Chile

Chilean police attack pensioners’ protest in Santiago

By Cesar Uco, 31 October 2018

Well-armed Carabineros, using tear gas and water cannon, repressed the march organized by the NO + AFP movement last Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.

Chilean president praises armed forces amid new convictions of military assassins

By Cesar Uco, 27 September 2018

Piñera’s independence day statement came as cases of military assassins and torturers are still being decided by Chile’s courts.

Despite overwhelming strike vote

Trade union at Escondida copper mine in Chile seeks to shut down 18-month struggle

By Andrea Lobo, 15 August 2018

Against the efforts by the trade unions to isolate miners from a joint struggle across Chile and internationally, workers must form rank-and-file committees to take the fight in their own hands.

Asia-Pacific trade bloc reshaped, without the US

By Mike Head, 25 January 2018

The “TPP 11” announcement points to the increasing isolation of the US, and the escalating tensions between the rival capitalist powers.

Right-wing wins Chile election as “left” Broad Front joins the establishment

By Andrea Lobo, 10 January 2018

With only one-fourth of the electorate voting for Piñera, the results reflect overwhelming hostility to the entire establishment and herald a new stage in the political crisis.

Chile’s elections marked by voter abstention and growth of both the pseudo-left and fascistic right

By Andrea Lobo, 21 November 2017

Most Chileans refrained from voting, while the billionaire, far-right candidate Sebastián Piñera failed to get the majority he needed to avoid a second round.

Vice President Pence visits Latin America amid deepening Venezuelan crisis

By Andrea Lobo, 22 August 2017

Pence compared Trump’s “vision” to that of Theodore Roosevelt, making clear that Washington intends to reassert US hegemony in the region.

Eleven percent of Chile marches against for-profit pension scheme

By Armando Cruz and Cesar Uco, 11 April 2017

Two million people demonstrated against the for-profit Pension Fund Administrators, a pension scheme adopted under the rule of dictator General Augusto Pinochet.

Trade talks in Chile on continuing TPP without the US

By James Cogan, 18 March 2017

Despite concerns expressed about protectionism, the most obvious feature of the Chile summit was the manner in which various states pursued their own national trade agendas.

Tensions mount in Chilean copper miners strike

By Cesar Uco, 16 February 2017

The walkout at Escondida, the largest copper mine in the world, follows a similar strike at Las Bambas, neighboring Peru’s largest mine.

Chile ravaged by fires

By Alexandra del Piano, 6 February 2017

The fires, which have burned over half a million hectares, taken 11 lives and left over 3,000 people homeless, constitute one of the worst disasters in the country’s history.

Italian court sentences ex-Latin American dictators for Operation Condor

By Cesar Uco and Bill Van Auken, 1 February 2017

While convicting the ex-military rulers of Peru and Bolivia, the court absolved a confessed Uruguayan torturer residing in Italy, the one defendant it had the power to punish for his crimes.

Chile’s “General Never Again” arrested for Caravan of Death killings

By Bill Van Auken, 9 July 2016

The prosecution of the general tapped to head the army by former Socialist Party President Roberto Lagos exposes the character of Chile’s so-called democratic transition.

Mounting working class and student protests deepen Chile’s political crisis

By Cesar Uco, 13 June 2016

Once hailed as the South American capitalist miracle, Chile is facing a sharp economic decline.

Chilean military exercises fuel tensions with Bolivia and Peru

By Cesar Uco, 8 December 2015

The exercises took place under conditions in which both Peru and Bolivia have won favorable rulings from the International Court of Justice in territorial disputes with Chile.

Copper mine strike signals growing class struggle in Chile

By Cesar Uco, 21 September 2015

The 23-day strike saw one worker killed by police and caused around $20 million in losses for the state-owned mining company.

Massive earthquake hits Chile

By Cesar Uco, 18 September 2015

Facing charges of corruption, low approval ratings, and a rapid deceleration of the economy, the Bachelet government is acutely aware that a natural disaster can spark social unrest.

