“We are at war." So said Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on national television yesterday, describing the violent clashes that have rocked his country in recent days. Protests over an increase in subway fares erupted two weeks ago but turned deadly over the weekend, when at least seven people were killed during arson attacks. Piñera said the state of emergency he enacted in the capital Santiago on Saturday would be extended to other cities.
Can Piñera cool things down? Despite suspending the price hike, some observers suggest his inflammatory rhetoric — such as calling rioters "a powerful and implacable enemy" — is only making matters worse.