Posts Tagged ‘Sebastian Pinera’

The conservative restoration in Latin America

Monday, September 8th, 2014

[Translation of an editorial from Página12 of Buenos Aires for September 6, 2014. See original here.]

By Emir Sader

The failure of the military coup against the government of Hugo Chávez in 2002 left the Latin American Right practically disarmed in the face of the proliferating progressive governments of the continent. Since then, it has managed to regain only two governments through bloodless coups – those of Honduras and Paraguay – where the processes of change had not yet managed to gain strength.

But there are signs of a rebuilding of conservative forces in countries on the continent with progressive governments. The threats to continuity in countries like Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as the problems faced in Venezuela, and, in a different way, even in Ecuador, indicate a phenomenon of this kind.

What do these conservative attacks consist of and how are they carried out? (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…)

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…)

Chile: Proposed privatization of lithium mining generates political, economic and social conflicts

Thursday, August 16th, 2012


((Demonstrators in Santiago, June 22 — photo by Mario Ruiz))

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo for August 12, 2012. See original here and related article here.]

by Victor Farinelli

Faced with the prospect that 30 years from now its copper deposits will not produce the same as they are producing now, Chile is seeking alternatives to one of the pillars of its economy. Sale of ore is the principal force behind the Chilean GDP and accounts for more than half the country’s exports.

Among the several options, one in particular has the potential of replacing copper in its importance in the Chilean economy: the mining of lithium. The few reserves of lithium already being exploited in Chile represent 41 percent of world production of the mineral and the demand is growing exponentially.

Beyond that, the country is part of the region termed the Lithium Triangle, a name given the triple border between Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, which accounts for close to 85 percent of the known reserves of the material. (more…)

Chile: Newly declassified files reveal details of Pinochet’s espionage network

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for August 8, 2012. See original here.]

by Mauricio Weibel Barahona

Deceased General Augusto Pinochet’s secret police led an espionage network within and outside Chile that crossed paths with the Vatican, the FBI, Latin American dictatorships and the world press, according to thousands of previously unpublished secret files to which the German Press Agency (dpa — Deutsche Presse-Agentur) has gained access.

The documents, classified for decades, verify that Chilean repressive bodies, first DINA (Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional) and later CNI (Centro Nacional de Información), carried on almost daily correspondence with ministers and other authorities to coordinate operations throughout the world. (more…)

Argentina: Repsol YPF awakens the beast of colonialism

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 21, 2012. See original here.]

By Marcos Roitmann Rosenmann

Measures taken to nationalize and to recuperate basic riches in Latin America or Africa or Asia have always suffered the ire of colonial centers and the enterprises affected. There is no shortage of examples: Lázaro Cárdenas, Jacobo Arbenz, Fidel Castro, Omar Torrijos, Velasco Alvarado, Salvador Allende, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez; the list is long.

Accustomed to ordering and to being in charge, arrogant empires are unfamiliar with the concepts of independence and sovereignty. They are reluctant to deal as equals. Paternalism, based on positions of strength, shapes the discourse of imperial haughtiness. To declare oneself opposed to paternal authority and the established order usually brings on exemplary punishment: blockades, destabilizing processes, economic strangulation, assassinations of leaders or coups d’état. These days, the expropriation of a private company, Repsol YPF, whose interests are those only of their stockholders and whose objective is to obtain profits at the cost of any ethical, judicial or environmental consideration, awakens the ire of the hegemonic powers, their institutions and principal political leaders. (more…)

Chile: Government invokes state security law after more violent protests in Aysén

Sunday, March 18th, 2012


((La Tercera photo))

[Translation of an article from La Tercera of Santiago for March 16, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by L. Ferraro y S. Labrín

After one of the coldest days in Aysén, following the breakdown of negotiations between the government and the Social Movement, La Moneda [the presidency] decided yesterday to invoke the State Security Law and to bring charges against some 20 participants in the violent incidents that have taken place in the region. These include the burning of a bus and a water cannon belonging to the Carabineros [the militarized national police], as well as the stoning of a police airplane that was to transport agents injured during the protests. (more…)

Chile: Carabineros raid Mapuche community

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012


((Clarín photo))

Police attack after fire in Araucanía

[Translation of an article from the Venezuelan website TeleSur for January 8, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

The Chilean carabineros [militarized national police] early Sunday morning raided the Cacique José Guiñón community, in the commune of Ercilla, province of Malleco (in the Araucanía region), after a fire in a rural parcel of land that is considered a Mapuche conflict zone.

“We are in the commune of Ercilla, 100 kilometers north of Temuco, where close to 100 members of the Carabineros de Chile proceeded to raid the Cacique José Guiñón community early this morning,” reported César Parra, the TeleSur correspondent in the commune. (more…)

Fires ravage southern Chile, government blames Mapuches

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

[Translations of two articles from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for January 6 and 8, 2012. See originals here and here. During an unusually warm and dry summer, fires in central and southern Chile have destroyed some 50,000 hectares of pristine forest since they started in late December. The regions of Bío Bío, Maule and Araucanía are particularly affected. The Mapuche indigenous peoples have struggled to regain their homelands in the area, opposing forestry and other operations, and opposition to construction of the HydroAysen hydroelectric plants in the region has been massive and strong.]

Firefighters in Carahue dispute Piñera’s explanation of how fires started

by Christian Buscaglia

President Sebastián Piñera announced yesterday a formal complaint invoking the Anti-Terrorist Law [which dates from the days of the Pinochet dictatorship] against those found responsible for the fires that have affected immense parts of Maule and Araucanía and have cost the lives of six firefighters working for a private company. “We have credible information that leads us to assume that there was a criminal intent behind these fires,” he declared from the La Moneda palace. (more…)

Chile: Government charges students with extremism after dialogue breaks down

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Priest calls for state of siege

[Translations of two articles from El Mostrador of Santiago for October 9 and 7, 2011. See original articles here and here and related articles here.]

Government claims student movement has been taken over by extremists

Press Secretary Andrés Chadwick charged on Sunday that the breakdown of talks is due to the Confederación de Estudiantes de Chile (Confech – Confederation of Students of Chile) being taken over by the most “extremist, intransigent and ideological” sectors of the student movement.

This was the executive branch response to the students’ decision to end talks with authorities on resolving the conflict, which has gone on for five months.

“It has become clear from statements made yesterday that Confech has been taken over and led by the most extreme, intransigent sectors, which will result in a student movement that is not concerned fundamentally with the question of education but with agitation,” the spokesman declared. (more…)

Government hardens position while citizen support for student movement remains strong

Sunday, August 21st, 2011


El Mostrador photo

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago for August 19, 2011. See original here and related articles here.]

by Claudia Rivas Arenas

Despite the heavy rains falling on the center of the capital, the student movement did not slacken in its enthusiasm for demonstrating against the latest proposal by the chief executive. Similarly, President Sebastián Piñera sent a clear message that the government will not back down and that it is not willing to give in to what it considers the intransigence of the students, something the president made clear when he warned that “we remember that road from the past and it led us to the breakdown of democracy, to the loss of a healthy coexistence and it had many other consequences,” making a comparison with the climate of the days before ’73 [when the military overthrew Salvador Allende] . (more…)