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Chile – Sun Dreams wants compensation for damage sustained during riots

By - 19 February 2020

Damages worth millions experienced during the social unrest in Chile last year has caused Sun Dreams to file a protection claim before the Court of Appeals of Valdivia. The claim accuses the State of having “failed to guarantee public order and internal public security, which constitutes an arbitrary and illegal violation of constitutional guarantees.”

According to information published by El Mercurio, the operator indicated in the judicial presentation that the protesters looted and attempted to set fire to some areas of the Hotel Sun Dreams Valdivia.

The centre of Valdivia, where the casino hotel is located, was the scene of clashes between protesters and the police on October 18. The company argues that “the damages caused are valued at $1bn in Chilean pesos (around US$1.3m), a sum in which the days on which the doors had to be closed to the public must also be taken into account as well as the risk to which its workers and customers were exposed who found themselves inside the enclosure when the attacks were verified.”

While the social protest in Chile reached its height in October 2019, Sun Dreams reported that it lost $3.5m Chilean pesos in Valdivia, in just two days of protests at the end of January as well.

On January 24, after a concert organised by the municipality, police and protesters clashed in front of the Hotel Sun Dreams Valdivia and caused serious damage. A day later, hooded men attacked the building again. The company says it requested the help of the police, but the police were unable to attend as they were busy at another operation.

For this and other situations, Sun Dreams has demanded that the State be ordered “to have adequate and sufficient security and order forces, which will ensure public order and public safety in the area where the Dreams Valdivia casino and hotel is located.”

Violent protests left 26 dead last year. Protests began over a price increase for subway tickets in capital Santiago but escalated quickly. A number of cities in Chile were placed under a state of emergency while protestors took to the streets.

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