Chilean users have taken to different social networks outraged over several videos that show groups of upper-class youngsters partying without masks while the pandemic is out of control.

The footage was recorded on New Year’s Day in Cachagua, a small coastal town that serves as a weekend or Summer escape for the rich and famous who primarily live in the wealthy neighbourhoods of Santiago.

Apart from the videos, which went viral this Thursday, different WhatsApp audio files leaked on the internet have added fuel to the fire, even though their veracity has not been confirmed yet.

In them, it is affirmed that students from expensive private Santiago schools travelled to Cachagua for the sole purpose of partying.

For example, a young male is heard saying “he regrets nothing” because he got to “hook up with three girls”, and a young female complains about all the attention the Cachagua case is getting.

She claims that a relative of hers attended an “illegal Catholic mass” (slang for an illegal party) in the capital, which resulted in several people contracting the virus. “Don’t forget Santiago”, she says.

Authorities have confirmed that the party took place and Valparaíso governor Jorge Martínez filed a lawsuit that aims to hold accountable those responsible for violating article 318 of the Penal Code (endangering public health in a pandemic).

Mr Martínez said that attendees, organisers and even parents could face charges.

The Chilean Government failed to contain the spread of the virus from the start. Local lockdowns and a plan called “Step by Step” have achieved very little since the first covid-19 case was reported in the country, on 3 March.

Today, the Government informed 3,685 new diagnosed patients, the highest daily tally since 5 July. While the total active cases soared to 18,679, the death toll reached 16,913.