Chile


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República de Chile
Republic of Chile
Flag of Chile
Coat of arms of Chile
flag coat of arms
Motto : Por la Razón o la Fuerza
( Spanish , "By conviction or by force")
Official language Spanish
Capital Santiago de Chile
Form of government republic
Government system Presidential Democracy
Head of state , also head of government President Sebastián Piñera
surface 756,102 km²
population 17,574,003 (2017 census)
Population density 23 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 0.80% (2016)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
2018
  • $ 298.2 billion ( 42nd )
  • $ 481.9 billion ( 43rd )
  • $ 15,902 ( 57th )
  • $ 25,700 ( 61st )
Human Development Index   0.847 ( 42nd ) (2017)
currency Chilean Peso (CLP)
independence February 12, 1818
( recognized by Spain )
National anthem Puro, Chile
National holiday September 18, 1810 (start of the independence process)
Time zone UTC − 4 Chile continental
UTC − 3 Magallanes and Antarctica
UTC − 6 Easter Island and Salas y Gómez
( SHOA Hora Oficial )
License Plate RCH
ISO 3166 CL , CHL, 152
Internet TLD .cl
Telephone code +56
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Chile Chile ? / i (pronunciation: [ ˈt͜ʃiˑle ], German also [ ˈtʃiːlə ] or [ ˈçiːle ]), officially República de Chile ( German Republic of Chile ), is a state in southwestern South America , which forms the western edge of the southern cone (Cono Sur) of the continent . Chile extends in a north-south direction between latitudes 17 ° 30 ′ S and 56 ° 0 ′ S; thus the north-south extension is around 4200 kilometers. In a west-east direction, Chile lies between the 76th and 64th degrees of longitude west and has an average extension of less than 200 kilometers. Because of this unusual shape - due to its location on the western slope of the Andes Cordillera - Chile has often been called "the elongated country" since its discovery. The country borders the Pacific Ocean to the west and south , Peru to the north (over a length of 160 kilometers), Bolivia to the northeast (861 km) and Argentina (5308 km) to the east . The total length of the land borders is 6,329 kilometers. There are also Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the Pacific, Salas y Gómez Island , Juan Fernández Islands (including Robinson Crusoe Island ), Desventuradas Islands and, in the south, the Ildefonso Islands and Diego Ramírez -Islands on the territory of Chile. Chile also claims part of the Antarctic . The country has access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Strait of Magellan , which belongs entirely to Chile . Audio file / audio sample  

The modern sovereign state of Chile is one of the most economically and socially stable and prosperous countries in South America with a high-income economy and a high standard of living. It leads the Latin American nations in terms of human development (42nd place, 2019), competitiveness , per capita income , globalization , state of peace, economic freedom and low corruption . According to the World Bank , Chile is an emerging country with a net national income in the upper midfield.

It also has a high regional status in terms of the sustainability of the state and democratic development. Chile is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD ) and joined in 2010. Chile has the lowest murder rate in America after Canada. The country is a founding member of the United Nations , the Union of South American Nations ( UNASUR ), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States ( CELAC ) and the Pacific Alliance .

Chile is at serious risk from global warming and has lost at least 37% of its water resources since the early 1990s.

etymology

The origin of the word Chile is not clearly proven. The most common explanation is that the word is derived from the language of the Aymara . There the word chilli means "land where the world ends". This would be aided by the fact that the first Spaniards to come to Chile set out from the Aymara settlement areas . Since the beginning of the colonization of South America, the Spaniards called the country south of the Atacama Desert the name Chile . In the Chilean schools the variant is also taught that Chile could be the onomatopoeic name of a bird called Trile .

Another, less popular theory called the Inca - language Quechua as the origin. The maximum extent of the Inca Empire reached as far as the area of ​​today's Santiago , whereupon the Inca called the land south of the Río Aconcagua tchili , which means snow, based on the relatively cold climate and the snow-covered Andes .

What is certain, however, is that the country name Chile cannot be traced back to the (Spanish of the same name) chilli pepper . This word comes from the Central American Aztec language Nahuatl . The chilli (and the salsa made from it ) is called ají in Chilean Spanish (see also: Examples of differences in vocabulary ).

physical geography

Río Blanco, Prov. Palena, Región de los Lagos
Eruption of the Calbuco volcano on April 22, 2015

Chile extends on the South American continent over 4275 kilometers in north-south direction along the Andes and the Pacific Ocean (if you add the Antarctic part, about 8000 kilometers), but is on average only about 180 kilometers wide. The narrowest point in continental Chile (excluding Antarctica) is 90 kilometers, the widest point about 440 kilometers. The longitudinal extension of Chile corresponds to Europe and Africa roughly the distance between central Denmark and the Sahara.

Due to the long north-south expansion over more than 39 degrees of latitude , but also the considerable height differences in west-east direction, Chile has a great variety of climatic and vegetation zones.

Plate tectonic situation

Chile lies on the border of several lithospheric plates: the Nazca plate is subducted under the South American plate to the Gulf of Penas , and south of it the Antarctic plate is subducted to the Strait of Magellan . The border between the South American and Scotia plates runs through the Strait of Magellan in an east-west direction .

This is the cause of the pronounced volcanism in Chile and the regularly occurring, sometimes massive earthquakes. The first documented quake was the great Concepción earthquake in 1570 . The Valdivia earthquake in 1960 , the tsunami of which caused severe damage to the entire circumpacific region, was the earthquake with the largest magnitude ever recorded in the world . On February 27, 2010, a massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 M w on the moment-magnitude scale shook southern Chile and destroyed large parts of the Chilean infrastructure. Central Chile was also badly affected. In regions VI and VII, high tsunami waves hit after about 20 minutes and destroyed entire coastal cities and areas. Even weeks after the earthquake, the country was shaken by many aftershocks. Overall, regions III to IX in Chile were affected.

See also: List of earthquakes in Chile

Relief geology

Much simplified, central and southern Chile consists of two parallel mountain ranges with a north-south course: the Andes in the east and the lower coastal mountain range (coastal cordillera, Cordillera de la Costa ) in the west. In between lies the central valley ( Valle Central or Valle Longitudinal ) with the majority of the population, arable land and viticulture. The height of the Cordillera , Central Valley and Andes decreases on average from north to south, so that the Central Valley south of the city of Puerto Montt , which is about 1000 kilometers south of Santiago, dips below sea level. The coastal cordillera, of which only the mountain peaks protrude from the water, also becomes a chain of islands. A unique fjord and island landscape can therefore be discovered in this region . In the north of Chile, on the other hand, there is no pronounced central valley, that is, the landscape initially rises steeply from the coast and then forms with the Pampa del Tamarugal a plateau about 1000 to 1500 meters high to the foot of the Andes.

The Chilean Andes, which only fall below the 2000 meter contour line in a few places , are divided into four larger blocks in terms of their geological-tectonic structure from north to south.

  • In the great north ( Norte Grande ) of the country, a chain of recent stratovolcanoes about 1000 kilometers long stretches from the border with Peru (around the 17th parallel south) to the highest mountain in the country, the dormant volcano Ojos del Salado (6893 m), which is south of the 27th parallel at about the same height as the city of Copiapó .
  • In the Little North ( Norte Chico ) between the 27th and 33rd degree of latitude, which runs a little north of the capital Santiago de Chile , there is an average 5000 m high cordillera, which is free of young volcanism.
  • From Santiago de Chile over the entire Little South ( Sur Chico ) to a little south of the city of Puerto Montt (42nd parallel), the 6550 m high Tupungato volcano is another elongated chain of volcanoes, which, however, quickly loses height to the south.
  • In the Great South ( Sur Grande ), which extends to the island of Tierra del Fuego , there are only a few isolated volcanoes left, and the height of 3000 meters is rarely exceeded. Here the glacial treasure trove dominates the landscape with glacial lakes , karen and fjords. The Cordillera Darwin Mountains form the last great mountain range before the end of South America.

The transition area between the coastal cordillera and the Andes can be divided into two areas: the Pampa del Tamarugal in the north and the longitudinal valley in the central and southern area. Both are distinct trench systems. The Pampa del Tamarugal stretches directly along the northern volcanic chain, while the slightly lower longitudinal valley follows the southern volcanic chain and dips into the sea at Puerto Montt (41 ° 30 ′ S).

The coastal cordillera extends south of the island of Chiloé over the entire west side of the country with a short interruption . It rises in the north of the country between Arica and Chañaral (26th parallel) as a steep coast immediately to 1000 m above sea level. M. (in places over 2000 m). Since the few rivers in this area do not have the strength to break through due to the extremely arid climate , it is only cut by a few valleys here. The valley systems only accumulate south of Chañaral. The coastal mountains flatten towards the south and finally only reach heights of over 1000 m in a few places in the Little South. The coastal cordillera continues as an island chain from the 44th parallel ( Chonos archipelago ).

mountains

The Salar de Talar (4010 meters) near San Pedro in the Atacama Desert
The most famous mountain formation in Chile is the Torres del Paine mountain range in the national park of the
same name in the far south of the country

The Chilean Andes form one of the highest mountain ranges in the world and have a multitude of peaks over 6000 m. Among them is the highest mountain in Chile, the Ojos del Salado (6893 m), which is also the highest volcano in the world.

The most famous mountains in Chile are listed below (from north to south):

rivers and lakes

Due to the special structure of the country, there are no longer rivers in Chile. The longest with 443 kilometers is the Río Loa in the north in the middle of the Atacama Desert . The rivers that permanently carry water are mostly nourished by the melting snow and ice of the Andes. In accordance with the increasing rainfall, the volume of water carried increases towards the south. The rivers are used for irrigation in agriculture, for energy generation and, to a lesser extent, for tourism. Some rivers from north to south are as follows:

The Chilean lakes include the salt lakes in the north , the largest and most famous of which is the Salar de Atacama (3000 square kilometers). In the far north lies the 21.5 square kilometer Lago Chungará at an altitude of around 4500 meters, one of the highest lakes in the world.

The large and most scenic lakes in Chile extend southeast of the city of Temuco to Puerto Montt in the following order:

Many lakes are navigable.

Natural spatial and climatic classification

Chile lies in the southern hemisphere, which is why the seasons are shifted by half a year compared to the northern hemisphere. The country can be divided into three climatic zones: northern, central and southern Chile.

Climate diagram Antofagasta
Climate diagram Santiago
Climate diagram Punta Arenas
Valle de la Luna, San Pedro de Atacama

Northern Chile (called "the great north") has many mountains that are over 6000  m high. The Atacama Desert extends between the coast and the western main Andean chain . This desert is one of the driest areas on earth; often no rain falls for years. In the past, the desert was known for its large saltpeter deposits, whereas today it is mainly copper that is mined there. The largest and most important city in this region is the port city of Antofagasta (310,000 inhabitants).

Central Chile has a climate comparable to that of the Mediterranean. This region is very fertile and densely populated. The capital Santiago de Chile with around 5.5 million inhabitants is located here. In addition, Valparaíso (seaport and parliamentary seat, 280,000 inhabitants), Viña del Mar (popular holiday destination, 320,000 inhabitants) and Concepción (center of agriculture and industry, 216,000 inhabitants) are of importance. The area north of Santiago is called "little north", the area south of Santiago is called " little south ".

The very sparsely populated southern Chile (called the "great south") is an extremely rainy region. The coast is very rugged due to a large number of offshore islands. South of the mainland is the island of Tierra del Fuego , which Chile shares with neighboring Argentina. Cape Horn , the southernmost point of Chile and South America, is located on the island of Isla Hornos off Tierra del Fuego .

Specifics of the climate

Overall, the climate of Chile is strongly influenced by the Humboldt Sea Current along the coast. This flows from south to north and transports cold seawater from the Antarctic . While Northern Europe benefits from the warm Gulf Stream for comparison , the water temperatures in Chile are significantly lower at the same latitude (north / south coordinates). In Punta Arenas (southern Chile) - which is about the same distance from the equator as Hamburg - the mean daytime temperature in summer is 12 degrees Celsius.

A special feature of the Chilean climate is the El Niño effect, also known as the southern oscillation . This climate phenomenon mainly affects countries such as Peru or Indonesia, but it is also effective in Chile about every seven years and leads to increased rainfall here compared to normal years.

Flora and fauna

flora

Blooming Atacama Desert ( Desierto florido )

Due to the huge extent of over 4000 kilometers in length, there are a lot of vegetation zones in Chile . Little is growing in the area of ​​the Atacama Desert . There is only vegetation near the coast or in the Andes . Many different types of cacti , succulents and dwarf shrubs grow here . However, in connection with the El Niño climatic phenomenon, there is regularly the phenomenon of the blooming Atacama Desert , in which large areas of desert are covered by millions of flowers for only a few days after rainfall in the desert.

South of the Desert follows the steppe with dry grasslands and in the Andes grows rock hard Yareta ( Azorella yareta ), also called "Andean cushion". The " Boldo bush" ( Peumus boldus ) grows in the dry areas . In the coastal mountains and in the Andes there are subtropical cloud forests ("hydrophilic forests"), where, for example, tree ferns ( Helecho arborescente in Spanish ) grow.

The wine-growing areas begin in the area of ​​the Río Elqui , but outside the river valley there are only thorn bushes and cacti.

The honey palm ( Jubaea chilensis ) grows in central Chile . The araucaria ( Araucaria araucana ) is the sacred tree of the Mapuche , its large seeds were used for food. In Chile, there are numerous large eucalyptus - plantations .

In southern Chile there are large forests that are classified as temperate rainforests . They are mainly composed of cypresses , pines and larches ; Antarctic beeches ( Nothofagus antarctica ) and poplars are also widespread.

In the XI. Region (Aisén) there are forests with, for example, the following tree species: Lenga southern beech ( Nothofagus pumilio ), Coihue southern beech ( Nothofagus dombeyi ), Luma apiculata , Aextoxicon punctatum (which is called Olivillo in Chile), Embothrium coccineum , Chilean pseudo elm ( Eucryi elm cordifolia ), candle tree ( Maytenus boaria ).

The "national flower" of Chile is the red Chilean wax bell ( Lapageria rosea ), it is called in Chile Copihue and is a climbing plant .

Patagonia consists of wide steppes and semi-deserts , on the southwest coast there is the so-called Magellan Tundra . Large parts of the Aisén region and the Magallanes region are already glaciated , so that there is no more vegetation to be found here.

Tierra del Fuego is criss-crossed by large moors . Only a few tree species survive here, such as the Lenga southern beech , the Magellanic southern beech ( Nothofagus betuloides ) or the Coihue southern beech ( Nothofagus dombeyi ).

fauna

Vicuñas and rhea

In the steppe regions, guanacos , which belong to the camel family , are widespread. Vicuñas and the Huemul live in the Andean regions and are represented as the national animal of Chile together with the Andean condor in the national coat of arms.

The chinchilla , a rodent, and the puma also live in mountainous steppe landscapes. The forests provide space for deer , Chilean forest cats , foxes and hummingbirds .

The Humboldt penguin , pelicans and maned seals live on the cold coasts of northern Chile, while maned seals and Magellanic penguins live in the ice-rich south.

The majestic Andean condor , one of the largest birds in the world, is spread over almost the entire area of ​​Chile . The large salt lakes are home to thousands of flamingos .

Owls , Magellanic foxes and Darwin's rheas live in the barren south of Tierra del Fuego . Very frequently encountered are Octodon (degus), small, domestic exclusively in Chile and rat-like in appearance rodents from the family of octodontidae , almost live with three types of the entire country. They live in burrows in the colonies and occupy the niche in the ecosystem that wild rabbits have in Germany.

population

Population development

Chile's population pyramid in 2014. Source: INE.
Population development since 1835 and projection to 2050

The population census by the Chilean state statistical office INE showed that the country had 17,574,003 inhabitants in the middle of 2017. 8,601,989 of these were men and 8,972,014 women. The population census of 2002 still had 15,116,435 inhabitants (7,447,695 men and 7,668,740 women).

The population has quintupled since the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1895 census, the population was 2,695,625. The population rose to 5,023,539 in the 1940 census and 13,348,401 in 1992. Since then, population growth has slowed, from 1.24% per year between 1992 and 2002 to 0.99% between 2002 and 2012.

The population growth is not least due to the sharp increase in life expectancy . In 2017, Chileans had the highest life expectancy of any South American. In the period from 2010 to 2015, it was 78.9 years: 76.2 for men and 81.3 for women. Life expectancy was thus comparable to that in the USA. Since the sixties, Chile has had a strictly monotonously increasing population. In 2015, the birth rate was 13.4 ‰ and the death rate 6.1 ‰, resulting in a natural population growth of 0.85%. The infant mortality rate has declined steadily since 2006 and was in 2016 at 8.3 ‰. These developments lead to an aging society, so that in 2020 the majority of the population will be over 35 years old, while currently the under-35-year-olds make up the majority. The drop shape of the population pyramid, which is characteristic of the demographic transition , is expected for 2025 .

Population distribution

Population density, data from 2002

The majority of the population lives in regions V to X. The most densely populated area is the Región Metropolitana de Santiago , where around half of the Chilean population lives. The city itself has about 5.5 million inhabitants; it is home to around a third of all of Chile's residents. To the north and especially to the south of it there are arable and densely populated areas in the plain between the main chains of the Andes. Only 100 kilometers west of Santiago is the metropolitan area around the port city of Valparaíso with around one million inhabitants.

The population density decreases more and more towards the north and south. The Atacama Desert in the far north and the rough, stormy areas in the south are only very sparsely populated due to the unfavorable climatic conditions.

migration

Italian immigrants in 1905

The migration rate to Chile was 0.35 migrants per 1000 inhabitants per year in 2012, making it one of the lowest in Latin America. In 2017, 2.7% of the population were born abroad.

In 1848 the German colonization, which was promoted by the Chilean government, began to populate the south of the country. Immigration from German-speaking countries influenced the culture of a large area in southern Chile, especially in the provinces of Valdivia, Osorno and Llanquihue . Immigrants from other European and West Asian countries arrived mainly in Valparaíso and in the far north and south in the 19th and 20th centuries. These included Austrians, British and Irish , Croats, Spaniards, French, Greeks, Italians, Dutch, Poles, Russians, Swiss, Jews and Palestinians. In 1953, President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo founded the Department of Immigration and Immigration, and had rules on immigration drawn up.

In the 21st century, immigration from neighboring countries has become more important. Between 2004 and 2010 it rose by 50% to an estimated 365,459 people. The 2012 census found that there were 339,536 foreign-born people living in Chile. They came mainly from Peru (103 624), Argentina (57 019), Colombia (27 411), Bolivia (25 151) and Ecuador (16 357). In 2014, 74.9% of immigrants came from the same continent.

Although emigration from Chile has decreased over the past decade, 487,174 Chileans lived outside of Chile in 2005. This corresponds to 3.01% of the population of the same year (16 165 316 people). Most of the Chilean emigrants now live in Argentina (43.33%), a further 16.58% in the USA, 5.61% in Sweden, 5.21% in Canada and 4.80% in Australia.

Internal migration from rural areas to big cities has increased in recent decades. About 80% of the population of the central and southern regions of Chile were born in the region itself. In Biobío this value reaches its highest level with 86.11%. Only 71% of the residents of the capital region were born in the region and only 55% of the Magallanes y Antártica Chilena region come from there.

Urbanization and major cities

Santiago by night

The population of Chile is very unevenly distributed in international comparison. The 2002 census found that 13,090,113 Chileans, or 86.59% of the total population, lived in cities. The regions in climatically extreme zones have the highest degree of urbanization - 97.68% of the population of the Antofagasta region, 94.06% of Tarapacá and 92.6% of Magallanes y Antártica Chilena live in cities. The industrial locations in central Chile are also heavily urbanized - 96.93% of the people in the capital region and 91.56% in the Valparaíso region are city dwellers. Most of the 2,026,322 people, or 13.41% of the total population, who live in the country work in agriculture and ranching. They focus on central and southern Chile; 33.59% of the population of Maule , 32.33% of La Araucanía and 31.56% of Los Lagos live in the countryside.

Molina , Maule region , typical Chilean country life

In the 1920s, there began a large outward migration of rural residents who moved to the cities in search of better living conditions. As a result, the cities grew quickly and formed large metropolitan areas . The greater Santiago area is the largest such metropolitan area. In 2002, 5,428,590 people, or more than a third of the total population of Chile, lived here, while it had 383,587 in 1907 and 549,292 in 1920, which was 16% of the population of Chile. Urban growth also led to formerly rural areas becoming parts of cities, such as Puente Alto or Maipú , which are now among the most populous communities in Chile. In January 2015, Santiago ranked seventh among the Latin American cities with the largest populations, behind São Paulo, Ciudad de México, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Bogotá; it ranks 54th worldwide.

Similar to the capital, Valparaíso and Viña del Mar have also been affected by strong population growth. As a result, they have grown together with Concón , Quilpué and Villa Alemana to form the Gran Valparaíso area. Concepción, Talcahuano , Hualpén , Chiguayante , San Pedro de la Paz , Penco , Coronel , Lota , Hualqui and Tomé also form a metropolitan area called Gran Concepción . In 2002, both metropolitan areas had more than 660,000 inhabitants.

Other important cities and metropolitan areas are the agglomeration of La Serena-Coquimbo (296 253 inhabitants in 2002), Antofagasta (285 255), Temuco-Padre Las Casas (260 878), Rancagua (236 363), Iquique-Alto Hospicio (214 586 ), Talca (191 154), Arica (175 441), Chillán-Chillán Viejo (165 528), Puerto Montt (153 118), Los Ángeles (138 856), Calama (136 600), Copiapó (134 531), Osorno (132 245), Quillota (128 874), Valdivia (127 750), Punta Arenas (116 005), San Antonio (106 101) and Curicó (104 124). The majority of these cities are along the Pacific coast or in the central valley in the middle of Chile between Santiago and Puerto Montt.

Most important metropolitan areas in Chile (population according to 2012 census)
rank Surname region population
1.ª Gran Santiago Metropolitana de Santiago 5 896 836
2.ª Gran Concepción Biobío 965 199
3.ª Gran Valparaíso Valparaíso 936 127
4.ª Gran La Serena Coquimbo 412 586
5.ª Antofagasta Antofagasta 348 669
Panorama of Santiago de Chile as seen from Cerro San Cristóbal to the east (2003). From the middle of the photo to the lower right, the Río Mapocho flows . The highest snow-covered mountains are Cerro El Plomo (left) and Cerro San Ramón (right).

Ethnic composition

President Bachelet and the Chilean polo team

The Chilean population is characterized by a high degree of homogeneity. The Chileans with European ancestors and mestizos make up around 88.92 percent of the population. 11.08 percent are made up of the indigenous population . Of these, 82 percent are Mapuche , 6 percent Aymara , 2.5 percent Diaguita and 0.5 percent Rapanui . Chile has not yet signed Convention 169 of the ILO, which protects the rights of indigenous peoples.

The Mapuche people live mainly in the region between the Bío-Bío and Toltén rivers , where they have a population of 23 percent. The Mapuche, formerly known together with other peoples of the region under the collective name Araukans (which the Mapuche themselves rejected), can be divided into Pewenche , Lafkenche, Wenteche and Huilliche (the Picunche living in the north fell victim to the Spanish conquest). Their language, the Mapudungun , has been taught as a supplementary subject in school for a few years and is used for a daily news broadcast on local television on Canal 13 Temuco . Despite these achievements, the traditional Mapuche way of life remains threatened by the loss of their land and the liberal economic system. Mapuche often have to move to the big cities to look for paid work.

Smaller groups of Quechua , Aymara , Chango , Atacameño , Diaguita and Kolla live in the northern part of Chile . Until the beginning of the 20th century, small groups of Selk'nam , Kawéskar , Yámana , Caucahue and Tehuelche lived in the south of Chile , whose descendants have risen up in today's majority population or see themselves today as Mapuche. About 40 percent of the approximately 5000 inhabitants of Easter Island , i.e. about 2000 people, are Polynesians ( Rapanui ).

During the colonial period, Chile was settled by Spanish immigrants, most of whom came from the Castilian regions of Spain. In the 19th century, a particularly large number of English, Irish and German settlers immigrated to Chile. Notable immigrant contingents also came from France, Italy, Croatia and, more recently, from Palestine and the Middle East. The first Germans arrived in 1843 and later settled in the area around Lake Llanquihue and in Valdivia , Osorno and Puerto Montt . In 1913, the Handbuch des Deutschtums Abroad named 30,000 “foreign Germans” living in Chile; In 1916 the number of German-Chileans and Chilean Germans residing in the country was about 25,500 according to a census by the German-Chilean Federation. Most recently there was a wave of immigration from German-speaking countries during and after the Second World War . The German language is still used today by up to 35,000 inhabitants, although the number is steadily decreasing.

The importation of black slaves into Chile has been very small at all times. The majority of them were concentrated in the cities of Santiago de Chile , Quillota and Valparaíso . Over the centuries the blacks mixed with the whites and mestizos, so that today the African element has almost completely disappeared in Chile. The city of Arica in the province of Tarapacá is an exception . Arica was founded in 1570 and belonged to Peru until 1883 . The city was one of the Peruvian import centers for African slaves. From here, a large part of the Bolivian trade goods were loaded onto European ships. Arica was in the middle of the desert and - thanks to the excellent cultivation possibilities for sugar cane and cotton in the Azapatal - formed an oasis. Earthquakes, pirate attacks and the outbreak of malaria epidemics caused many whites to leave the city. Over time, a more or less isolated Afro-Chilean enclave developed . Chile became the first state in South America to declare itself against slavery in 1811 and finally abolished it in 1823.

In the past few decades, workers from Peru and Bolivia have increasingly sought their luck in Chile. As a result, Peruvian cuisine gained a certain influence in Chile in the 1980s . In 2007 the government decided on an amnesty for those foreigners, mostly from Peru, who worked in the country without a residence permit. The economic crisis in Argentina forced since the turn of the millennium, increasingly, Argentines to seek work in the neighboring country. A small group of immigrants come from Asia, mostly from Korea, and live in the greater Santiago area.

language

The best-known indigenous language is Mapudungun , the Mapuche language spoken in southern Chile (approx. 250,000 speakers); in addition, Aymara (approx. 20,000 speakers) and Rapanui (approx. 1000 speakers) on Easter Island are common in northern Chile . A total of nine different languages ​​and idioms are used in Chile, including at least four dying languages for which only a few speakers are known. For example, in 2013 there was only one 85-year-old speaker named for the Yámana language . Quechua , which is widespread in Peru and Bolivia, is only used by a significant number of speakers in the (formerly Peruvian and Bolivian) northern Chilean provinces. Especially in the southern Chilean regions IX and X, there are numerous German-Chileans , some of whom still speak German, so that German is the third most widespread language in the country after Spanish and Mapudungun (approx. 35,000 speakers are named).

The official language and by far the predominant everyday language of Chile is Spanish ( called Castellano in Chile ), whereby the Spanish spoken in Chile has various peculiarities, which concern vocabulary and pronunciation, the characteristic speech melody and individual grammatical peculiarities. Numerous expressions used in Chile were taken from native languages ​​(mostly Quechua and Aymara, only rarely from Mapudungun) or from the languages ​​of the immigrants (for example cachar - from English to catch  - or kuchen ). From 1844 to 1927, the "American" Spanish spelling, which was based on the suggestions of Andrés Bello and which differed greatly from the regulations of the Real Academia Española, was in effect in Chile .

In Chile, as in Latin America, the Seseo generally rules . As everywhere in Latin American Spanish, there is also no grammatical second person in the plural; the associated pronoun vosotros / -as (“you” as plural form of address) is also unknown and the addressing of a majority of people is exclusively made with the verb forms of the third person and the address pronoun ustedes . In the singular, the standard language of address is chosen in the third person with the politeness form Usted . The familiar form of address with (“you”) is restricted to the circle of closest friends, life partners and relatives of the same age or younger. Colloquially, an incomplete Voseo is used , in which specific Chilean Voseo verb forms in the second person singular (for example: "estái" instead of estás , "querís" instead of quieres , "venís" instead of vienes , "vai" instead of vas) is used to address the other person ), whose structure is reminiscent of the forms of the second person plural according to the continental Spanish standard ( estáis , queréis , venís , vais ). In clear contrast to neighboring Argentina, the corresponding personal pronoun Vos (“you” as a singular salutation) is avoided in Chile and is mostly perceived as vulgar or disrespectful.

religion

The country was long considered very Catholic, even if the state and church have been officially separated since 1925. The church's influence on social life, the legal system (especially family law ) and the world of culture and media is still quite strong. Until 2010 the second largest private broadcaster in the country, Canal 13 , belonged to the Roman Catholic Church alone. However, legitimate and illegitimate children have been treated equally since 1998, the Chilean marriage law has provided for the possibility of divorce since November 2004 and in 2015 the registered partnership (acuerdo de unión civil) was introduced for same-sex and different-sex couples . Abortions have been banned since 1990; However, a relaxation of the absolute ban on abortion in certain medically and ethically indicated cases has been controversial for years and was implemented in 2017.

Around 70 percent of the population (7,853,000 respondents) counted themselves in the 2002 census as belonging to the Roman Catholic Church , which is numerically the largest religious community in the country. The ecclesiastical administrative structure consists of five ecclesiastical provinces with 26 dioceses and 920 parishes. In October 1999 a law on the equality of religious communities was passed, which, however, left the privileges of the Roman Catholic Church untouched and only improved the status of the other churches and religious communities. Around 15 percent of Chileans belonged to Protestant denominations in 2002 ; Due to the widespread Pentecostal influence, the proportion of evangelical residents has increased, especially in the last few decades, as in all of Latin America (in Chile in 1930 it was 1.5 percent, in 1992 it was around 13 percent). In terms of other worldviews, 8.3 percent were named agnostics and atheists and 4.4 percent "others", including the indigenous religions (such as the religion of the Mapuche ). Smaller denominations are the Jehovah's Witnesses (1.06 percent), Mormons (0.92 percent), Jews (0.13 percent) and others.

More recent surveys have shown that Chile, along with Uruguay, is the most secularized country in Latin America. According to this, the Catholic Church still accounted for 57 percent in 2013, the Protestant churches (mainly evangelicals) 13 percent, while non-religionists have been accounting for 25 percent since 2011. The abrupt decline in practiced religiosity in Chile around 2010 is striking: only 27 percent of believing Chileans described themselves as practicing in 2013 (2010: 41%; 2011: 38%), which is the lowest result in all of Latin America. At the same time, Chile is one of the Latin American countries in which evangelical groups are currently experiencing comparatively low growth. Although the study period of the study ended in 2013, the authors consider an increase in confidence in the Catholic Church as a result of the assumption of office of Pope Francis in all countries including Chile to be recognizable, but without being able to assess its sustainability. The follow-up study published by the same institute at the beginning of 2018 shows that the decline has continued unabated after 2013: According to this, only 45 percent of Chileans describe themselves as Catholics, so that Chile is the second Latin American country after Uruguay to no longer have a Catholic majority. In the 2017 official census, however, 59 percent of Chileans identified themselves as Catholic.

history

Pre-Columbian and Colonial History

Replica of the Nao Victoria in the Museo Nao Victoria on Punta Arenas , Chile

About 13,000 years BC The first people settled in what is now Chile's territory (see Monte Verde ). The north of Chile later belonged to the Inca Empire for a short time until it was conquered by the Spaniards . In 1520 discovered Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan during his attempt to circumnavigate the earth, the eponymous Magellan Strait , which lies at the southern tip of Chile today. In 1535 Diego de Almagro reached today's Chile from Peru, but did not find the riches he had hoped for and returned disappointed. The first permanent settlement of Europeans was by 1541 Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago . Since 1542 Chile was part of the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru .

As the Spaniards found little gold and silver, Chile was a rather neglected colony of the Spanish crown due to its remote location. The great Atacama desert obstructed the direct route to Peru. Only later did Chile become an important supply partner for the other Spanish possessions through agricultural products.

Chile hosted various ethnic groups, which for a long time were incorrectly grouped under the term Araucans. In the south, the Mapuche put up bitter resistance in numerous wars. The conflict, known as the Arauco War ( Guerra de Arauco ), effectively prevented Spanish colonization of the southern half of Chile. Most of the cities, settlements and forts were overrun by the fighting units of the indigenous people and destroyed again shortly after their construction. From 1602 the river Bío Bío actually formed the border to the Mapuche area. The persistent resistance of the indigenous people forced the Spaniards to recognize an independent Mapuche nation in the Treaty of Quillín in 1641. In it, the Bío-Bío river was set as the border and the Mapuche people were granted sovereignty, a process unique in the history of indigenous peoples in South America. Although there were always armed conflicts and unsuccessful attempts at conquest afterwards, the demarcation of the border essentially lasted until the end of the colonial era. Only in the context of the so-called "pacification of Araukania" proclaimed by President José Joaquín Pérez in 1861 was the Mapuche violently subjugated with the help of Chilean troops and annexed to Chile in 1883.

In addition to the Indian attacks, severe earthquakes , tsunamis and volcanic eruptions hampered the country's development. Many cities were completely destroyed, such as Concepción in 1570 and Valdivia in 1575. The Chilean coastal cities were exposed to frequent attacks by English pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1609 the General Capitanate of Chile was founded, but this was dependent on the Viceroyalty of Peru . In 1778 Chile became an independent general captainate with freedom of trade within the Spanish kingdom.

War of Independence and Formation of the Republic

Diego Portales Palazuelos

The drive for independence emerged when Spain was ruled by Napoleon's brother Joseph in 1808 . On September 18, 1810, a junta was established to declare the allegiance of Chile to the deposed King Ferdinand VII , as an autonomous province within the Spanish kingdom. This date is celebrated in Chile as the beginning of independence. A little later, Chile declared its separation from Spain and the monarchy.

In 1814, after the end of the Spanish War of Independence and the defeat of the patriots in the Battle of Rancagua , Spain regained power in Chile. The Spaniards were defeated in the Battle of Chacabuco by a Chilean-Argentine army under General José de San Martín . Spanish colonial rule finally collapsed at the Battle of Maipú in 1818. San Martín renounced the presidency in favor of Bernardo O'Higgins .

O'Higgins himself was overthrown and went into exile in Peru in 1823. His successor Ramón Freire y Serrano could not properly consolidate his political power and was overthrown by Francisco Antonio Pinto Díaz in 1828. This introduced a liberal constitution, which aroused the wrath of the conservatives. On April 17, 1830, Diego Portales Palazuelos overthrew the government at the Battle of Lircay. Portales ruled (indirectly, as he never became president) by dictatorial means until August 1831. In 1833 a strict presidential constitution was drawn up with the help of Portales. This highly centralized constitution granted Chile a long period of stability, until the civil war of 1891.

From 1836 to 1839 there was a Confederation War against Bolivia and Peru , which the Chileans won.

On September 17, 1865, Chile declared war on Spain ( Spanish-South American War ) after Spain tried to gain influence in Peru by military means. It then came to the sea battles at Papudo and at Abtao off the island of Chiloé. On December 5, 1865, Peru also allied itself with Chile to fight their common enemy. On March 31, 1866, the Spaniards massively shelled the city of Valparaíso . The conflict with Spain could only be finally resolved in treaties of 1871 and 1883.

In the course of the 19th century, non-Spanish Europeans also increasingly immigrated to Chile, including Germans, whose traces can still be seen today mainly in the southern central part of the country ( Valdivia , Osorno , Puerto Montt , Puerto Varas , Frutillar , Puerto Natales ) .

Saltpeter War

Naval battle off Iquique on May 21, 1879 in the saltpeter war

In the Saltpeter War from 1879 to 1884, Chile occupied the Atacama Desert, Lima and parts of the Pacific coast of Peru, which had previously belonged to the neighboring countries of Peru and Bolivia . In the peace treaty of 1904 between Chile and Bolivia , Bolivia gave Chile its free access to the Pacific. Large copper deposits were later found in the conquered areas : Chuquicamata , the largest open-cast copper mine in the world, is located in this area.

Peru handed over the present regions of Arica, Parinacota and Tarapacá as reparations to Chile in the Treaty of Ancón .

Civil War of 1891

In 1891 parliament and the navy opposed President José Manuel Balmaceda ; there was a civil war. Around 6,000 people died in this conflict. Balmaceda lost two major battles and committed suicide on September 18, 1891. The previously presidential system of government was replaced by a parliamentary system after the victory of the Congress supporters , until a presidential system of government was introduced again in 1925 . During the unrest, the Baltimore incident broke out , which led to a diplomatic conflict between the new Chilean government and the United States.

Borderline

Women in Marchihue, 1902

Despite the border treaty with Argentina (1881), the border disputes with Argentina intensified from 1893 , because the treaty defined the Andean cordillera as the border: the border line runs “over the highest mountains that form the watershed”. In some sections this definition led to controversial results. In the north, Bolivia exchanged part of the Puna for Tarija with Argentina after Chile occupied the Puna region in the saltpeter war. There was an arms race between Chile and Argentina . The border dispute was only settled in 1902 through arbitration. Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego were redistributed, with 54,000 square kilometers falling to Chile and 40,000 square kilometers to Argentina. The border with Bolivia was established in 1904 in a mutually agreed peace treaty . But revisionism soon germinated in Bolivia , which to this day has caused a difficult and often very tense political situation between the two countries. In the 1970s, when both countries were ruled by military dictatorships, the Chilean side offered to cede an approximately 10 km wide strip of territory along the border with Peru to Bolivia in order to finally create peace. The proposal was not implemented because Bolivia did not want to compensate for it. Bolivia then tried to enforce a claim to sovereign access to the sea by filing an action before the International Court of Justice in The Hague . On October 1, 2018, the International Court of Justice dismissed Bolivia's action against Chile.

First and Second World War

Chile remained neutral during World War I , but the domestic political situation remained unstable. President Arturo Alessandri Palma , who had introduced a social security system in Chile , was ousted by a military coup in 1924 but came back to power in March 1926 following the introduction of a new constitution in 1925. Until 1932 Carlos Ibáñez del Campo ruled the country (for the longest time) by dictatorial means. In 1932 constitutional order was restored and the Radicals proved to be the leading party for the next 20 years .

The world economic crisis of 1930 hit Chile particularly hard. The prices for the most important export goods copper and saltpeter fell dramatically. From the 1930s onwards, the country slowly recovered, which was interrupted in 1938 by an attempted coup by the National Socialist movement in Chile and the massacre that followed.

In 1934 there was the last great peasant rebellion in Ranquil , which was put down by the police.

After Chile had remained neutral for a long time - also out of consideration for the numerous Chileans of German origin - during World War II, President Juan Antonio Ríos Morales decided in 1944 to join the war on the side of the Allies. As a result, Chile declared war on Japan in 1945. The influence of Chile on the outcome of the war, however, remained insignificant.

post war period

In 1945 the country was one of the founding members of the United Nations and joined the OAS in 1948 .

Monument to Jorge Alessandri

On August 2, 1947, President González Videla appointed a cabinet of military and independents. The finance minister of this cabinet was Jorge Alessandri , who became President of Chile in 1958 with the help of the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Radical Party. He won the presidential election against Salvador Allende , the United Left candidate.

Great opponents of the conservatives were the Christian Democrats, who were strictly anti-communist but, by European standards, were moderately left-wing in matters of social policy .

On May 22nd, 1960, the strongest ever recorded earthquake in the world, followed by a tsunami, shook the coasts of Chile and devastated the port city of Valdivia in particular . The quake had a magnitude of 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale . More than 2000 people died, which created a distraction from domestic political problems. Much of the country was still in the hands of a few wealthy families.

In 1964, Eduardo Frei Montalva won the election for president as a candidate of the Christian Democratic Party, also with electoral support from the USA . Under the motto “Revolution in Freedom” , he tried to combine social reforms with the preservation of the democratic order and to strike a balancing act between the radical demands of the left and the rigorous defense against reforms by the right. A land reform distributed over three million hectares of large estates to farmers' cooperatives. In the end, Frei failed with his most important reforms, including the partial nationalization of the copper industry. In 1969 Chile joined the Andean Community as a founding state , but left it again in 1976.

As in 1958, Jorge Alessandri's opponent in the election campaign for president in 1970 was Salvador Allende, supported by the trade unions and socialists . Allende won the election and became president.

Presidency of Salvador Allende

Demonstration for Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende monument

In 1969, the forces of the left formed the Unidad Popular (UP), an electoral alliance to which, in addition to the Communist and Socialist Parties , small humanist, left-wing Christian and Marxist parties belonged. The UP represented a socialist line, campaigned for the nationalization of industry and the expropriation of large landowners. This alliance set up Salvador Allende as the presidential candidate in 1970 , who was running for the fourth time.

In the 1970 elections, the left-wing electoral alliance Unidad Popular emerged as the strongest force with 37% of the vote and Salvador Allende was elected president. His conservative opponent, Jorge Alessandri , got 35.3% and the Christian Democrat Radomiro Tomic got 28.1%. Runoff elections were not provided for in the constitution at the time. Allende was elected president in parliament with the vote of the Christian Democrats (around Tomic), provided that he would strictly adhere to the constitution and the rule of law. As a result, he nationalized the most important economic sectors (banking, agriculture, copper mines, industry, communication) and thus got into growing conflicts with the opposition - although the nationalizations were covered by the constitution. In addition, Allende's election victory met with fierce opposition in the USA .

With the victory of the “Popular Front Government” under Marxist influence in Chile, after Cuba the second American state was governed by socialism. This seemed to confirm the domino theory postulated by US President Eisenhower in 1954 , according to which the countries of South America would gradually fall prey to communism like dominoes. When the victory of the left forces was in sight, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said: “I don't see why we should allow a country to become Marxist just because the population is insane.” Allende did not consider himself a Marxist and strongly opposed both the dictatorship of the proletariat and a one-party system.

