Citizens of Chile (initiated by secondary school students) started protesting across several cities, in response to their country’s railway transportation network, Metro de Santiago’s recent price hikes. Civilians started taking over the city’s main train stations and openly confronting with the national police, Carabineros. They seized many terminals of the Santiago Metro network and caused extensive infrastructural damage. In many places, the state of emergency and curfew have been imposed. Chaos took over the country, and by 17 October, 133 were arrested with total damage accounting to more than 500 million pesos (US$700,000).
Agricultural technician and senator of Chile for the 8th Senatorial District, Manuel José Ossandón Irarrázabal said that he warned the government of the attacks prior to the events. He claims of having been told by a hacker that the groups of people going to burn the Metro stations are connected through video games. He says he immediately notified La Moneda Palace, the State Government office in Chile. Despite his warning, stations were not protected and many of them ended up destroyed.
The exact quote says, “I warned because a bridge hacker (…) tells me that groups of people are connected by videogames and are going to burn the Metro stations. I immediately notified La Moneda And they burned them all! So instead of having taken the militias to the street, they should have taken care of the critical infrastructure.”
Apparently, he got the information on Whatsapp, which he soon forwarded to the President of the Republic, Andrés Chadwick, Interior and Public Security Minister of Chile and Rodrigo Ubilla, Under Secretary of the Interior of Chile.
“Only the Interior Minister replied, ‘thank you’ – and well… the stations were burned,” the senator reiterated.
“Instead of having brought the militias to the street, they should have taken care of the critical infrastructure, “the parliamentarian told Cooperativa, a Chile-based radio station/media organisation.
The hacker, more specifically, is said to be a “communications and social networks expert” from Puente Alto. The senator didn’t name any video games nor did he reveal the identity of the alleged “hacker”.
Radio Cooperativa is a radio station in Chile, based in Santiago. It is operated by Compañía Chilena de Comunicaciones S.A.
La Tercera, formerly known as La Tercera de la Hora, is a daily newspaper published in Santiago, Chile and owned by Copesa.