• Short Summary

    On Monday (August 13) President Salvador Allende of Chile warned, in a broadcast interrupted by power failure, that Chile was on the brink of civil war.

  • Description

    GV Tear gas in street, police running

    SV Pan two women run towards car and get in handkerchiefs held to face

    GV Tear gas filled street.

    SV & CU PAN Armed police talking to women and holding canister of tear gas and moving on cars (2 shots)

    MV Police detaining man

    GV ZOOM TO SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Water cannon arrives, man jumps on it, knocked off and cannon continues

    MV People shouting at cannon ZOOM TO GV Water cannon soaks people

    GV Demonstrators chanting as water cannon continues to soak them and drives off

    Initials FD/17.38 FD-BB/DW/BB/1831

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: On Monday (August 13) President Salvador Allende of Chile warned, in a broadcast interrupted by power failure, that Chile was on the brink of civil war.

    Earlier in the day the President had briefed 25 military commissioner appointed to break the strike of lorry owners by the mass requisitioning of thousands of idle trucks.

    An emergency Cabinet meeting took the decision to requisition the trucks after Chile's 45,000 striking lorry owners defied a Government order to return to work on Monday.

    A few hours before the order expired on Sunday (August 12) there were bitter scenes int he centre of the Chilean capital Santiago as several hundred women demonstrated in support of their husbands - lorry owners.

    Police used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse the demonstration and one woman was injured according to eye witnesses.

    A small contingent of police dispersed the women after they refused to obey orders to leave the square facing the Presidential Palace.

    Dr. Allende said on Monday that if the strike, which had lasted 20 days, continued he would declare a state of emergency or call on Congress to impose a State of Siege - an even more severe measure.

    With only a small number of state owned lorries on the roads, Chile's supply situation is serious.

    Some 40 per cent of Chile's industry was operating at only 20 per cent of normal production, while in some industries production has fallen to only 12 per cent, said President Allende.

    More than 90 per cent of Chile's supplies are delivered by road and shortages of food, petrol, heating fuel and medicines are becoming acute.

    SYNOPSIS: Police used tear gas, and later a water cannon against several hundred woman demonstrating in the centre of the Chilean capital Santiago on Sunday.

    The women were demonstrating in support of their husbands, the lorry owners whose twenty day strike has caused serious shortages of food and fuel through out the country.

    The demonstration, opposite the Presidential Palace, came a few hours before the deadline set by the Government for the forty five thousand striking lorry owners to return to work.

    During the strike five people have died and thirty one seriously injured in violence which President Salvador Allende says has been provoked by the strike.

    The women were dispersed after the arrival of the water cannon. Police had ordered them to leave the square. One woman was reported injured.

    The lorry owners defied the Government order to return to work and after an emergency Cabinet meeting on Sunday night twenty five military commissioners were appointed to requisition vehicles.

    And as the Government's "back to work" deadline passed, the lorry owners said their strike would continue to the last ditch ??? until their demands were met. These include the dismissal of the Transport Ministry Under Secretary Jaime Faivovich. The lorry owners accuse him of acting illegally over earlier vehicle requisitioning orders.

    On Monday President Allende, in a broadcast interrupted by a power failure, said Chile was on the brink of civil war. The President warned he would declare a state of emergency if the crippling lorry owners' strike continued.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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