Chilean judge orders arrest of army officers who burned youths alive under Pinochet

By Rafael Azul, 24 July 2015

A Chilean court ordered the arrest of seven military officials complicit in the murder of two teenagers involved in an anti-government protest.

Chinese premier concludes four-country tour of South America

By Alexander Fangmann, 30 May 2015

The trip yielded a variety of trade and investment deals, along with infrastructure initiatives—all aimed at counteracting slowing domestic growth while expanding influence in the region.

Two killed during mass protest by Chilean students

By Bill Van Auken, 16 May 2015

The violence that followed the demonstration in Valparaiso is symptomatic of rising political tensions in Chile.

Court sentences two Chileans, indicts US in the 1973 murder of Charles Horman

By Bill Van Auken, 30 January 2015

The Chilean court’s ruling makes it clear that the US government was fully complicit in the executions of two young Americans.

Chilean court rules US played key role in Pinochet murder of Americans

By Barry Grey, 3 July 2014

Charles Horman was evidently singled out for elimination because he had detailed information about the direct role of the United States in the coup that overthrew Allende and installed General Pinochet as dictator.

Valparaiso mayor declares Chilean city bankrupt

By César Uco, 22 April 2014

The devastated city reports lacking funds to meet pension contributions or even pay its electricity bills.

Impact of fire in Valparaiso, Chile, fueled by poverty, inequality

By Rafael Azul, 17 April 2014

The conditions of life to which people have been reduced on the hills of Valparaiso were a key factor in producing a “perfect conflagration.”

Violent fire hits Valparaiso, Chile

By Rafael Azul, 14 April 2014

High winds and temperatures helped spread a forest fire to populated areas of Valparaiso.

Strong earthquake shakes Chile

By Rafael Azul, 4 April 2014

Tuesday's 8.2 tremor in Chile exposes a social divide.

World Court decision on Peru-Chile border fails to quell nationalist rivalries

By César Uco and Bill Van Auken, 4 February 2014

Last week’s ruling by the International Court of Justice settling a dispute over maritime boundaries between Chile and Peru has failed to quell nationalist tensions between the two countries.

Chilean port workers end month-long strike

By César Uco and Armando Cruz, 29 January 2014

A sell-out agreement between the government and the union bureaucracy sends workers back to work.

Bachelet wins Chilean election marked by massive abstention

By Bill Van Auken, 17 December 2013

Michelle Bachelet, candidate of the Socialist Party-led New Democracy coalition, won an overwhelming victory, but with 59 percent of the electorate failing to vote.

Chile’s former president set to win second-round election

By Rafael Azul, 26 November 2013

With the intensification of the global economic crisis, a second Bachelet administration will not be a replay of the first.

Australian politician justifies Pinochet’s coup in Chile

By Eduardo Ballesteros, 12 October 2013

The Liberal government whip in the New South Wales parliament defended the mass murderer who came to power in 1973.

Bachelet enlists Chilean CP in electoral coalition

By Armando Cruz and Cesar Uco, 28 September 2013

Bringing the Chilean Stalinists onto the ex-president’s ticket is aimed at quelling growing social unrest.

Forty years since the Chilean coup of September 11, 1973

By Bill Van Auken, 11 September 2013

The lie that US imperialism is endowed with some global mission to uphold democratic rights was forever refuted by the 1973 coup in Chile.

From the archives of Marxism: Lessons of the 1973 coup in Chile

11 September 2013

September 11 marks 40 years since the bloody coup led by General Augusto Pinochet that crushed the working class in Chile and ushered in 17 years of fascist-military dictatorship. The WSWS is publishing here the statement issued by the International Committee of the Fourth International within days of the coup.

Hundreds of thousands of students march in Chile for education rights

By Bill Van Auken, 13 April 2013

An estimated quarter of a million students joined in demonstrations across Chile to press their demand for free and decent education for all.

Chilean prosecutor charges ex-US officer in 1973 murder of American journalists

By Bill Van Auken, 5 December 2011

A judge in Chile has issued an indictment against a retired US Navy officer in connection with the arrest, torture and murder of two American journalists, Charles Horman and Frank Terrugi, in the wake of the CIA-backed military coup that toppled the government of President Salvador Allende in 1973.

