A news roundup

The New York Times has an excellent piece http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/world/americas/helmeted-volunteers-monitor-student-protests-in-chile.html?ref=americas  on the volunteers who monitor Chile’s student protests, documenting arrests and cases of abuse by police.

The Jerusalem Post published an interview http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=282401with Shai Agosin, president of Chile’s Jewish community, who describes worsening relations between the country’s 18,000 Jews and the approximately 400,000 Chileans of Palestinian descent, the largest community in South America.

“If you compare the relations [between Jews and Palestinians] today with that from 20 or 30 years ago it is very different,” Agosin tells his interviewer. “Then you even had some marriages, but not anymore. We are very worried over what we see in Twitter and Facebook over comments equating Nazism to Zionism. Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism.”

Other concerns include an influx of Middle Easterners to Iquique, a port city in northern Chile, where Chilean authorities discovered an Iranian rocket, and incidents involving neo-Nazis, who last year killed a young gay man. And yet Agosin said that compared with other Latin American countries, the situation for Chilean Jews is very good.

“You can’t compare Chile with Argentina, Bolivia or Peru,” he said. “We are comparing ourselves to Israel, Australia and the US, and this is a good thing.”

In response to Agosin’s statements, Mauricio Abu-Ghosh told Chile’s Radio Cooperativa that relations between the two communities were never good and said that “the Nazis were children next to the actual Zionists as they are incarnated through the State of Israel.”http://www.cooperativa.cl/federacion-palestina-en-chile-nunca-fueron-cercanas-las-relaciones-con-la-comunidad-judia/prontus_nots/2012-08-24/182237.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150970081072115_22386299_10150971276797115#f31679

A post on the Financial Times blog Beyond Brics has a good overview of how Anglo-American and Chile’s state copper company CODELCO resolved their year-long dispute over which company was entitled to which mining assets and notes that executives from both sides are once again on speaking terms: http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/08/23/a-bb-guide-to-the-anglo-codelco-deal/#axzz24jMIax8k

Chile’s angry copper giant

The Economist’s blog on the Americas has a good summary http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2011/11/chiles-mining-industry of the dispute between two titans of the mining world–Chile’s state copper corporation Codelco (the world’s largest copper producer) and Anglo American plc (the world’s largest platinum producer).  Way back in 1978 the two companies signed a contract giving Codelco the option of buying up to 49 percent of Anglo American’s Sur project northeast of Santiago.  Codelco officials now want to exercise this option, using a price formula that Anglo officials says does not take into account the value of new mineral deposits recently discovered at the site.

Anglo American negotiated a deal with Mitsubishi to buy 24.5 percent of the project for almost double the price Codelco wants to pay for its 49 percent share.  Codelco officials are outraged, with one negotiator calling his Anglo American counterparts “English imperialists” who view Chile as something like Africa. The Chilean investigative journalism site CIPER has the following interview with Codelco’s Juan Villarzu: