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Missionaries Accounted for After State of Emergency Declared in Chile

WEST JORDAN, Utah – A state of emergency has been declared in parts of Chile following violent protests and looting.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and three people were found dead following a fire set at a supermarket in Santiago on Sunday.

The protests were sparked by an increase in subway fares. Authorities declared a state of emergency in five provinces and imposed a curfew to try to control the unrest.

Meanwhile in West Jordan, Nichole Coombs has one thing on her mind.

“My son Carter is in the Santiago East mission,” she said.

Elder Carter Coombs is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He’s right in the middle of the chaos.

“Friday night I saw a little blip come up across my phone that there were some riots in Santiago,” said Nichole. “By Saturday morning I had enough pings on my phone that I knew it was a little tenser than it has been.”

Coombs says she’s never been worried about her son’s safety in Santiago, but the protests definitely put her on edge.

She was told last night that the missionaries were all instructed to get back to their apartments as soon as possible. She heard some got stuck in the city and had to stay with members for the night.

“By late last night we had an email from my son’s mission president that said that all the missionaries had been accounted for,” said Coombs. “They said everyone was safe and that they had implemented emergency protocol that said ‘stay in your apartments, don’t go out until you get the all clear.’”

It’s a relief for families who are watching the turmoil from afar and waiting for that moment when they can have their next heart to heart conversation.

“I think we’ll just reassure him that we are aware of where he’s at and we’re thinking about him and he is always in our prayers,” said Nichole. “That we have complete faith in his ability to make good decisions and be able to keep himself safe.”



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