Wave of robberies in shopping malls exposes public security crisis in Chile

Inflation and the economic slowdown are not the only concerns of the people of Chile. The country is experiencing a public security crisis, in which robberies in shopping centers have been one of the most visible aspects in recent weeks.

On the last day 20, two robberies occurred in units of the Mall Plaza network. In Mall Plaza Oeste, in the commune of Cerrillos, in the Santiago region, five armed men robbed an Apple store; in the action, an employee was attacked with a butt on the head.

On the same day, in Mall Plaza Norte, located in another metropolitan commune, Huechuraba, another group, also armed, threatened customers and employees and fled taking various products from a Mac Online store.

In a statement, the Mall Plaza group expressed concern about “the high level of violence and the weapons used by the criminals” and highlighted “the criminal organization of these groups”, with actions involving a large number of criminals and the use of “bulletproof vests and large caliber weapons.

Although these were the cases with the greatest impact, others have been reported in Chile recently. This month, reports went viral on social networks of visitors to the Costanera Center, in the commune of Providencia (also in Greater Santiago), who said they had been victims of armed robberies inside stores in the shopping center.

In October, a group of around 15 criminals robbed two cell phone stores in the Espacio Urbano de Piedra Roja shopping center in Chicureo (Greater Santiago).

The robbers wore jumpsuits of different colors and Halloween masks, clowns and the protagonist of the comic book and movie “V for Vendetta” and threatened customers with firearms, even temporarily holding some hostage.

“This is not a problem exclusive to shopping centers or commerce. It is a national phenomenon that is replicated with increasing levels of insecurity throughout the territory”, said the president of the Chilean Chamber of Shopping Centers, Katia Tursich, last week to ADN radio.

She made the statements after attending a meeting on the subject with representatives of President Gabriel Boric’s government, the Carabineros (the Chilean ostensible police) and the Public Ministry.

Tursich claimed that, despite the recent violent cases, shopping malls are still safer environments, but he stressed that “in the matter of security, one can never be calm”. “It is an issue that affects us all as a country, there is a great perception of insecurity on the rise”, highlighted the businesswoman.

At the meeting, the Chilean government informed that it would send a bill on private security to Congress and the Carabineros announced a reinforcement of the Centauro Plan, to increase policing in shopping center areas, especially closer to Christmas.

The undersecretary for Crime Prevention, Eduardo Vergara, representative of the Boric administration at the meeting, also informed that a “joint public-private task force” will be established to increase security in stores that sell high-tech and high-value products in shopping malls.

Faced with the repercussions of these robberies, parliamentarians from the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), the Chilean opposition party, last week presented a bill to authorize the possession and use of firearms by security guards in shopping malls.

general crisis

Despite the greater visibility of robberies in shopping centers, the search for measures to prevent robberies indicates that the public security crisis in Chile affects the economy in general.

According to a report on the website La Tercera, more than 50% of Chilean commercial establishments have reinforced security measures this year, since almost 60% of stores in the country have already been victims of theft.

Earlier this week, Chilean truck drivers ended an eight-day strike after reaching an agreement with the government on the two main demands of the category, lower fuel prices and greater safety for transporters.

While on the issue of fuel, the Boric administration committed itself to seeking measures to stabilize prices, especially for truck drivers who work with smaller loads, on the issue of safety, three main commitments were defined.

An exclusive prosecutor was appointed to investigate robberies and kidnappings suffered by truck drivers; agreement was reached on an operational plan by the Carabineros to improve security at seven points between the cities of Arica and Coquimbo; and the construction of six rest areas for transporters in the North Macrozone was defined throughout 2023.

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Scientists discover information about substances used in mummifications

posted on 02/02/2023 06:00 (credit: Nikola Nevenov/Disclosure) Seven years ago, archaeologists led by Ramadan Hussein, …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *