Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that he may on Sunday end the state of emergency he declared in the wake of mass protests nationwide that led to arson and looting shortly after the military announced an end to the curfew for the capital Santiago.
"I intend to lift the state of emergency at midnight next Sunday," Pinera said in a televised address broadcast on all channels. "It is my intention that we start the week with full constitutional normality."
Pinera had declared a state of emergency on October 18 after demonstrations morphed into a series of arson attacks on subway stations in Santiago, accompanied by widespread looting. The state of emergency put commanders of Chile's armed forces in charge of security in cities across the country. Three decades after the end of a brutal military dictatorship, Chileans again saw armored vehicles in the center of the capital. Pinera on Saturday asked his ministers to offer their resignations ahead of a cabinet reshuffle that will help meet "new demands."
Thousands of people were arrested and at least 18 killed in the upheaval, which began with mass subway fare evasion as a protest against a 30-peso price increase and exploded into violence.
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