Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

How the oligarchy of the world attacks Brazilian democracy

Monday, December 15th, 2014
((El Clarín photo)) ((El Clarín photo))

((El Clarín photo))

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for December 10, 2014. See original here.]

by Felipe Cabello

The availability of the internet facilitates access to information from diverse countries of the world and through it we can follow the paths of the news and identify its origin, its distortions and emphases, and often its deceptions or its incessant repetitions for clearly political and economic purposes. Identifying the origin of the news through the internet also allows us to recognize those centers and media that are the creators and originators, especially in international news, and others that are at most translators, repeaters and simple echo chambers.

What is deplorable and tragic about this is that in Chile, for example, a country with interests similar to those of other Latin American countries, the newspapers with the greatest circulation repeat, without the slightest hint of analysis, reasoning or criticism, news that attacks the relations between countries with common origins and with problems similar to those of the rest of continent. A recent clear demonstration of this was the major campaign against Brazil and the re-election of President Dilma Rousseff, concerning which there was no sparing of insults, lies and calumnies to sabotage her administration and to hinder her re-election. This negative propaganda campaign, which began about two years ago and was to continue without interruption until her re-election, began in Europe and the United States on the pages of media that answer to the interests of the one percent of the world’s population, like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times and The Guardian. (more…)

The consolidation of the Latin American Left

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for October 29, 2014. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Emir Sader

There has been much talk recently of an eventual end to the cycle of progressive government in Latin America. Real difficulties in countries like Venezuela and Argentina, added to a slowing of the pace of expansion of the region’s economies, have fed these speculations.

This year’s electoral calendar could be a test of the vigor of these governments. The year began with the inauguration of Michele Bachelet in Chile, who defeated Sebastián Piñera. Soon afterward, the Frente Farabundo Martí elected the president of El Salvador. In October Evo Morales was re-elected in the first round of voting. Now Dilma is re-elected and Tabaré Vázquez’s performance in the first round has made him the favorite for continuation of Frente Amplio administrations in Uruguay. (more…)

Chile: Bachelet in Washington

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

bachelet[Translation of an article from Punto Final of Santiago for July 11, 2014. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Álvaro Ramis

The president’s recent visit to the United States allows us to analyze the relations between the world’s leading power and our country in the context of the awakening of Latin American consciousness in defense of its sovereignty and in pursuit of integration. Michelle Bachelet showed up for her appointment in the Oval Office of the White House at an especially delicate time in the relations between the United States and Latin America. It is not trivial to stress this aspect of it. It is not just the countries of ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América — Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) that are currently in a state of open tension with the Obama administration. The differences also encompass countries like Brazil, affected by the policies of economic spying on its strategic enterprises, and Argentina, which finds itself attacked by the recent United States court ruling barring it from settling its credit commitments if it does not agree at the same time to pay the so-called “vulture funds” a sum greater than 13 billion dollars, which threatens its long-term stability. In the midst of all these serious contradictions, the relations between Chile and the United States may seem like a minor consideration. But Chile’s unique position gives it a strategic role in the eyes of Washington. When Obama called Bachelet his “second favorite Michelle,” after his wife, he was not exaggerating. The United States has few friends left in Latin America and those that remain are there more from obligation or duress than from conviction. Within that framework, Chile wants to be the pretty girl playing hard to get. Chilean diplomacy, led by Minister Heraldo Muñoz, has termed the strategy “convergence in diversity.” An elegant way of declaring that in strategic disputes Chile is not going to fall in line but will pursue its own interests, in a pragmatic way. That is the official position but is it the reality? (more…)

Chilean students prepare for 2014: “We want a response on our own terms”

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

a3 xx[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for December 26, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Paula Correa

Before the presidential runoff, the students made it clear that neither of the two candidates represented them and that, beyond who won the election, the only guarantee they could see for going forward as a movement lay in mobilization and the pressure they could generate.

Melissa Sepúlveda, president of the Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile (FECH), stressed the differences between president elect Michelle Bachelet’s platform and the demands the students have been making since 2011. “We have been emphatic in revealing the existence of profound differences, at a programatic level, with the Nueva Mayoría. We see that they mention only the end of profit making in institutions that receive resources from the state and, for us, since it is a social right, there can be no room at all for profit in education. Profiting has to end at all levels of education. What we want is a response on our own terms to the demands that the student movement has made,” she said. (more…)

Chile: Cambridge professor José Gabriel Palma on Bachelet’s second term

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

x Michelle_Bachelet“Small changes with nothing changed”

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for December 20, 2013. See original here.]

There is more and more activism on the streets of Chile. Analyst José Gabriel Palma wonders how long president elect Bachelet can “continue to appease the demands with this ‘gatopardismo .’”

By Marcelo Justo

The runoff was the easy, predictable part. Now Michelle Bachelet’s problems begin. Surveys show that an overwhelming majority of the people want deep changes to a model that for a while was the wonder of the world but that is now a disappointment to Chileans themselves. The constitutional legacy of dictator Augusto Pinochet is hampering their aspirations decisively. Despite her sizable victory at the polls, she does not have the majority in the Senate she needs to bring about a profound transformation. Página/12 spoke by telephone with José Gabriel Palma, a Chilean professor of economics at the University of Cambridge, who is in his country keeping track of political developments. (more…)

Venezuela: A familiar recipe for destabilization

Friday, October 11th, 2013

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for October 6, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Frida Modak

There has been a change in the past few months in the Venezuelan opposition’s strategy. They no longer stress the supposed electoral fraud, as they did right after the presidential elections.

As far as is known, no change has been announced resulting from the reviews electoral authorities have made, so we should wonder what has brought about this new attitude and when.