When Allende took office, he had to reckon with sanctions and countermeasures from the USA. As early as 1970 there was a fatal assassination attempt on General René Schneider , in which the CIA and Foreign Minister Kissinger were heavily involved (see US intervention in Chile ). Schneider was an obstacle to the US government as he opposed a military coup.

The boycott of the USA, Western European countries and international corporations made the political system so unstable that parts of the military planned a coup. A first coup by the 2nd Panzer Regiment failed in June 1973.

Pinochet's dictatorship

On September 11, 1973, there was finally a bloody military coup against the government. President Allende committed suicide in the Moneda . Hundreds of his followers were killed in these days and thousands were imprisoned. All state institutions throughout Chile were occupied by the military within hours. General Augusto Pinochet assumed power as president of a junta .

In the years that followed, the military established secret prisons all over the country, where opposition members and their sympathizers were often tortured to death. Thousands of Chileans went into exile because of the continued human rights violations (→  torture in Chile ).

Shortly after Pinochet came to power, the USA and Western European countries began to provide Chile with intensive economic aid again. The military government reversed the nationalizations of Allende with the exception of the copper mines, carried out radical economic reforms and abolished trade union rights.

In 1976 the military government appointed the paper manufacturer and former President of Chile, Jorge Alessandri , as President of the newly established Council of State ( Consejo de Estado ), whose task it was to write a new constitution to legitimize the military dictatorship.

In Germany, the Pinochet government has long received support from the ranks of the Union , especially the CSU . During his 1977 visit , Franz Josef Strauss praised the coup as a “tremendous blow against international communism”. It is "nonsense to talk about murder and torture in Chile". The dispute over the designation of the military junta as a "murderer gang" by the SPD research minister Hans Matthöfer on the occasion of a dispute over economic aid in 1975 is an example of the split in German politics on this issue. In the 1980s, criticism of the regime's human rights violations also became more pronounced in the CDU. This was also the time when Norbert Blüm visited Chile and confronted Pinochet with it in a direct conversation.

In particular in the Colonia Dignidad , a closely guarded settlement of Germans abroad under the leadership of Paul Schäfer , torture took place. The sect or totalitarian religious community was founded about ten years before Pinochet came to power and served as a torture center for the Chilean secret services during the military rule. In addition, Colonia developed into a flourishing company that exported titanium to Germany, among other things. Despite reports, legal charges and attempts by German citizens to flee, the German embassy in Chile exercised “extreme restraint” and remained inactive, and even more, it had the settlement's craftsmen renovate the ambassador's residence.

Beagle Channel conflict source

In December 1978 the Beagle conflict with Argentina intensified and there were military threats against Chile. The uninhabited islands of Lennox, Picton and Nueva in the Beagle Channel became a point of contention, mainly because the area was believed to have larger oil reserves. The dispute reached its most dangerous climax on December 22, 1978, when Argentina launched Operation Soberanía to occupy the islands militarily and invade continental Chile. The invasion was halted when the junta in Buenos Aires agreed to papal mediation . After the defeat of Argentina in the Falklands War, this mediation led to the friendship and peace treaty of 1984 between Chile and Argentina , in which all three islands were awarded to Chile. The almost complete drawing of the border with Argentina on the Fitz-Roy massif was agreed on December 16, 1998. To this day, only a small undefined section remains in the area of Campo de Hielo Sur ("Southern Ice Field"). This area is home to the largest freshwater reservoir in South America.

As a result of the earlier conflict with Argentina, Chile supported Great Britain during the Falklands War in 1982 . A damaged British helicopter landed in Chile. So far, however, the reason for his stay in this region is unknown. Chile also helped Great Britain with radar and espionage activities. The Chilean ex-air force chief Fernando Matthei later confirmed the secret cooperation.

Democratization of speech

In 1988 a referendum was held in which a majority (55%) voted against Pinochet's further term in office. In 1989 the first free elections after 15 years of dictatorship took place, and Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin became president . Just a few months after returning to democracy, the newly elected president set up a truth and reconciliation commission in mid-1990 . It was supposed to clarify the political murders committed between 1973 and 1989 and the whereabouts of those who disappeared ( Desaparecidos ). New and formative for later truth commissions in post-dictatorial democracies of the Eastern Bloc and Africa during the 1990s was that the Chilean commission defined “truth” about crimes during the dictatorship as its goal. With the help of an “official truth”, the division of Chilean society into two camps, each with different interpretations of history, was to be overcome.

Aylwin continued Pinochet's neo-liberal economic policy and tried to reconcile the warring political camps in order to enable democratic coexistence. He cautiously (“justice as far as possible”) began to come to terms with the crimes of the military dictatorship: In November 1993, officers were tried for the first time for human rights violations. Many exiles returned to their homeland. The Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle ruled from 1994 to 2000 .

Michelle Bachelet

Pinochet resigned as army chief in 1998, but remained a senator for life and therefore enjoyed immunity. In the same year he was arrested in Great Britain on the basis of an arrest warrant from the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón , but was able to return to Chile in 1999 for health reasons. In 1998 he was indicted by Gladys Marín before the Chilean judge Juan Guzmán Tapia , but in 2002 he was declared incapable of standing due to mild dementia, whereupon Pinochet resigned from his position as senator. Further attempts to take him to court failed. He died on December 10, 2006 without ever being sentenced.

In 2000 the socialist Ricardo Lagos became the new Chilean president. He narrowly defeated his conservative opponent Joaquín Lavín in a runoff election . After Allende, Lagos was the second socialist president to move into the Moneda . Lagos made the fight against unemployment a goal of its government. His program also envisaged the reintroduction of collective bargaining autonomy and the integration of the army budget into the state budget. Lagos left office in 2006 with a positive economic and political record. As her successor, the socialist Michelle Bachelet was elected the first woman president in the country's history.

In 2010, Sebastián Piñera won the presidential election after a runoff against his rival Frei. He took office on March 11, 2011. Piñera was the first right-wing president in almost 20 years.

On December 15, 2013, the socialist Michelle Bachelet was re- elected President in a second ballot . Bachelet prevailed against the conservative challenger Evelyn Matthei with around 62.2 percent of the vote .

The elections at the end of 2017 were again won by Sebastián Piñera . He took up his second presidency on March 11, 2018.

Triggered by an increase in subway prices, there have been protests against social inequality in Chile since mid-October 2019 . In the course of the unrest, Piñera declared a state of emergency, deployed the military and declared “war against a powerful, irreconcilable enemy,” as he called the insurgents. Because of the ongoing protests, the government canceled the UN climate conference , which was scheduled to be held in Santiago de Chile in December 2019. In December 2019, a referendum on a new constitution was announced, which is to be implemented on April 26, 2020.

politics

Constitution

Palacio de la Moneda , seat of the Chilean President

Chile is a presidential republic . The current constitution dates from 1980 under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and was modified by the Chilean parliament on August 16, 2005.

executive

The President , who is also head of government following the US model, is elected for a four-year term of office. The president can serve several terms, but not one after the other. He appoints the ministers (2005: 18 ministers) and sub-secretaries (comparable to state secretaries ; 2005: 30) as well as the regional directors (one for the capital region and one each for the regions) and provincial governors (one per province). He can issue decrees that have the force of law within a framework established by the constitution . He can also appoint the top commanders of the armed forces.

legislative branch

The legislature ( Congreso Nacional ) consists of two chambers. The first Chilean Congress was formed on July 4, 1811 by resolution (1810) of the government junta.

The Chamber of Deputies ( Cámara de Diputados ) consists of 120 direct elections. The whole country is divided into 60 constituencies, in which two MPs are elected every four years. However, the first-placed party alliance provides both MPs if it receives twice as many votes as the opposition electoral alliance. This binomial electoral system prevents smaller parties from being elected to parliament.

The Senate ( Senado ) has 38 members. Due to the constitutional reform that was passed on August 16, 2005, all senators have been elected directly by the electorate since March 11, 2006. The elected senators come from 19 electoral districts. Each of the twelve regions and the capital region have at least one electoral district. The V., VII., VIII., IX. and X. Region and the capital region are each divided into two electoral districts. Half of the senators are elected every four years for an eight-year term.

There were already successes in introducing women's suffrage in Chile in the 1930s: women over 21 who could read and write were given the right to vote in municipal and city council elections at the beginning of the 1930s. One source cites May 30, 1931, another 1934. The unrestricted right to vote was enshrined in the law of December 15, 1948. Passive women's suffrage has existed in local elections since 1931, at national level only since 1949,

Judiciary

The Supreme Court ( Corte Suprema de Justicia ) is a collegial court with 21 judges. It is the highest judicial authority in Chile. The judges are proposed by the judges of the Supreme Court and appointed for life by the president. Under the Supreme Court is of Appeal settled. In addition, there are 17 appellate courts in Chile.

The duties of the prosecutor (public prosecutor) and the judge were separated through a judicial reform. As part of this reform, judicial proceedings will now be conducted publicly and orally instead of in writing as was previously the case. Low-income defendants can use a state public defender. For this new justice system, 300 new courthouses had to be built in numerous Chilean cities.

The Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) is responsible for checking whether the laws passed by parliament are unconstitutional.

Parties

Despite its presidential constitution, Chile has an unusually strong party-democratic tradition for Latin America . Political parties were admitted again in the final phase of the military dictatorship from 1987 onwards. The current electoral law has resulted in all parties having formed party alliances. In the 2019 Democracy Index, Chile ranks 21st out of 167 countries, making it a “complete democracy”. After the end of the dictatorship (1973–1990), the country now achieved one of the best placements in Latin America.

The “ Alianza por Chile ” was a conservative alliance that consisted of the “National Renewal Party” ( Renovación Nacional , RN) and the right-wing party “Independent Democratic Union” ( Unión Demócrata Independiente , UDI), both of which were in favor of an extension of the entered the authoritarian form of government established by Augusto Pinochet. In the meantime, several other right-wing liberal and conservative parties also belonged to the alliance. The alliance emerged victorious from the 2009 presidential elections and, with Sebastián Piñera, was the first conservative president of Chile from 2010 to 2013 after the end of the military dictatorship. During his presidency, it was renamed Coalición por el Cambio , later Alianza por el Cambio , and finally replaced in 2015 by the new right-wing alliance Chile Vamos , which has led the government since 2018, with Piñera’s second election victory and second presidency.

The “ Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia ” was an alliance of four center-left parties that had actively participated in the overthrow of the military dictatorship. Members were the parties "Christian Democratic Party" ( Partido Demócrata Cristiano , PDC), "Radical and Social Democratic Party" ( Partido Radical Social Demócrata , PRSD), "Social Democratic Party" ( Partido por la Democracia , PPD) and "Socialist Party" ( Partido Socialista , PS). The alliance, which after the withdrawal of the military until Sebastián Piñera took office in spring 2010, was dissolved after the re-election of socialist Michelle Bachelet in 2013 and replaced by the new left-wing alliance Nueva Mayoría .

