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


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, France Germany, India, and China.

Homicides, many of them committed by firearms, have experienced an unexpected increase. A total of 465 homicides were committed nationwide between January – July 2023, which represents a one percent increase compared to the same period in 2022 but a 56 percent increase over January – July 2021. Chile’s Investigative Police (PDI) reported 6,211 violent vehicle thefts during the same period in 2023, a decline of sixteen percent over January – July 2022 but an increase of more than 80 percent from 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 June 2023, there were 767,796 registered weapons (not including those registered under government institutions). The number of illegal weapons smuggled through border crossings in northern Chile continues to grow.

Social unrest in Chile’s southern region, primarily in the Arauncania 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 (Carabineros), Investigative Police (Policia de Investigaciones), 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 servicesMunicipal monitoring balloonsBodycams, radios, and repeatersWarning systemsAccess control equipmentDetection systems for checkpointsRadio navigation and radio remote control devicesProtective/safety clothing and footwearEquipment and implements for working at heightFire Control implementsVolcanic monitoring equipment


In 2022, President Gabriel Boric announced a National Security Plan that focuses on public safety, persecution of organized crime, crime prevention, and weapons control. As part of this plan, President Boric announced in April 2023 “Streets without Violence”, a security program for 46 communes throughout Chile considered to be more seriously affected by violence and crime. According to information provided by the Undersecretary of the Interior, the Streets without Violence program is part of the National Policy against Organized Crime, a long-term strategy that aims to disrupt criminal organizations, reducing both their firepower and their economic power.

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, and the investigative police or PDI.

Table: Chile Safety and Security Market (US$ Millions)





2023 estimate

Total Imports





Imports from the United States





U.S. Share of Imports





Unit: $ millions

Source: Global Trade Atlas: (HTS 830110, 830130, 830140, 830300, 842410, 848140, 852550, 852580, 853010, 853080, 853090, 853110, 870510, 870530, 902229, 930190, 930200, 930330, 930390, 940180)

Trade Shows

Seguridad Expo, November 7-9, 2023, Santiago, Chile: An international trade fair on safety and security sectors. An estimated 5,000 professionals are expected to visit the trade fair.


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