BUENOS AIRES, October 30. /TASS/. Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera said he made a decision to cancel the APEC summit in Santiago in November and the UN conference on climate change in December due to protests in the country.
"It was a painful thing for me to do, but I’ve made a decision not to hold the APEC summit and the UN conference on climate change," he said in a message telecast by the 24 Horas television channel.
"When a father faces problems, he should attach priority to the family. The president should always place the interests of his fellow citizens above anything else," he added.
The protests that developed into street riots and clashes with police began in Santiago on October 14 after metro fare hikes by 30 pesos ($0.04) to 850 pesos ($1.2). The unrest eventually spread to other cities. President Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency and night-time curfew in the capital and a number of cities and revoke the public transport fare hike. The rioting claimed at least 19 lives.
Last week Pinera declared a number of social support measures, including pension rises and lower electricity prices. On October 27, three weeks ahead of the scheduled APEC summit in Santiago, Pinera signed decrees to cancel the state of emergency in all regions. On Monday, the unrest resumed in the capital and other cities.