The left alliance Juntos Podemos Más (“Together we can do more”) comprised the Christian Left, the Humanist Party , the Communist Party and some other left and left-liberal splinter parties. In 2010 Juntos Podemos Más was able to send two Communist MPs to parliament. The majority of the member parties then formed the new alliance of Nueva Mayoría together with the parties of the Concertación .

Armed forces and police

The armed forces of Chile ( Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas de Chile ) consist of the armed forces army , navy , air force and the national police (Carabineros de Chile). In 2008 the armed forces of the Republic of Chile comprised a total of 77,300 soldiers. In 2017, Chile spent almost 1.9 percent of its economic output or 5.1 billion US dollars on its armed forces.

Foreign policy

Locations of the diplomatic missions of Chile
States with diplomatic representation in Chile

Chile is a member of APEC and is currently trying to conclude free trade agreements with as many countries as possible (for example there are agreements with the USA , the EU , South Korea and China ).

Chile has been a member of the UN since 1945 and of the OAS since 1948 . Chile has played a more important role in the UN since 2004, as it decided to participate in peace missions. Today, for example, there are Chilean UN units in Haiti .

In May 2007 the OECD invited Chile to accession talks and accession took place on May 7, 2010.

Relationships within South America

In South America, Chile is an associate member of Mercosur ; this non-full membership allows Chile to conclude its own trade agreements. The concentration of Chile on the big trading partners USA, EU and Asia is viewed critically by the other Andean countries . It is feared that the Latin American market will be neglected. In particular, the many free trade agreements in Chile, but also the low import tariffs in Chile, make it difficult to establish closer ties with Mercosur.

Since 1988 Chile has reduced a number of trouble spots with Argentina and Peru . This applies to the Beagle Channel and the demarcation of the Fitz-Roy massif. Since the Peruvian Congress questioned Chile’s maritime areas in October 2005, there have been strong tensions again in the relationship between the two countries.

Relations with Bolivia are still severely disrupted, as Bolivia's desire for sea access has not yet been resolved and there is a conflict over water rights on the Río Lauca . A planned natural gas pipeline from Bolivia to Chilean ports to export liquefied natural gas to the United States was not built due to strong resistance from the Bolivian population.

In the course of the successful rescue of miners after the mining accident in San José , the presidents of both countries met at the scene of the accident in October 2010. Bolivia's President Morales thanked the Chileans for rescuing a Bolivian who was one of the buried pals. For the first time in decades, the presidents agreed on a mutual exchange of ambassadors.

Chile was up to the completion of the LNG terminal from Quintero heavily on natural gas supplies from Argentina dependent. The throttling of supplies from Argentina forced Chile to think more about alternative energies. The natural gas supply agreement between Bolivia and Argentina prohibits Argentines from exporting Bolivian natural gas to Chile.

Relations with the USA

The military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet always had close ties to the United States, which actively promoted the overthrow of the democratically elected left-wing government under Salvador Allende in 1973. Even after the end of the dictatorship, good relations existed between the two countries. However, the Chilean government refused to intervene in the Iraq war . At the end of long negotiations with the voice of the United States, Chile was able to take the post of Secretary General of the OAS with José Miguel Insulza .

The USA is the most important trading partner for Chile, both countries signed a free trade agreement in 2004. However, the share of US trade is falling in favor of the EU and Asia. In 2002 Chile ordered modern F-16 fighter jets in the USA.

Relations with the EU

The European Union is next to the US, a very important trading partner. In 2005 an association agreement between the EU and Chile and an agreement on technical and scientific cooperation came into force.

Special relationship with Germany

There are close ties between the two countries, with a focus on politics, economics and especially science. Many Chileans have a special relationship with Germany, which is partly due to historical ties among German Chileans and partly to exile experiences during the dictatorship. At the time of Augusto Pinochet's rule, opponents of the regime often fled into exile in the GDR . The former president of the country, Michelle Bachelet , also spent a few years in exile in East Germany, learned German at the University of Leipzig and studied medicine at the Humboldt University in Berlin . In the previous government under President Sebastián Piñera there were several ministers who attended German schools or studied in Germany. In addition, in the period between the Saltpeter War and the First World War, German trainers formed the armed forces of Chile , which to this day are strongly influenced by Prussian-German traditions, which is expressed, for example, in uniforms and in military songs.

Education and Research

Cerro Paranal with the VLT

Since 2002, when the then president Ricardo Lagos initiated a reform of the education system, there has been compulsory education. This is limited to twelve years. The schools are subordinate to the Ministry of Education. There is no teaching material . The literacy rate is 97.3%, which is very high for South America. In 2006 Chile took part in the OECD's PISA study for the first time . In the 2015 PISA ranking, the country's students ranked 49th out of 72 countries in mathematics, 45th in science and 42nd in reading comprehension. Chile thus achieved the second-best ranking within Latin America, but is below the OECD average.

In the 1990s Chile introduced the “PRADJAL” program ( Programa Regional de Acciones para el Desarrollo de la Juventud en America Latina ) and the “Chile Joven” training program. The aim of the programs is to reduce youth unemployment through state-funded vocational training followed by an internship . Courses for young entrepreneurs are also offered. This is also intended to indirectly combat juvenile delinquency and drug consumption .

The most important universities such as the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile are located in Santiago de Chile , Concepción and Valparaíso . However, due to the high tuition fees, access to universities is difficult for the poorer classes despite scholarship programs.

The level of the universities varies greatly due to many private institutions, since the professional academies are also allowed to call themselves universities. Student protests have recently been taking place in Chile. a. were led by Camila Vallejo . Among other things, better credit conditions are required so that young people from the lower, poorer classes also have access to education.

Due to their climatic characteristics and their good infrastructural development, the deserts of Chile are popular places for telescopes. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) alone has three locations in Chile with large telescopes: La Silla, Paranal and Alma. There are also other observatories in Chile, for example Cerro Pachon with the 8.1-meter Gemini South telescope or Las Campanas with the two 6.5-meter Magallan telescopes.

The Paranal Observatory has been working in Chile since the early 1990s . The observatory is located in the Atacama Desert in the north of the country on the Cerro Paranal mountain . This is about 120 kilometers south of Antofagasta and 12 kilometers from the Pacific coast. The observatory is operated by ESO and is the location of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). The VISTA and VST survey telescopes are also being built. The atmosphere above the summit is characterized by dry and exceptionally calm air currents, which makes the mountain a very attractive location for an astronomical observatory. The summit was blown down from its original height of 2,660 meters to 2,635 meters in the early 1990s to create a plateau for the VLT.

Human rights

Amnesty International points out that in connection with land disputes, human rights violations against members of the Mapuche indigenous group have occurred time and again. According to Amnesty International, they often get into conflict in defending their economic, social and cultural rights against forest and energy companies that operate in their traditional settlement areas. In 2006 police rioted against Mapuche people. At the time, those arrested said they had been tortured.

To this day, Chile has not fulfilled all of the commitments it entered into when it signed the UN Convention against Torture . The situation in the often overcrowded prisons, which do not meet international standards, is particularly serious. On December 8, 2010, after a series of events, a riot broke out in Santiago's San Miguel Detention Center and a fire broke out. At that time, 1900 people were imprisoned in San Miguel - the prison is designed for 1000. In the Santiago Sur prison, 400 prisoners had to share the premises intended for 76 inmates. Medical care and basic sanitation in the prisons are inadequate. A separation of underage prisoners from adults is not guaranteed.

In 2018, a United Nations commission of inquiry came to the conclusion that children's human rights are being systematically violated in the country's children's and youth homes . More than 865 minors died under state custody between 2005 and 2016.

The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accused Chile in their own reports of tolerating serious human rights violations by the law enforcement and law enforcement authorities in the course of the protests in Chile in 2019/2020 .

Prohibition of abortion

With the entry into force of the first Chilean penal code in 1875, which followed the example of the Spanish penal code of 1870, abortion was punishable in Chile. Mitigation of the sentence was possible if the person concerned had carried out the abortion in order to conceal adultery and thus to protect the honor (of her own person or of her husband). Under the authoritarian military regime of Colonel Carlos Ibáñez , who was critical of the bourgeois-liberal concepts of honor and pursued a left-wing populist line in terms of social policy, the termination of pregnancy in 1931 in cases of criminological, medical and eugenic indication (i.e. after rape, in the event of danger to the life of the mother and when the fetus is not viable). This indication regulation is called “therapeutic abortion” in Chilean legal terminology and political debate. In 1968 the use of the "therapeutic" indications was made easier again under the Christian Democratic President Eduardo Frei Montalva . The indication regulation continued formally during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose government tried unsuccessfully to enshrine an absolute ban on abortion in the Chilean constitution of 1980 . Instead, the protection of unborn life was only included in the constitution drawn up by the military rulers with an indefinite formulation. The absolute ban on abortion was only legally implemented in the course of the political reorganization and the gradual disempowerment of Pinochet towards the end of the 1980s with the support of the Roman Catholic Church and outgoing members of the former military junta. With the abortion law of September 15, 1989, which came into force in 1990, which came into being under pressure from the then Junta chief Admiral José Toribio Merino and with the participation of the then Bishop of Rancagua and later Cardinal Jorge Medina , Chile became one of the few countries in the world in to whom abortions were completely forbidden, even in all conceivable exceptional constellations and even in consideration of the mother's life. The controversial discussion about easing the absolute ban on abortion, at least in medically and ethically indicated exceptional cases, began immediately after the ban came into force and continues to this day. Michelle Bachelet's second term, whose manifesto included lifting the abortion ban, began a legislative process that was completed in 2016. On August 21, 2017, the Chilean Supreme Court lifted the general ban on abortion in Chile and paved the way for the law, which was supported by President Bachelet and the majority of the population and already passed by parliament, which includes abortion in the three "therapeutic" exceptions ( after rape, if the mother's life is at risk and if the fetus is unable to survive). According to UN estimates, between 60,000 and 70,000 illegal abortions are performed annually in Chile.

Social security system

The health system was heavily privatized in the 1970s and 1980s. Chilean workers have to take out private health insurance. The poorer strata of the population are entitled to free treatment in state health centers for certain diseases. Around 80 percent of the population use the state health system and 20 percent seek private treatment. Michelle Bachelet , who had already been responsible for the health department under Ricardo Lagos , initiated some reforms after taking office as president, including free health care for the elderly. In addition, efforts have been made to further improve the medical infrastructure, in which there are sometimes clear differences.