President Piñera unleashes repression against Chile’s student movement

By Luis Arce, 11 October 2011

Using mounted police charges, rubber bullets, teargas and water cannon, the right-wing government of President Sebastián Piñera violently suppressed a student march last Thursday in Chile.

Chile’s student struggle and the legacy of 1973

By Luis Arce and Rafael Azul, 16 September 2011

The mass struggles of Chilean students and youth have been accompanied by the promotion of political illusions in the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende.

Teenager killed by police in mass demonstrations in Chile

By Joseph Kishore, 27 August 2011

Hundreds of thousands of Chilean workers and students took part this week in mass demonstrations and a general strike against social inequality and the privatization of education.

Chilean students demand a national referendum on education rights

By Rafael Azul, 19 August 2011

Striking university and high school students in Chile are calling for a popular referendum to modify the Chilean Constitution and education laws to insure quality education that is free for all.

Latin stock markets hit hardest by US credit downgrade

By Luis Arce, 12 August 2011

Latin America’s financial markets suffered the most severe losses of any in the world in the “Black Monday” global sell-off that followed the downgrading of US debt.

Strike hits world’s largest copper mine in Chile

By Rafael Azul, 1 August 2011

On July 21, 2,375 copper miners at the Escondida copper mine in northern Chile walked out over management’s violation of contract provisions concerning bonuses and hours.

120,000 students, teachers march in Chile against attacks on public education

By Luis Arce, 8 July 2011

Chilean students took to the streets to demand the repeal of a Pinochet era education law and an end to the privatization and inequality that it has fostered.

Obama in Chile: No apology for 1973 coup

By Bill Van Auken, 23 March 2011

During his visit to Chile, Obama rejected an appeal for an apology for Washington’s role in fomenting a fascist-military coup that plunged the country into 17 years of dictatorship.

Chile prison inmates on hunger strike

By Rafael Azul, 15 December 2010

Prisoners in Northern Chile are on hunger strike to protest overcrowding.

81 prisoners die in Chile penitentiary fire

By Rafael Azul, 10 December 2010

The deaths of 81 prisoners in a fire at Chile’s San Miguel Prison on Wednesday was the direct result of repressive policies and overcrowded conditions.

Capitalism and the Chilean miners

By Cesar Uco and Bill Van Auken, 29 October 2010

The editorial pages of two of the most prominent newspapers of the US ruling establishment rushed to claim the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile as a triumph for free-market capitalism.

Chilean workers protest San Jose mine’s closure

By Rafael Azul, 22 October 2010

More than 300 Chilean workers jobless due to the closure of the San Jose mine, made famous by the recent rescue of 33 trapped miners, have threatened to occupy “Camp Hope” near the mine until they receive severance pay.

Chile mine rescue exposes precarious working conditions

By Rafael Azul, 18 October 2010

The collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine that trapped 33 miners for 10 weeks below ground has focused attention on the safety of operations at Chilean mines.

Chilean miners rescued after ten-week ordeal

By Patrick Martin, 14 October 2010

Both the resilience of the miners, trapped underground for 69 days, and the energy and determination of their rescuers, have won well-deserved admiration.

Poor safety condemned by workers at San Jose mine

By Rafael Azul, 14 October 2010

Many of the workers rescued from the Chilean mine have long complained bitterly of lax safety.

Chile’s trapped miners: Victims of a ruthless drive for profit

By Cesar Uco, 3 September 2010

With 33 Chilean miners nearing one month trapped 2,300 feet underground, the human drama of what could prove a four-month ordeal before they are rescued has riveted attention worldwide.

New Chilean president to continue military occupation of earthquake ravaged regions

By Rafael Azul, 15 March 2010

Shortly after his March 11 inauguration, President Sebast’an Pi–era extended the state of emergency in central Chile and re-imposed the curfew in the Concepción region.

Earthquake exposes social chasm in Chile

By Rafael Azul, 8 March 2010

Anger is mounting in Chile over the inadequacy and indifference that have characterized the governmentÕs response to the earthquake of February 27.

