Chilean authorities warn of a possible increase in the price of public transport in the capital, four months after a similar decision triggered the social crisis in that Latin American country.
Fernandez Questions International Silence Over Chilean Protests
A rise in the Transantiago fare, which had been frozen since the beginning of the protests in Chile last October, could happen if the operating costs of that public transport increase, Chilean Transport Minister José Luis Dominguez said on Monday.
According to Dominguez, Chile has a budget of around "600 million Chilean pesos (approximately US$ 752,082) and to the extent that we move in those numbers, we should not move fares.
However, as costs are rising, "at some point, there are going to be rate changes. If costs start to shoot up, obviously a decision will have to be made," the transport minister said without preamble.
"Public transport always failing when it is most needed #Chile........."
If implemented, this measure could indefinitely extend the social protests that caused 42 deaths and 121 disappearances in the first month of its outbreak alone, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, due to the repressive response of the Sebastian Piñera government.
The date that Chile "woke up," as the Chilean people defend, was last October 4, when the Panel of Experts on Public Transportation reported that bus, subway, and urban rail fares would be increased to 830 pesos (almost US$2) at peak times for the subway.
"#NoticiasUno| La República newspaper converted the prices of public transport in the capitals of the Pacific Alliance to dollars and the most expensive turned out to be the TransSantiago de Chile"
Two weeks after that decision, and after days of student demonstrations and worker protests, on Friday the 18th of that month, Congress approved the suspension of the increase.
Also, on January 20, the Panel of Experts of Public Transportation determined a new increase of $10 for Transantiago. However, this time the government took less than a week to cancel the increase.