Some news from Chile

Nearly 600,000 homes in Santiago were without water for two days when flooding and mudslides fouled three processing plants operated by the Aguas Andinas utility company. Water World quotes a Chilean water expert who said the utility company seemed not to have any emergency measures in place to cope with the crisis.

More on the subject of water: the Guardian newspaper’s sustainable business section has an article—or paid feature—by Anglo American on plans for a desalinization project in the Atacama desert.

United Press International reports on Chile’s expanding activity in the Antarctic, with President Sebastian Pinera making his third visit and planting the Chilean flag on the site of a new base that will be the closest to the South Pole of all nations claiming a presence on the continent.

The Santiago Times has a piece on plans for preclinical trials for what might be the world’s first alcoholism vaccine:

Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra’s novel, Ways of Going Home, is the subject of an admiring review in the California Literary Review .  An excerpt:

Zambra’s fictional narrator writes, “I thought about my mother, my father. I thought: What kinds of faces do my parents have? But our parents never really have faces. We never learn to truly look at them.” Ways of Going Home is a mirror Zambra holds up to his generation’s parents, in an effort to see them clearly, to make sense of a past that is not clearly shown in documentaries and books about Chile, and in so doing to navigate his way forward as an adult.

A Chilean news roundup

The Santiago Times reports that Chilean troops will continue to serve with United Nations peacekeeping forces in Bosnia for another year, joining soldiers from 23 other nations. Chile is the only Latin American country participating in this operation. Chilean troops also work with the UN in Haiti:

The British travel book company, Rough Guides, has included Valparaiso on its Travel Hot List 2013, describing the Chilean port as “one of the most distinctive cities in Latin America, with colourful houses draped across a series of steep, undulating hills overlooking the Pacific. Valparaiso has an edgy bohemian atmosphere, character-filled cobbled streets, and wonderful turn-of-the-century architecture, plus some of Chile’s best restaurants and bars.”

Entertainment Weekly has an interview on its blog with director Pablo Larrain about the making of the film “No,” Chile’s entry for the Oscar’s best foreign film:

The British Foreign Office’s announcement that the southern part of its claimed Antarctic territory would be named Queen Elizabeth Land has raised eyebrows in Chile and Argentina, as both countries have overlapping claims to the region as well. The Guardian newspaper calls the move “a retro piece of neo-imperialism for Her Majesty”   while the Telegraph notes that “Australia, Norway, France and New Zealand are the only countries that formally recognize the existence of British Antarctic Territory; Argentina and Chile clearly don’t.”….html.

MercoPress reports that Chile’s Antarctic bases expect to host some 250 scientists, including researchers from Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Germany, the United States, South Korea and Venezuela, who will work on 50 different projects over the 2012-2013 austral summer.