At least seven dead following protests and looting in Chile 3 weeks ago

At least seven dead following protests and looting in Chile

A state of emergency is in place in the South American nation of Chile as over 1,400 protestors have been detained.

According to Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick, 10,500 soldiers and police have been put on the streets in an attempt to control and curtail the protests.

Five dead bodies were found in a "garment factory" near the country's capital city, Santiago, according to firefighters. These latest deaths bring the total death toll of the looting to seven. The previous two deaths had also resulted from a fire started at a Walmart.

The Chilean protests began as civil action against the second increase of metro fares since January. Originally, protestors rebelled simply dodging fares on the metro, but soon began causing major damage to subway stations.

The protests have since escalated dramatically, with over 70 violent incidents recorded, according to the BBC. These include other major fires at an ENEL power company building and a Banco Chile branch.

Chilean president Sebastian Piñera is a billionaire who has worked to privatise much of Chile's public services, another source of contention with protestors. Piñera has called for calm, saying: "Everyone has the right to demonstrate peacefully and show solidarity with reasons they have to do so. But no one can threaten the safety of any compatriot.

"Only together will we be able to protect and preserve our democracy. Let's take care of our families, take care of our country."