Lastarria residents complain about rise in crime due to street vendors

Lastarria, the prominent neighborhood in Santiago center, has seen an increase in street vendors. According to residents, trafficking and drug consumption have increased, along with a general sense of insecurity. They ask the mayor to take action, as she did before in other neighborhoods.

In the municipality of Santiago, is one of the most prominent neighborhoods of the city, Lastarria, widely known for its vibrant culture, great restaurants, and historic architecture. However, the people living in the Bohemian neighborhoods are saying Lastarria is increasingly dangerous due to a growing number of street vendors.

Last week, footage emerged on social media of fights and loud music on the streets on Friday and Saturday nights. According to residents, crimes, including drug trafficking and drug consumption, are increasing in Lastarria. The problems started, they say, during the pandemic, when more and more street vendors appeared, and other well-known establishments shuttered.

They point to the fact that, before, only a corner was designated for craftspeople selling art, whereas now, street vendors occupy entire blocks, selling everything from clothing to street food. Apart from a general sense of chaos and danger, the situation has caused the popular area to overflow during the weekends, people say, leaving no space to walk.

Inhabitants of Lastarria have ask Santiago mayor Irací Hassler to step in and give priority to those living there, and get the situation under control, as was done before with other neighborhoods and streets such as Franklin, República, and Barrio Meiggs. According to Bíobío, Hassler has already met with police authorities to make a plan to recover the illustrious neighborhood.

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