking to scale up and drive down costs, a report from analytics firm Enverus said. Oil and gas producers made deals worth $27.1 billion in the quarter, up from $21 billion in the third, helped by three multi-billion dollar acquisitions in the prolific Permian basin of West Texas and New Mexico. ConocoPhillips acquired Concho Resources for $13.3 billion, the biggest pure shale acquisition by any company since 2011, topping the list.
By Ritvik Carvalho, Wayne Cole and David Randall NEW YORK/LONDON/SYDNEY (Reuters) - The growing chances of Democratic wins in two pivotal U.S. Senate contests triggered financial market moves Wednesday that mirror hopes of more COVID-19-related stimulus and increased regulatory scrutiny of tech companies