SANTIAGO – A 22-year-old was killed on Monday by a Navy truck in the southern city of Talcahuano, becoming the 12th person to lose their life in four days of protests in Chile, the Navy confirmed.
The victim was run over by a military vehicle when soldiers intervened to stop looting by a mob who dispersed after their arrival.
“The incident occurred on Gran Bretaña avenue, in Libertad locality, in the commune of Talcahuano. In the presence of the uniformed personnel, a group of people looting Congelados Pacifico (store) fled the site and one of them was hit by the vehicle,” the Navy said in a statement.
The event occurred in the province of Concepcion, in which the city of Talcahuano lies, during curfew which was imposed Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.
The public prosecutor’s office in Bio Bio region reported that a marine was arrested over the young man’s death and investigations were underway.
In the face of some unofficial versions of the event that suggested the man possibly died from a gunshot wound before being knocked down by the truck, the regional prosecutor’s office ruled out the possibility after carrying out an examination of the body.
Santiago and the Metropolitan region, to which the capital belongs, remained under curfew for the third consecutive night, a measure extended to Monday in the Region of Valparaiso, the province of Concepcion (south), and the cities of Antofagasta, La Serena and Coquimbo (north); Rancagua and Talca (center) and Valdivia (south).
Violent groups have radicalized a social protest against a rise in prices of the Santiago metro, leading to violent demonstrations that have already claimed at least a dozen lives and created unrest in the streets in several parts of the country.
Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera said the country was waging “a war” against these violent elements and imposed a state of emergency – in full or in part – in 11 of Chile’s 16 administrative regions: the Metropolitan Region (where Santiago is located), Tarapaca, Antofagasta, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Maule, Concepcion, Bio Bio, O’Higgins, Magellan and Los Rios.