Santiago - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

The riots and social unrest of late 2019 and early 2020 were a big deal. We had a curfew for weeks and crime increased substantially. Luckily we were not directly affected, but others were, especially downtown. That has largely (but not totally) subsided with the passing of a referendum to redraft the constitution. However, the potential for more unrest as that process plays out is very real. Also, earthquakes happen, a lot. Most are small, but you never know. We keep our house well stocked just in case. Otherwise use basic common sense and situational awareness downtown and you'll be fine. - Dec 2020

Street smarts should never fade, no matter where you live. The Carabineros (Chilean police) are widely considered to be the last bastion of non-corrupt cops in Latin America. I have had no direct experience with this. The City center is known for pick-picketers. The random acts of violence that I have heard of have been that-random. The Hospital care here (Clincia Alemana and Las Condes) are A+, hands down, the best medical care available, comparable to NYU Langone in Mahnattan, only better. - Jun 2019

Just the normal things if you lived in a large city. Do not think that because Chile is deemed "safe" by people that you can be careless or become complacent. - Feb 2016

Generally this is a very safe place to live. Petty crime such as purse snatching and theft happens sometimes. There has been an increase in crimes in residents in Lo Barnechea (where most families with kids live) but if you use your security system you should be fine. During our tour no apartments have ever been broken into. Unlike a previous posting when we have visited the Vitacura apartments (embassy-owned) they seem completely safe and even have big metal security gates as an additional measure. We have felt absolutely safe here. - Nov 2014

More and more, people are getting robbed, both in their homes in the swankier neighborhoods such as Lo Bornichea and La Dehesa, and in cafes and restaurants, especially places where muggers know they can prey on tourists: Starbucks, McDonald's, Denny's. Now it's almost guaranteed that if you put your backpack or purse down, or leave it hanging on a chair, it will get snatched in a nano second. - Oct 2014

It depends on where you live. In Santiago, Las Condes, Vitacura, and Le Dehesa tend to be quite safe. Other parts of Santiago can be extremely dangerous. Car theft is extremely common. But compared to most Latin American capitals, I consider Santiago to be quite safe. - Sep 2011

Just the same precautions that should be taken like in any major city -- avoid areas where crime is more prevalent. - Jul 2010

There's a lot of petty crime, I already know a lot of people here who've been robbed. I've stopped carrying a purse and credit cards and try not to look too conspicuous. - Jul 2009

Santiago is probably one of the safest capital cities in Latin America. There is some pickpocketing and purse snatching in the downtown areas, and tourists and obvious foreigners are usually preyed upon there. - Apr 2009

To be honest-some. But like any large city in the United States-you must be smart-don't walk alone at night (especially if you're a woman), and keep your doors and gates locked at all times. Also, don't leave valuables sitting in your car where people can see and steal them. We have a German Shepherd who also helps deter any thieves. Most importantly, don't flaunt your wealth and make yourself any easy target to get robbed. But from what Dominicans and expats tell me, Santiago is a much safer place to live than in the capital. - Sep 2008

Normal big city issues. Just beware of your surrounding. Keep your purse on the floor of your car, and out of sight, even if you're in the car. Never set your purse down. Even in a restaurant, keep your purse always on your lap. Don't wear lots of jewelry out in crowded areas. - Jul 2008

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