Chile withdraws as APEC, climate summit host as riots, protests continue

Chile is dropping plans to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade summit as it struggles with riots and mass protests over economic inequality.

Readout from call between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Chilean counterpart doesn't mention APEC

Demonstrators display flags and banners during a protest against President Sebastian Pinera in Santiago, Chile. The embattled leader withdrew his country as host of the APEC summit scheduled for mid-November. (Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

Chile is dropping plans to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade summit as it struggles with riots and mass protests over economic inequality.

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced Wednesday that his country would not host the forum, which was scheduled to take place mid-November in Santiago. The country also has opted out of hosting the COP25 climate summit in December.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Piñera Tuesday, but a readout of the call did not mention the APEC summit.

It said Piñera called to offer Trudeau congratulations on his re-election.

"The Prime Minister and the President exchanged views on key regional issues, including the importance of addressing people's concerns around economic opportunity and inequalities," says a readout from the PMO.

"Prime Minister Trudeau also shared his concern about election irregularities in Bolivia. They welcomed the collaboration between Canada and Chile on a range of shared priorities, including efforts to address the crisis in Venezuela."

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing cooperation, the readout says.

Cancellation catches Washington off-guard

It's not clear if Piñera gave Trudeau a heads-up, but according to Reuters, the cancellation caught the White House by surprise.

A White House official told the news agency that Washington learned about the decision from news reports and is seeking more information.

Bloomberg News reported that U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to sign a preliminary trade accord with Chinese President Xi Jinping at at the Nov. 16-17 APEC summit; his administration describes it as a "phase one" deal.

Protesters in Chile have been making demands for better pay, pensions, schools, housing and medical care. While most demonstrations have been peaceful, some have led to deadly riots and looting.

Piñera responded by pulling back a planned fare increase for subways and boosting pensions and the minimum wage.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?