Military occupation of earthquake-ravaged region expands in Chile

By Rafael Azul, 4 March 2010

The death toll in Chile mounted to more than 800, with thousands still classified as missing. Many parts of the earthquake zone have yet to receive any significant quantity of aid.

As death toll from quake, tsunamis mounts

Massive military mobilization in Chile

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2010

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet doubled the number of troops mobilized in the central coastal region devastated by Saturday’s earthquake, as first reports from the hardest-hit areas suggested that the death toll could go much higher than the official total of nearly 800.

Government declares martial law in central Chile after earthquake

By Rafael Azul, 2 March 2010

As the death toll from the massive earthquake has reached 723 and rising, 10,000 soldiers have taken control of Maule and Bío Bío, the two regions most directly affected.

Wall Street Journal cites Chilean earthquake to praise Pinochet

By David Walsh, 2 March 2010

According to the Wall Street Journal, the impact of the Chilean earthquake is a vindication of the fascist dictatorship of General Pinochet.

Chile earthquake death toll tops 700

By Rafael Azul, 1 March 2010

The massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake has left hundreds and perhaps thousands dead. The Chilean government has responded by imposing military rule in parts of the country.

Chilean right returns to power for first time in 20 years

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2010

With the victory Sunday of billionaire businessman Sebastián Piñera in Chile’s run-off presidential election, right-wing parties identified with the Pinochet dictatorship are set to return to power for the first time in 20 years.

Chile: Right-wing presidential candidate wins first round

By Rafael Azul, 18 December 2009

Last Sunday’s presidential elections in Chile took place in the context of increasing social polarization, growing unemployment and a continuing legacy of the dictatorship that ruled the country for 17 years.

New documentary on Pinochet’s dictatorship: Some wounds should not heal

By Debra Watson, 25 September 2008

The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The unquiet death of Charles Horman

Chilean court reenacts stadium execution of American journalist

By Bill Vann, 17 May 2002

Gunshots rang out once again in Santiago’s National Stadium May 14, nearly 30 years after the Chilean sports facility was turned into a center of torture and execution by a US-backed military junta that overthrew the elected government of President Salvador Allende.

Large anti-government swing in Chilean elections

By Mauricio Saavedra, 28 December 2001

For the first time since the return to civilian rule in 1990, the ruling “centre-left” coalition in Chile polled less than half the votes in the December 16 parliamentary elections, allowing former military dictator General Augusto Pinochet’s political heirs to claim that they will return to power after the next elections.

Anti-government hostility marks Chilean election campaign

By Perla Astudillo, 15 December 2001

Socialist Party leader Ricardo Lagos, who won the Chilean presidency as the candidate for the ruling Concertacion coalition in early 2000, is facing his first major electoral test in tomorrow’s congressional elections. After entering office with promises of dealing with the crimes of the military and former dictator General Augusto Pinochet, as well as providing better health care and working conditions, Lagos has delivered on none.

Chilean regime signs electoral pact with Communist Party

By Perla Astudillo, 2 October 2001

The Chilean Socialist Party—President Ricardo Lagos’ faction of the ruling Concertacion coalition—has signed an electoral pact to support Communist Party (PC) candidates in two of its safest seats for the December congressional elections. Under the terms of the August 1 agreement, the withdrawal of the Socialist Party (PS) candidates is likely to see the first PC members elected to the Chamber of Deputies since civilian rule was restored in 1990. In effect, the PC would become part of the ruling coalition for the first time since the Popular Unity government headed by Salvador Allende that was ousted in the 1973 military coup by General Augusto Pinochet.

Chilean court ends Pinochet’s trial

By Mauricio Saavedra, 14 July 2001

With the Chilean government of President Ricardo Lagos pressing for a halt to the prosecution of former military dictator Augusto Pinochet, the Santiago Appeals Court all but ended his trial this week by suspending the case indefinitely on the pretext of Pinochet’s ill health.