And if we look for an answer, we find that this new attitude coincides with the trip defeated candidate Enrique Capriles made to Chile, where he met with the leaders of some political parties for whom he has a certain affinity. (more…)

Chile: An economic plan drawn up 40 years ago

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

x chile copperNeoliberalism in the extreme

[Translation of an article from Punto Final for September 6, 2013, as republished in Clarín of Santiago on September 8. See original here.]

By Paul Walder

It’s been 40 years since the coup d’état. A period that has passed with the slowness of social paralysis, of frozen consciences. A period that has allowed for the installation by force of the most unbridled capitalism on the planet, a model that was later to be adjusted and perfected until its consolidation.

It has been four decades divided into two great stages, the first under the harshness of dictatorial violence, the second marked by the seductive pleasures of consumption. If in other places and other epochs those 40 years were long enough for several wars and revolutions, Chile after the coup and the repression fell into a heavy sleep that left the way clear for counter-revolution and the collapse of all its social and labor conquests. Chile, which at the beginning of the ‘70s of the last century passed through a singular revolutionary process without a shot being fired, began the next century with an economic and social structure more fitting to the 19th century. The oligarchy, made up of a few traditional families and other more recent arrivals, took possession of the country, of its natural resources and of the lives of millions of workers and consumers. (more…)

Chile: Prosecutor closes investigation into 2010 San José mine cave-in

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

x mineros“One of us would have to be dead for there to be justice,” one of the 33 rescued miners said

[Translation of an article by BBC World as published in El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for August 2, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

“Many people think we are fools, but we aren’t. We are humble.” From the other end of the telephone line, the voice of Mario Sepúlveda sounds full of anger and impotence. He speaks slowly but strongly. Mario is one of the 33 miners who were trapped underground for 70 days after a cave-in at the San José mine in Copiapó, in northern Chile, in 2010. He is also the most outgoing and cheerful of them. Known since the rescue as “Super Mario,” he was one of the leaders recognized by his companions and a key figure when it came to keeping up morale in order to assure that the 33 came out of the disaster practically unscathed. But now Mario’s cheer is running out, he says.

The decision by the Public Ministry to close the investigation into the cave-in at the San José mine, with no charges being filed against those presumed responsible, has sparked anger and surprise. “We learned about it on the news,” Sepúlveda tells BBC. (more…)

Case of Chilean girl sparks international debate on pregnancy in childhood

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Experts warn of physical complications and disrupted emotional development

[Translation of an article by BBC World as published in El Mostrador of Santiago on July 12, 2013. See original here.]

The case of a pregnant 11-year-old Chilean girl has stirred a profound debate nationally and internationally on the circumstances that led to her condition and on the reactions the case has generated. This occurs in the same week that the United Nations observes World Population Day [on July 11], bringing to light the problem of pregnancy among adolescent girls.

Abortion under any circumstances is prohibited in Chile, which has divided the country, since it prevents termination of her pregnancy, putting at risk the lives of both the girl, known as Belén, and of the fetus. Belén’s is not an isolated case; according to a report by the United Nations Population Fund, some 16 million girls under the age of 18 give birth every year, mostly in the developing world, and three of every 100 of them are girls younger than 15. (more…)

Thatcher, the legacy

Friday, April 12th, 2013

x thatcherpinochet[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 9, 2013. See original here.]

by Pedro Miguel

The first instance of Thatcherism took place six years before Margaret Thatcher arrived at the head of the British government; specifically, it began on September 11, 1973, when a group of military men — urged on by Richard Nixon, his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, then Vice President Gerald Ford and George Bush, senior, who was serving as Washington’s representative to the UN — destroyed Chilean democracy, assassinated thousands of citizens, kidnapped, jailed and tortured tens of thousands. Tens of thousands more were to leave in exile. Once installed, the dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet dissolved Congress, declared political parties illegal and, a couple of years later, handed economic management over to a small group of post-graduates from the University of Chicago, where Milton Friedman was teaching, hence the name Chicago Boys: Sergio de Castro, José Piñera, Jorge Cauas, Pablo Barahona… (more…)

“Little Haiti”: Chilean city attracts recent wave of Haitian immigration

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Stories of trafficking of immigrants are common in Quilicura, home of the largest Haitian community in the country

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for March 2, 2013. See original here.]

By Víctor Farinelli

Fewer than 20 ten years ago, Haitians now number almost 4,000 in Chile as a whole. The majority come through the Dominican Republic, drawn by promises of jobs and prosperity, but are then abandoned to their own fate in a country with a cold climate and a scant welcome for new inhabitants.

Between 2009 and 2011, 2,600 new Haitians came into the South American country, compared with the little more than 700 who left. In 2011 alone, of the 1,369 who arrived, 1,056 managed to stay in Andean lands.

There are many reasons for the phenomenon, but one of the main ones is the work of immigrant trafficking gangs. Although many Haitians who live in South America have passed through countries like Peru, Argentina and Brazil, the bulk of the flow into Chile comes directly through the Dominican Republic. There are at least two gangs operating there who take them directly to Santiago. (more…)

Chile: The invisible Mapuche

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for January 30, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Ricardo Candia Cares

There is nothing new about the militarization of Mapuche lands. The army was in charge of the first version of these pacification efforts in the 1860s, when the state decided that the lands deserved other owners and that the Indians were a nuisance that had to be gotten rid of.

The minister of war at the time, Federico Errázuriz, instructed General Pinto, the hero who led the operation, “Use your weapons and harass them in whatever way you find most prudent in order to punish their rebellion, to strip them of their resources and to weaken them to the point of leaving them powerless…” (more…)