The average life expectancy of Chilean women is 79 years and that of Chileans 72 years (as of 2003).

In 1981, the pension system under José Piñera , a minister in the cabinet of the dictator Augusto Pinochet , from PAYG to the funded system changed. Since then, employees have had to pay 13 percent of their wages as contributions to private pension funds. In addition, 7 percent of their income is deducted for private health insurance, so that social contributions in the new system amount to one fifth of a salary. Only the Chilean military was exempt from Piñera's reform; Soldiers are still entitled to generous state pension benefits. The new pension system was later touted as exemplary by the World Bank, despite internal criticism, and has spread in various forms in Latin America since the early 1990s, with most countries, such as Argentina, introducing a mixed model with partly private and partly state health systems. The Argentine model in particular was later adopted by other countries, particularly in Eastern Europe. Under the Bachelet government , the pension system was reformed again in 2008, also on the recommendation of the World Bank.

State budget

The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 55.74 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 49.52 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 2.5% of GDP .

The national debt was 21.1% of GDP in 2016. The state 's government bonds are rated A + by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (as of 2018). Chile thus has the highest creditworthiness of all countries in South America.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:

Administrative division

Chile is divided into 16 regions, which are numbered with Roman numerals. The number 13 does not exist, the capital region is abbreviated as RM (for Región Metropolitana ). Politically, the regions only play a minor role, since Chile is a pronounced central state . The regions are divided into 56 provinces.

Regions

Regions of Chile
location Remarks
Mapa loc Arica y Parinacota.svg The XV. Region ( Región de Arica y Parinacota ) is the northernmost region of Chile and includes the provinces of Arica and Parinacota . It was split off from the I. Region.
Mapa loc Tarapacá.svg The I. Region ( Región de Tarapacá ) includes the provinces of Iquique and Tamarugal .
Mapa loc Antofagasta.svg The II. Region ( Región de Antofagasta ) includes the provinces of Antofagasta , El Loa and Tocopilla
Mapa loc Atacama.svg The III. Region ( Región de Atacama ) includes the provinces of Chañaral , Copiapó and Huasco .
Mapa loc Coquimbo.svg The IV. Region ( Región de Coquimbo ) comprises the provinces of Choapa , Elqui and Limarí .
Mapa loc Valparaíso.svg The V region ( Región de Valparaíso ) includes the provinces of Los Andes , Marga Marga , Petorca , Quillota , San Antonio , San Felipe de Aconcagua and Valparaíso , as well as the province of Easter Island and the other Chilean overseas territories ( Juan Fernández Islands , Desventuradas Islands ).
Mapa loc Metropolitana.svg The capital region ( RM for Región Metropolitana ) includes the provinces of Chacabuco , Cordillera , Maipo , Melipilla , Santiago and Talagante .
Mapa loc O'Higgins.svg The VI. Region ( Región del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins ) includes the provinces of Cachapoal , Colchagua and Cardenal Caro .
Mapa loc Maule.svg The VII. Region ( Región del Maule ) with the capital Talca comprises the provinces of Cauquenes , Curicó , Linares and Talca .
Mapa loc Ñuble.svg The XVI. Region ( Región de Ñuble ) emerged from the eponymous province Ñuble with the capital Chillán , which was separated from the Bío-Bío region on September 6, 2018 . It includes the newly created provinces of Valle de Itata , Diguillín and Punilla when it was founded .
Mapa loc Biobío.svg The VIII. Region ( Región del Bío-Bío ) comprises the provinces of Arauco , Bío-Bío and Concepción
Mapa loc Araucanía.svg The IX. Region ( Región de la Araucanía ) includes the provinces of Cautín and Malleco .
Mapa loc Los Ríos.svg The XIV. Region ( Región de los Ríos ) has existed since October 2, 2007 and is a split from the X. Region. It includes the provinces of Valdivia and Ranco .
Mapa loc Los Lagos.svg The X. Region ( Región de los Lagos ) comprises the provinces of Chiloé , Llanquihue , Osorno and Palena .
Mapa loc Aisén.svg The XI. Region ( Región de Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo ) includes the provinces of Aisén , Capitán Prat , Coihaique and General Carrera .
Mapa loc Magallanes.svg The XII. Region ( Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena ) includes the provinces of Magallanes , Tierra del Fuego , Última Esperanza and Antártica Chilena .

Below the provincial level are the 346 municipalities ( municipalidad or comuna ). According to Article 61 of the Constitution, these are the organs of local self-government. They are headed by a mayor ( alcalde ) and a city council.

Infrastructure

Road network

See also: National roads in Chile

The road has developed in Chile to the main modes of transport. In 2005 the country had a road and path network totaling 80,651 kilometers, 16,967 kilometers of which were paved. However, due to the expansion measures that have been carried out intensively in recent years, these figures are now obsolete.

The most important transport axis from La Serena to Puerto Montt, which has now been developed as a motorway, is the approximately 3000 km long Ruta 5 - part of the Panamericana . It runs in a north-south direction from the border town of Arica to Quellón in the south.

In 1976 the construction of the Carretera Austral , an ambitious road construction project under dictator Augusto Pinochet, began to connect the regions from Puerto Montt to Tierra del Fuego. The road is still under construction - a continuous road connection between Puerto Montt and Coyhaique or between Coyhaique and Punta Arenas still only exists via neighboring Argentina.

The Panamericana and other toll roads are particularly well developed, especially in the greater Santiago area, where many new city highways such as the Américo Vespucio or Costanera Norte have emerged in recent years ; furthermore, an increasing number of main routes every year. However, many secondary routes, especially in the more remote parts of the country, still consist only of unpaved gravel or dirt roads. The country road network has been modernized and improved to a great extent, particularly in the central parts of the country, since 2005, with routes that have previously been simply expanded being continuously expanded into multi-lane trunk roads. Road maps are not available in bookshops, rental car stations, hotels or petrol stations and must be obtained in advance when planning your trip.

Local and long-distance transport with buses and taxis

Public transport buses in the capital

In the greater Santiago area, local public transport ( Transantiago ) is operated by private companies, but under strong state control. With the system that was changed a few years ago, there are now fixed stops at which bus drivers are obliged to stop. In contrast to the German system, however, there are no precise timetables, but rather clock rates that depend on the traffic conditions. In Santiago, prepaid cards are often used to pay for buses instead of cash because of the risk of theft.

In the provinces

The local bus network in the provinces is completely privately owned and quite confusing. In the case of urban buses ( Micro ), the route should be known beforehand, because at most of the bus stops there is no information about the bus routes. You can get them at the local bus station , where the long-distance buses leave, or at the tourist information centers in central places. Passers-by and drivers are also often helpful and willing to provide information, but often also little informed. Those interested in a ride signal to the arriving bus driver that they wish to board by hand signals on the edge of the lane. There is a button for a stop request for passengers who want to get off, or they can report to the conductors who go through the car and sell and check the tickets. The buses are seated like coaches ( Pullman benches ), there are hardly any European type city ​​buses . Small coaches for 18 or 36 people are often used as micro .

Collective taxes

Shared taxis on various lines in
Talca city ​​center

Collective taxis ( colectivos ) play an important role in local public transport. They operate on fixed routes and pick up and drop off passengers at any point along the route. In the center of the village there are usually one or more nodes where collective taxis of all lines constantly arrive and where you can inquire about the routes and get into the appropriate car. The collective taxes are ordinary passenger cars (not minibuses as in other countries), which do not differ in color from normal taxis, but can only be recognized by license plates (e.g. the line number on the roof). The fare (usually a flat rate regardless of the rideshare route or destination) is paid to the driver when boarding or shortly after the start of the journey, who lets other people get on until the car is fully occupied. Luggage (such as shopping bags) can be stored in the trunk like a taxi, provided there is still space. The endpoints of the lines at which the driver turns and drives back to the city center are usually at prominent points in the suburbs or residential areas.

Taxis

Ordinary taxi traffic is also important, especially in the capital and larger metropolises. Fares are relatively affordable. Traditionally, the taxis are recognizable by their color in the street scene and can be stopped or called anywhere. In the capital in particular, there are also more and more radio taxis, which can only be distinguished from private cars by their number plates and which only pick up their passengers if they order by telephone. Since illegal taxi companies also try to earn money with such private trips and sometimes cooperate with criminal networks, it is strictly advised not to get into taxis that are not clearly marked on the open route without pre-booking by telephone, even if the driver invites them and especially advertises reasonable prices. Otherwise, public transport in Chile can usually be used safely if the current safety recommendations are observed. Uber drivers work in a legal gray area in Chile and are combated by both the authorities and competing taxi companies.

Long-distance bus transport

Long-distance bus on the Talca París & Londres line at the entrance to Talca bus station

The most common way of getting to other cities and regions by public transport is day and night travel by intercity bus . There are different providers, some with a regional focus, and different price and comfort categories. These classes range from standard seats to recumbent buses ( Bus Cama ), which are designed for overnight trips and are equipped with height-adjustable recliners in the style of a business class airplane. The vehicle fleets of many companies are ultra-modern, older vehicles can only be found at small businesses or low-cost providers. Most of the larger companies offer a nationwide route network or cooperate with partner companies in regions that they do not serve themselves. Since 2008, bus operators have switched to equipping all buses with LED speed indicators that are constantly visible from the outside and inside in order to clearly document compliance with the speed limits. The drivers are always on the move in pairs, and there is often a uniformed luggage guy who also checks the tickets. All cities, including small towns, have a bus station ( terminal de buses ) with a counter hall, shopping street, restaurants, market-like lobbies and partly covered bus platforms . The trips often take a long time, and there are usually no breaks apart from the scheduled stops. Drinks and food can be brought on board or purchased, local traders often get on in places or offer their goods for sale at the stations. The ticket sales at the counters and over the Internet work smoothly; As a rule, timetables are reliably adhered to, and replacement buses are used in the event of delays.

railroad

Railways in Chile 1909

The oldest railway in Chile, which is also regarded as the first on the South American mainland, is the railway from the port of Caldera to Copiapó , which began in May 1850 and was completed on January 2, 1852 . The first line of the state railways from Valparaíso to Santiago de Chile was put into operation on September 15, 1865.

With the saltpeter boom, the rail network in northern Chile, at that time still part of Peru and Bolivia, was greatly expanded from 1871 onwards. One of the first routes led from La Noria to Iquique . The lines were laid directly at the saltpeter mines, so that at the end of the 19th century large parts of the Tarapacá, Antofagasta and Atacama regions were accessible by rail. At the same time, the routes to the major port cities in central Chile, such as San Antonio and Talcahuano, were expanded .

