Flames threaten nearby town of Quillon, as Torres del Paine blaze is brought under control. More than 604 people have been left homeless, 162 homes destroyed and one man killed since a massive fire began on Saturday in the southern Bío-Bío Region, 280 miles south of Santiago.
A week since fire began, 80 percent of national park declared safe for tourists to return. The world-famous Torres del Paine National Park in far southern Chilean reopened to the public on Wednesday, according to President Sebastián Piñera, despite large wildfires on park grounds that are still not fully contained.
Chile is the country best prepared to face the economic deceleration, according to credit rating organization Standard and Poor’s (S&P). In an interview with El Mercurio, Jane Eddy and Regina Nunes, directors of S&P’s Latin America and the South Cone divisions, explained that while South America as a continent is doing well economically, Chile stands above the rest in its financial stability and ability to face the world crisis.
Last Thursday President Sebastián Piñera turned to technocrat Harald Beyer to help steer the Ministry of Education into safer waters, after Felipe Bulnes resigned for “personal reasons.” Beyer is the third person to assume the role of Education Minister since Piñera took office in March 2010 and succeeds Felipe Bulnes, who in turn took over the post from Joaquín Lavín amid fierce student protests last July.
Santiago, Chile – 27/10/2012 – as published by Americas Quarterly. As Chileans wake up tomorrow for municipal elections throughout the country, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has urged his citizens to investigate their local candidates online before arriving to the polling stations. If his advice is heeded, it may well be a first in a day […] Read more
Linking “Chile” and “extreme sports” usually conjures up an image of off-road vehicles racing at breakneck speed through the Atacama Desert during the annual Dakar Rally [AQ, Summer 2011], or of high-endurance hikers climbing the Andes. But downhill racing in Valparaíso, Chile’s bohemian harbor city?
The most controversial outcome of last month’s second CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) summit in Santiago, following close on the heels of the first EU-CELAC meeting, was the decision in Santiago to appoint Cuban President Raúl Castro to the chairmanship of the 33-member regional body. Castro, who will be splitting the two-year term with his Costa Rican counterpart, Laura Chinchilla, could not resist several pointed remarks aimed at the United States. He decried the presence of multinational companies in the region and the U.S.’ continued possession of Puerto Rico. The 81-year-old leader’s message was clear, however:
Chile’s Mapuche population has long struggled for greater rights. So many warmly greeted President Sebastián Piñera’s recent promise to give “top priority and urgency” to finding a constitutional solution that will recognize Chile’s Indigenous Mapuche people, a 700,000-person strong minority group that constitutes 6 percent of Chile’s population. His reaction comes after a month of increased tension in the southern Araucanía region, where the majority of the Mapuche live.
THE 50,000 fans who travelled to Chile’s National Rodeo Championship Finals in late March may have been surprised to see that Michelle Recart had qualified. As an amateur and mother in her late 40s, Ms Recart looked the very antithesis of the typical competitor in what is a famously elitist and chauvinistic sport. But apart from being a woman, Ms Recart was little different from her rivals. Like them, she comes from a wealthy family that has been involved in rodeo for generations. Her father is the former president of the Federation of Chilean Rodeo.
Just like the cueca (Chile’s national dance that will be on full display during Independence Day celebrations this weekend) Chilean politicians were running round in circles last week over controversial tax reform legislation to overhaul its protested education system. The bill, which will increase education-allocated government revenue by $1.23 billion, originally did not clear the Senate—where it was rejected on August 28 by a vote of 6 yeas, 19 nays and 7 abstentions. The legislation had included a welcomed increase of the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent. But it also included controversial measures, including a 2-to-5-percent tax decrease—compared to 2011—for the top income-earners in Chile as well as incentives for children in private subsidized schools.