This is the first of two articles with testimony from Chile’s protest movements and the impact of Covid-19. See also our January article 'Chile's long hot summer of discontent' Sebastian Piñera’s government has taken the opportunity of Chile’s self-imposed isolation measures to paint over the...
At the Frankfurt Book Fair early in the 1990s, Beatriz de Moura from Tusquets publishers asked a Chilean journalist living in Germany if he had heard of a Chilean writer who was having great success in France. The book was by someone called Luis Sepúlveda. Laughing, the journalist admitted it was him. Luis Sepúlveda (Ovalle, Chile, 1949) died...
This article was translated for LAB by Chloe Budd. You can read the original (in Spanish) here. Main image: Raya, an old Nahua. More than half of his village was destroyed after the land opened to oil exploration. Image: Survival International They...

Chile’s water crisis

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Chilean politics are marked by several long-running and highly divisive controversies, many deriving from the most consistently neoliberal economic policies and property arrangements  in the world. One of these is the management and control of water resources. Water is unevenly distributed throughout the national territory  – scarce in the north of the country and abundant in the south – a problem accentuated by...

Chile: what next?

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When students jumped the turnstiles at the Baquedano metro station in Santiago on 18 October 2019 in protest at the 30-peso fare hike, nobody could have predicted that it would lead to a full-scale social uprising and the largest protests since the military dictatorship. Within days, disaffected social groups such as the No to AFP campaign (the controversial pensions...
Social media outlets, such as Twitter and WhatsApp, played a major role in the protests that spread across the Americas in 2019. In Chile, hashtags raised awareness of the protests online and explained the reasons why Chileans were taking to the streets. #Chiledespertó (#Chilewokeup) and #ChileQuiereCambios (#ChileWantsChanges) were two commonly used examples. This also meant that...
It’s 11 January 2020, and I am sitting on a hot and unforgiving cement esplanade, at the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Chile’s national Memory and Human Rights Museum. The mood is generally good natured, but somewhat restive: in between the official acts and speeches, the crowd spontaneously breaks into chants. These compare right-wing president...
Immediately following the military coup in Chile on September 11 1973, the Pinochet dictatorship set about destroying as much as they could lay their hands on of the hugely popular wave of commited art and culture which had supported and given a voice to Popular Unity, its supporters and to millions of ordinary Chileans.
Bem viver, the good life, is possible -- LAB Newsletter December 2019 This has been an extraordinary year, with many setbacks but some remarkable signs of hope. To celebrate the latter, we report on our partner project Rios de Encontro, in Marabá, in the Amazon. Fresh from a tour...

A rapist in your path

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On  20 November, a group of four women known as Las Tesis from Valparaíso, Chile, unknowingly started what would become an international phenomenon in the global struggle against sexism and gender-based violence: they performed the anti-machista anthem and routine ‘Un Violador en tu Camino’ for the first time. The group hoped that the song would spread feminist theory in...

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