Chile - Country Commercial Guide
Safety and Security
Last published date: 2022-09-30


Chile is experiencing an increase of violent incidents throughout the country. The safety and security sector is expected to continue to grow as demand for security equipment, services, and technologies remains strong. The current situation offers U.S. suppliers opportunities in the Chilean market where U.S. technology is highly regarded. However, price is always a priority and U.S. companies must compete with suppliers from Spain, Germany, India, and China.

Homicides, many of them committed by firearms, have experienced an unexpected increase. A total of 413 homicides were committed during the first semester of 2022, which represents a 30 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. Chile’s Investigative Police (PDI) reported 2,478 car assaults during January-April 2022, compared to 1,411 in the same period in 2021.

According to Chilean regulations, a person may own up to three weapons and must register them with the government. The weapons can be used exclusively for sports (hunting and others), collection, and for legitimate defense. As of April 2022, there were 785,817 active registered weapons. The number of illegal weapons smuggled through border crossings in northern Chile continues to grow.

Social unrest in Chile’s southern region, including violent attacks targeting commercial sites, government buildings, and private homes, has increased and is often attributed to extremist indigenous groups. In the northern part of the country, illegal immigration through the hundreds of passes between Chile and neighboring countries has increased. With one of the longest coastlines in the world, illegal fishing is a challenge since foreign ships are regularly detected in Chilean waters. More resources and specialized personnel are required to implement a policy to prosecute crime, drug problems, smuggling, arms trafficking, illegal fishing, and illegal immigration.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and wildfires are common in Chile. Wildfire season begins in November and ends in April with the peak occurring in January and February. Most fires originate in forest areas in the central and southern regions of the country. However, the fire season has worsened over the last decade due to climate change and severe drought. The Ministry of Agriculture’s National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) is responsible for managing and coordinating firefighting activities and training of over 300 firefighters. Every July, CONAF calls for bids to purchase the equipment and products that are necessary for the upcoming season. If there is further need of assistance, the Office of National Emergencies (ONEMI) collaborates with CONAF during the firefighting season.

The Ministry of Interior oversees the Chilean Police, Investigative Police, and the Office of National Emergencies. The Undersecretariat of Crime Prevention is also under the Ministry of Interior.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Crime prevention and detection equipment and services
  • Municipal monitoring balloons
  • Bodycams, radios, and repeaters
  • Warning systems
  • Access control equipment
  • Detection systems for checkpoints
  • Radio navigation and radio remote control devices
  • Protective/safety clothing and footwear
  • Equipment and implements for working at height
  • Fire Control implements
  • Volcanic monitoring equipment.


During the State of the Nation speech on June 1, 2022, President Gabriel Boric announced a National Security Plan that focuses on public safety, persecution of organized crime, crime prevention, and weapons control. The plan includes the creation of a Ministry of Security, police reform, strengthening the capabilities of the municipalities to manage security problems, and a new National Public Security Policy that will establish a ten year strategic plan. President Boric also confirmed a $1.8 billion investment in the PDI, allocating $3 billion for the creation of the National Public Security Policy, $4.5 billion for armored vans for the southern region, and $1 billion for equipment. The U.S. Commercial Service in Chile is closely monitoring these developments for potential opportunities for U.S. companies.

U.S. suppliers interested in doing business in the Chilean market should consider establishing a presence in the country. The ideal local agent or representative should be well connected with key potential clients, including the Armed Forces, Carabineros, PDI.

Table: Total Market Size for Safety and Security





2022 Estimated

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Total Market Size





Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – Total Exports

Unit: $ millions

Source: Global Trade Atlas based on Chilean Customs

Trade Shows

Seguridad Expo, October 25-27, 2022, Santiago, Chile: An international trade fair on safety and security sectors to be at Parque FISA fairgrounds. An estimated 5,000 professionals are expected to visit the trade fair.


  • Ministry of Interior
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Corporación Nacional Forestal (National Forest Corporation, CONAF)
  • Oficina Nacional de Emergencia (National Office of Emergency, ONEMI)
  • Carabineros de Chile (Chilean Police)
  • Policía de Investigaciones (Investigative Police, PDI)

For more information, contact U.S. Commercial Service Chile Commercial Specialist Isabela Valenzuela.