Jail deaths spark protest in Chile

By Perla Astudillo, 5 July 2001

Over 12,000 prisoners throughout Chile went on strike last month in protest over the death of 26 inmates in a fire in a jail in the northern city of Iquique. The strikers were demanding an end to the chronic overcrowding and brutal regime in Chilean jails that led to the Iquique fire.

Chilean court dismisses murder charges against Pinochet

By Mauricio Saavedra, 12 March 2001

The Santiago Court of Appeals handed former Chilean military dictator General Augusto Pinochet a partial victory last week, dismissing charges of masterminding dozens of murders and kidnappings in the “Caravan of Death” case. He now faces trial only on minor charges of being an accessory, with a maximum penalty of three to five years' house arrest.

Pinochet's return fuels political conflicts in Chile

By Mauricio Saavedra, 18 March 2000

Augusto Pinochet's recent arrival in Chile after 16 months confinement in Britain has heightened suppressed antagonisms within the country. Victims of the former dictatorship, emboldened by Pinochet's detention, have demanded his prosecution, along with other military officers. On the other side, boosted by Pinochet's release, the former dictatorship's supporters have become more militant.

London High Court considers moves to release Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 27 January 2000

A hearing before the High Court in London opened Wednesday to consider moves by Home Secretary Jack Straw to release the former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet.

Human rights groups to mount legal challenge to Pinochet's release by British Home Secretary

By Richard Tyler, 25 January 2000

Human rights groups are to mount a legal challenge against the British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to prevent him effectively releasing former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Human rights groups attack decision to keep medical evidence secret

Britain poised to release Chilean ex-dictator Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 20 January 2000

A Chilean jet arrived in Bermuda Wednesday, ready to fly to Britain and bring former dictator Augusto Pinochet back to Santiago. This is the third occasion since Pinochet's detainment 15 months ago that a medically-equipped plane has set out from Chile to retrieve the ex-military strongman. This time, however, Pinochet and his supporters are more confident the British government will give the green light for him to return home. Last week, British Home Secretary Jack Straw said he was “minded” to halt extradition proceedings against Pinochet on medical grounds.

Socialist Party candidate narrowly defeats ex-Pinochet official in Chilean presidential poll

By Mauricio Saavedra, 19 January 2000

Socialist Party (PS) leader Richard Lagos, the candidate for the ruling coalition in Chile, narrowly defeated Joaquin Lavin in the second round run-off of the country's presidential elections on Sunday. Lagos will head a new administration of the Concertacion coalition, which has been in government since 1990 when the former military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, relinquished power.

Examining physician suggests British home secretary misled Parliament in bid to release Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 18 January 2000

According to the Observer newspaper, British Home Secretary Jack Straw may have misled members of Parliament when he told them that doctors had “unanimously and unequivocally” found former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet unfit to stand trial for torture.

Pinochet can go free, says Britain's Home Secretary

By Chris Marsden, 13 January 2000

Britain's Home Secretary Jack Straw has signalled his intention to halt extradition proceedings against ex-Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. The 84-year-old Pinochet will then be free to return to Chile.

Washington and the Pinochet coup in Chile

Declassified documents confirm US role in 1973 death of Charles Horman

By Bill Vann, 26 October 1999

More than a quarter century after the execution in Chile of Charles Horman, an American freelance journalist, Washington has released a document admitting that US intelligence agents played a role in his death.

Tensions mounts in Chile after Britain rejects call for Pinochet's immediate release

By Vicky Short, 19 October 1999

The Chilean government responded to the October 8 decision by Bow Street Magistrates Court Judge Ronald Bartle to allow former dictator Augusto Pinochet to be extradited to Spain by once more appealing to the British government to intervene. On October 14, it sent a letter to Home Secretary Jack Straw requesting that the extradition process be halted and Pinochet freed on health grounds. This follows an earlier letter from Chilean President Eduardo Frei to Prime Minister Blair on October 7, the contents of which have not been disclosed.

What the Pinochet affair shows about Britain

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 9 January 1999

When lawyers representing the former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, return to the House of Lords on January 18, seeking to uphold the October 28 High Court verdict granting him "sovereign immunity" from prosecution, they will do so with the backing of substantial layers of the British establishment.