A Chile weekend round up

Most of the attention toward Latin America in the next few days will be on Venezuela’s legislative assembly election, and whether the voting will be free and fair. But Chile continues to generate news, and here are some recent dispatches:

Foreign Affairs has an article on Michelle Bachelet’s embattled administration, noting that she won the election with a healthy 62 percent of the vote, but that her approval rating has now plummeted in wake of a corruption scandal involving her son and the economic pinch caused by low prices for copper, Chile’s chief export:

“According to the public opinion institute GFK Adimark Chile, Bachelet’s approval rate reached a historic low of 24 percent in August 2015. That month, her center–left coalition government had an approval rating of a mere 16 percent. The only group that fared worse was the center–right opposition Alianza, with 15 percent. The fact that Chile’s two leading political factions, which currently dominate national politics, have a combined approval rating of only 31 percent signals a deep crisis within the political class.” https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/chile/2015-12-02/bachelets-last-stand

One of those scandals involved a scheme by Chile’s largest paper manufacturer and a smaller producer to fix the price of…toilet paper.  The Economist reports that a consumer’s group estimates that the two firms bilked Chilean customers of around $500 million over a ten-year period: http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21679517-new-breed-competition-regulator-takes-cartels-toilet-paper-tangle

Reuters reports that Argentina’s newly elected president, Mauricio Macri, is seeking to build new trade links with Chile http://www.reuters.com/article/chile-argentina-idUSL8N13U01720151205#mMxPrzT1EF42s3KR.97

And the San Francisco Chronicle news site, SFGate has this piece on Chilean filmmaker Patricio Gusman’s new documentary, The Pearl Button, about the role water has played in the country’s history. http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Chile-s-tragic-history-through-a-film-poet-s-6670912.php

One comment on “A Chile weekend round up

  1. Thank you so much Mary Helen — all of the article links in the article are excellent

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