Isabel Cocker/The Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO – Claudio Orrego, the Metropolitan Superintendent, and General Alejandro Ramirez Montalvo, the Chief of Police for the Eastern Zone, recently performed safety inspections for the traditional 18th September celebration “Fiesta de la Chilenidad”.
The 23rd edition of this fonda started this Friday in Parque Padre Hurtado.
The authorities are inspecting each of the principal event sites, in order to ensure their safety and that they are complying will all of the municipal regulations.
El Mercurio reports that 22 fiestas have had to apply for permission due to their large scale, of which 2 have been approved, 2 have been suspended, and the other 18 are currently ensuring that they are up-to-date with all of the necessary certifications.
Orrego commented that “We want the Fiestas Patrias to be safe celebrations, and we won’t be wavering on this matter: if it isn’t safe, there will not be an event.
“What we have seen here is that they have adopted all of the safety considerations which the law in Circular 28 established, and we hope that this will also be true of the other 18 events which we have in the region.”
In particular, he highlighted that “we have noted a significant improvement compared to earlier years in the provision of electrical instalments, and of bathroom facilities.”
Ramirez Montalvo stated that around all the events there will be increased police presence in order to maintain a calm atmosphere, La Tercera has noted.
From Friday 8th September, there will be a temporary police commission in the park, commanded by a Captain, which will have 8 officers and 160 uniformed policemen.
Safety is of paramount concern to the regional government, and they launched a campaign together with the Association for the Responsible Consumption of Alcoholic Drinks (Aprocor) at the end of August to promote safe drinking during the holiday period.
The campaign, called “TomarConsciencia” (Be Aware), aims to remind drinkers to moderate their intake and to avoid alcohol if they are the nominated driver, in order to avoid elevated traffic accident rates around the celebrations of the 18th.
The President of Aprocor, Juan Luis Solís de Ovando, underlined that “this campaign is trying to ensure that we all take personal responsibility for our alcohol intake and become aware of the dangers to which we expose ourselves when we drive under the influence.” He stated that pregnant women and under-age children should also become aware of the dangers of any type of drinking, even in small quantities.