Walmart Chile rescinds request for state protection

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Walmart Chile rescinds request for state protection

Walmart Chile on Monday recinded its earlier request filed with the Chilean courts demanding police protection for its supermarkets.

But it said looting of its stores continued and that the situation following weeks of unrest remained “complex.”

In mid-November, Walmart requested that the state provide security for its Líder supermarkets, but emphasized it did not consider the state responsible for its losses. It merely sought state protection from potential looting and violence.

"Regarding our plea for state protection, it is important to point out that through those demands, we were looking to call upon the state in order to avoid being victims of more attacks," stated Walmart Chile.

It cites that since Oct 18 the company has seen 1,300 incidents in which 128 stores were robbed. Further, it says that 35 of its supermarkets were burned - of which 19 were completely burned down. Walmart Chile said that 97 of its stores remain closed.

This, it claims, is "evidence that the security situation has been and continues to be complicated".

Robberies of Walmart stores continue as social unrest in Chile persists. The company is taking necessary measures to provide security for its supermarkets. In particular, support from Chilean authorities and police officers remains fundamental for the current situation, it states.

That being said, it specifies that most of the risk is concentrated in the areas of Arica and Coronel. Therefore, it is not necessary to ask for protection in the entirety of the country.

Lastly, the company added that the resources used for security "were not attempting to give preferential treatment to some actors in the industry nor place responsibility on the state for the losses faced by local stores". Rather, its call for security forces was meant to mitigate the risk involved in each individual case, it explained.

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