Chile to consider state of emergency extension

Chile’s congress will vote today on the extension of a state of emergency which has been in effect since March

Chile state of emergency

Photo: Martin Bernetti/Getty

Chile’s congress will vote today on the extension of a state of emergency which has been in effect since March 2020.

Despite having one of the most advanced vaccination programs in South America, Chile’s COVID-19 cases are on the rise as the country is currently struggling during the third wave of the pandemic. Last week, the Chilean Health Minister Enrique Paris officially announced the country’s first positive case of the COVID-19 Delta variant will likely push Congress to extend the strict lockdown procedures for 90 more days.

The extension of the state of emergency will have an immediate impact on Chile’s copper industry—which accounts for almost 50% of overall exports—which in turn will stagnate Chile’s export rates. Although Santiago will instate additional emergency aid packages for unemployed citizens in the short- to medium-term, it’s unlikely that the aid packages will be effective as the Chilean government will be unable to provide sufficient capital funds. Labor union organizations such as the United Confederation of Workers (CUT) will likely increase demonstrations across the country to protest the government’s inability to control rising unemployment and poverty levels. The protests will induce Santiago to boost its crackdown against union groups.

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