Michelle Bachelet’s government invoked the state security law following a strike by “colectivo” drivers — who charge a fixed rate as opposed to a running meter — Thursday morning. The protestors were demanding to be exempt from the combustible fuel tax, among other things.'Other things' like using the HOV lanes. The criminals!
Tensions boiled over though, and the Carabineros — Chile’s uniformed police — detained 10 drivers and recorded 160 offenses relating to the protest. Santiago’s Regional Secretary of Transport, Matías Salazar, said the government implemented the state security law because the demonstration opposed the freedom and security of Chileans.Except for the Chileans who'd like to ride with the colectivos, he means.
The state security law is a controversial judicial tool used in cases not normally considered criminal but in which the normal functioning of the state is jeopardized. It carries the threat of stiffer maximum jail sentences.As befits a Communist government.