General strike in Iquique, in the north of Chile, due to the increase in crime and the migration crisis

Iquique, Chile

This Monday the city of Iquique (Tarapacá region, 1,831 kilometers from Santiago) woke up completely paralyzed, after unions and citizens called a general strike, which had been announced since Friday. The reason is to express the general malaise of the area against crime, insecurity and uncontrolled migration.

On the other hand, at noon on Sunday there was a march through the city of Iquiqu, called “No + violence”, in order to ask for more security and control in the area due to the increase in crimes of greater social connotation in the region. The call gathered about 4 thousand people. The mobilization developed with some complications. A person of foreign nationality was injured when attacked by demonstrators, which was controlled by Carabineros.

So this Monday trade unions, transport, port workers and hoteliers of the Tarapacá region, they mobilize for the same situation, blocking different points of the city. The drivers indicated that the blockade will last until at least 3:00 p.m. this Monday. Due to this, the Arturo Merino Benítez airport in Santiago reported through Twitter that flights to the city of Iquique have been suspended because the airport in that town is not operational.

The mayor of the commune, Mauricio Soria, pointed out that “the main entrances to the city are blocked, the access linking Iquique with Alto Hospicio and the access linking Iquique with the airport”. On the other hand, the Free Trade Zone of Iquique (Zofri) reported that it will not open its doors during the day.

What unleashed these mobilizations was the event that occurred last week: a group of four individuals, of Venezuelan nationality, attacked two police officers in the middle of a drug proceeding. One of them hit a policeman in the face with a mitten, causing a fracture to his face. The four subjects were arrested and remained in preventive detention, while the government announced that they will be expelled when the judicial process ends.


Explosive rise in crime

In his public account, the regional prosecutor of Tarapacá, Raúl Arancibia, communicated alarming figures. He indicated that last year a little more than 32 thousand complaints were received, 8% less than the previous period. However, this decrease was mainly due to the drop in crimes against public health (-50%) and the illegal entry of foreigners (-74%), which in April ceased to be considered a crime.

However, violent crimes increased, such as homicides (183%), drug trafficking (42%), migrant trafficking (501%), possession of a sharp weapon (124%) and robberies with violence and intimidation (18%). ).

According to the data, the area has an average of one homicide every 48 hours. This is how he became aware of the emergence of extremely violent criminal gangs, with methods and crimes that had not been seen before in the region. In that sense, Arancibia acknowledged that the area is experiencing a crisis in terms of crime, beyond the usual crimes of smuggling, drug trafficking that were recorded in the area.

To these is added the increase in trafficking and smuggling of migrants, arms trafficking and crimes associated with organized crime, which is aggravated by uncontrolled migration that prevents knowing who enters the country.

In the hours of this Monday, the prosecutor Arancibia, pointed out that “hitman is an imported crime from the point of view of its increase, and other crimes such as territorial domains,” he warned.

“We need reinforcements, not only in personnel that allows us to better control the situation, where whoever wants to enter and nobody knows who they are (…), but also better police work, in the sense that we must go deeper into the analysis and in police intelligence,” he added.


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