Chile Protests : Pinera To Crack Down On Vandals, Looters Amid Unrest

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera announced a battery of measures to tighten security and increase penalties for vandals as ongoing riots, looting and violence have left at least 20 dead over two weeks of protests.

Pinera said he would send bills to Chile's congress to toughen penalties against looting, violence and destruction committed during protests. The penalties would increase if the acts are carried out by hooded vandals trying to hide their identities.

Chile's worst unrest since the end of Augusto Pinochet's Dictatorship in 1990 has wrought more than 1.5 billion dollar in damage to businesses and hobbled Santiago's Metro system, once the envy of Latin America.