Violent riots and protests erupted across Chile on Tuesday for the fifth straight day, prompting the government to extend a curfew imposed over more than half the country.
Clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials have killed at least 15 people, the government in Santiago said Tuesday.
The protests that began last week over a 4% increase in subway fares in Santiago have spread across the nation, inflamed by the frustration of ordinary Chileans who feel they have been left out of the prosperity of Latin America's wealthiest country.
Protesters have set fire to subway stations, buses and banks, businesses have been damaged and looted, and property has been destroyed as rioters demand the resignation of conservative President Sebastian Pinera. Late Monday, the government canceled the proposed fare hike and Pinera said he was ready to meet with the different factions and discuss ways to end the violence.
But Pinera's efforts were rejected by an opposition angered by remarks he made soon after the protests began. Chile is "at war with a powerful, relentless enemy that respects nothing or anyone and is willing to use violence and crime without any limits,'' Pinera said without identifying the enemy.
That remark brought quick rebukes from celebrities, politicians and soccer players.
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