Ro de Janeiro, Brazil – 24/06/2013 – as published by The Christian Science Monitor. By Olivia Crellin and Steven Bodzin RIO DE JANEIRO; AND SANTIAGO, CHILE — Across the Americas, and even at home in Brazil, many were surprised by the quick surge in protests that brought millions to the streets in 80 cities across […] Read more
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
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:
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.
It’s not just Olympic athletes who live in fear of a drug test ruining their career. Chilean politicians are being threatened with the revival of a bill that would remove politicians from public office if caught using illegal drugs. The legislative hype began last month when Chilean Senator Fulvio Rossi admitted in an interview with Chilean newspaper La Tercera that he smokes marijuana “two or three times a month”—a revelation that shocked his colleagues and delighted a nation of thousands of cannabis users.
Never has Chile’s population been so vocal about what it wants. Every day, in the country’s capital, in Aysén, and now up in Calama, social movements continue demanding their rights. Impeding these rights in every direction, critics say, is Chile’s political system. Shrouded within the very fabric of this system, lies the remains of Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s most infamous legacy: Chile’s 1980 Constitution.