In 1909, the railroad network of Chile had a circumference of 5,675 km, of which 2,618 km were state railways and 3,057 km were private railways, a further 1,393 km were state railways under construction. Several private railways were also under construction and in preparation.

Today the Chilean rail network is operated by the state railway company EFE . In addition, a subsidiary of the state railway company operates the S-Bahn network in Valparaíso.

Freight and passenger traffic, real estate assets and workforce are managed by various subsidiaries. The railway network can not be operated continuously due to different track gauges and therefore consists of two different sub-networks:

  • South of Santiago there is a 3743-kilometer broad-gauge network (gauge 1676 millimeters), 1653 kilometers of which are electrically operated. Between Santiago and Chillán , the railway network is also used for passenger transport.
  • To the north of Santiago there is a 2923 km long meter gauge network , 40 km of which are electrically operated. There is no passenger traffic on this meter-gauge network.
Metro de Santiago logo

Passenger rail transport has been in decline for many decades and is hardly used, which is due to the strong competition from bus companies, the poor quality of the wagons and the few routes served. There are efforts to transport more people by rail again. Investments were made in more modern wagons and railcars, stations were renovated or newly built ( Puerto Montt received a new central station on the outskirts in 2006) and the route between Temuco and Puerto Montt was restored. However, the railway company EFE was unable to meet its ambitious goals and has to contend with considerable technical and organizational problems. The plans to reconnect Valdivia to the route network have also been put on hold .

Local trains, light rail and metro

In the capital Santiago de Chile there is a subway network ( Metro de Santiago ), the first section of which was opened in 1975. After numerous route openings and extensions, the subway network comprised 136 stations at the beginning of 2019 and had reached a length of more than 140 km. A light rail system has been in operation in the Valparaiso agglomeration since 2005 , and the so-called Biotrén has been operating in the Concepción area since 1999 .

Ports

Panorama of the port of San Antonio (Chile)

A large part of Chile's imports and exports is handled via large seaports. The main export goods are copper , iron , pulp and agricultural products. Many ports have modern container terminals.

There are important ports in Arica , Iquique , Antofagasta , Chañaral , Coquimbo , Valparaíso , San Antonio , Talcahuano , Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas .

Ferry connections play an important role in southern Chile in particular, as the road connections are difficult to implement due to the many fjords and islands.

The most important bases of the Chilean Navy are Valparaíso and Talcahuano.

Before the Panama Canal was built , Valparaíso and Punta Arenas were the most important ports for both Pacific trade and via the Strait of Magellan, which provided direct access to the Atlantic to Europe. In 1840 the Pacific Steam Navigation Company established the first steamship line in South America from Valparaíso to Callao in Peru .

Airports / aviation

Due to the great distances, air traffic plays an important role. The largest airports are in Santiago de Chile , Puerto Montt , Concepción , Temuco , Iquique , Antofagasta and Punta Arenas . The largest airport is Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez Airport (5,650,000 passengers) in Santiago, which is being expanded by a large international terminal and is expected to have a passenger capacity of more than 30 million people annually by 2020. There are also many small regional airports spread across the country, which are connected to one another by the two most important Chilean airlines LATAM Airlines and Sky Airline . Some regional airports also offer direct connections to neighboring countries. Easter Island, which belongs to Chile, is served by Santiago de Chile and Lima in Peru.

The first powered flight in Chile took place on August 21, 1910, the pilot's name was César Copetta Brosio. In particular, Dagoberto Godoy , who was the first to fly over the Andes in 1918, and José Luis Sánchez Besa , a Chilean flying boat pioneer , became famous . The start of the air mail transport was from 1 January 1919 by Santiago de Chile to Valparaíso by the pilot Clodomiro Figueroa with a Morane-Saulnier MS-35 performed.

In 1929, Commodore Arturo Merino Benítez founded several local airlines, which from 1932 formed the Línea Aérea Nacional (LAN), which acted as the national airline of Chile. This was privatized in 1989 and merged with the Chilean-Brazilian airline LATAM Airlines in 2012. LAN, or today LATAM, is one of the three largest airlines in Latin America due to its expansive business policy, with branches in Peru ( LATAM Airlines Perú ), Argentina ( LATAM Airlines Argentina ) and Ecuador ( LATAM Airlines Ecuador ). The second Chilean airline Ladeco was bought by LAN in the early 1990s.

Postal services

The postal system was introduced by the Spaniards as early as 1748, and Chilean postage stamps began in 1853 ( see : Chilean Postal History ).

telecommunications

In 1851 the Englishman William Wheelwright was commissioned by the Pacific Steam Navigation Company to build a telegraph line. After initial tests, the first message was sent from Valparaíso to Santiago on June 21, 1852 . Regular operations began in April 1853. Then one began with the expansion of the telegraph lines along the railway lines. The first routes from Santiago led to Valparaíso and Talca and were completely completed in 1857. By 1892 the whole country could be reached by telegraph. Tierra del Fuego was connected via a submarine cable .

The first telephones were introduced in Valparaíso in 1880. In 1930 the telephone company Compañía de Teléfonos de Chile CTC was formed , which was later taken over by the Spanish Telefónica . The radio operation began with Radio Chilena in Santiago 1,922th

The second large telecommunications group in Chile is ENTEL (Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones SA de Chile) , the largest provider of Internet and mobile communications services in Chile. ENTEL, Telefonica and other, in some cases, local providers now operate a nearly area-wide network for mobile telephony.

In 2016, 77.8 percent of the population used the Internet. The digital infrastructure is considered to be the best in Latin America.

economy

As a counterpoint to the socialist concept of Salvador Allende , the Chilean economy under Augusto Pinochet was consistently rebuilt according to the maxim of the Chicago Boys according to free-market and economically liberal aspects. State-owned companies were largely privatized both during and after Pinochet , but Allende's nationalized copper mines, which have been under direct military control since Pinochet, are still state-owned. Even if the center-left governments in power after Pinochet tried to cushion social hardship, Chile is still one of the countries with the greatest social imbalances.

The Chilean economy showed above-average growth rates between 1988 and 1998. The Asian and Brazilian crises of 1997/98 led to a recession, but since 2000 the economy has been growing again with growth rates of between 2.5 percent and 6 percent.

In the annual corruption index of Transparency International, Chile permanently occupies one of the top places, is therefore considered to be relatively free of corruption and thus also leaves European countries such as Belgium, France and Spain behind. In 2010, Chile was in 21st place. In a Latin American comparison, only Uruguay comes close with 24th place, further behind are Brazil and Cuba in 69th place, Colombia and Peru 78, Mexico 98, Argentina 105, Bolivia 110, Ecuador 127, Paraguay 146 and Venezuela in 164th place.

In a ranking of the most business-friendly countries in the world, which was compiled by the World Bank subsidiary International Finance Corporation , Chile landed in 2005 in 25th place as the best Latin American country. According to this study, Germany ranks 19th, Colombia, the second best South American country, 66th.

In the annual globalization index of the consulting firm AT Kearney and the journal Foreign Policy, Chile was ranked 43rd out of a total of 72 countries in 2007. Compared to 2006, Chile lost the leading position among the Latin American countries to Panama , with Venezuela in last place . In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Chile ranks 33rd out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018).

The unemployment rate in 2004 was 7.8 percent. The poverty rate in 2003 was 18.8 percent and the extreme poverty rate 4.7 percent of the population. The poverty rate has more than halved since 1987, the extreme poverty is only about 30 percent of the value of 1987. The new democratic government of Chile introduced the program "Chile Solidario", so that the 250,000 poorest families in the country are looked after by state aid workers and financially supported.

The inflation rate averages between 2 percent and 4 percent. It has not exceeded the five percent mark since 1998. In 2004 it was 2.4 percent and in 2006 it was given as 2.6 percent.

The gross national product rose in 2016 by 1.6 percent to 247.0 billion US dollars , which corresponds to about 7146 US dollars per inhabitant. Chile has the highest per capita income and the highest export volume per inhabitant of the South American countries.

Economic sectors

The service sector has the largest share of value added with 57 percent, followed by the production sector and agriculture with 34 percent and 9 percent respectively (as of 2001).

Chuquicamata , the largest copper mine in the world

Chile is one of the leading economic nations in Latin America and one of the largest producers of raw materials. It has the largest known copper deposits in the world (around 40 percent). The world's largest copper mines, Chuquicamata (above ground) and El Teniente (below ground), are located in Chile and are exploited by the state-owned Codelco group . The largest copper mine in terms of production volume is Escondida (surface), which is operated by the private company Minera Escondida . Various precious metals and above all saltpetre led Chile to wealth as early as the 19th century. One of the largest gold mines in the world is currently being planned with the Pascua Lama project , but it is feared that it will cause major environmental damage. In addition, Chile is also the largest lithium producer in the world.

In addition, forestry , fishing and agriculture are practiced today . Only about 7 percent of the land area is used for agriculture. These areas are mainly located in the central valley. In the desert-like north of Chile, agriculture is largely limited to oases. Livestock farming is mainly located in central Chile and the northern part of southern Chile. Chile is the only country in South America where sugar beet is grown. Viticulture , which has made Chile the number one wine exporter in South America, deserves a special mention .

Foreign trade

Chile's economy depends heavily on exports. In 2004 the export share was 34 percent of the gross national product, which corresponds pretty much to that of Germany. Copper exports are particularly important for the Chilean economy . At the moment, other export goods are rising faster than copper and minerals. In 1975 this was still 30 percent, today it is around 60 percent. These export groups include forest and wood products, fresh fruit, wine and food, salmon , processed food, fish meal and seafood . In 2004 the trade balance rose by 9 billion US dollars , much more than in 2003. With the sharp rise in raw material prices, exports exploded from 20.4 (2003) to 32.1 in 2004 and 39.4 billion US dollars a year 2005. Chile ousted Norway in 2005 as the world's largest salmon producer.

Container terminal at the
Valparaíso port of entry and exit

With 28 percent, the PR China is the largest single export market in Chile, with the USA in second place. The country's other main trading partners are Brazil and Argentina , with which Chile is associated via Mercosur . To date, however, Chile has not joined Mercosur as a full member, as this would deprive the country of the opportunity to conclude independent trade agreements with other countries and it is also feared that the country would expose itself to the risk of economic membership if fully acceded Fluctuations in its neighbors to be hit harder The compromise of the association gave Chile the opportunity to conclude its own free trade agreements with Japan , the EU and NAFTA . Chile also signed a free trade agreement with the People's Republic of China in 2005 and one with Brunei , New Zealand and Singapore ( P4 Agreement ) in 2006 . Because of this, the Chilean economy is now one of the most open in the world.

Economic indicators

The key economic indicators of gross domestic product , inflation , budget balance and foreign trade have developed as follows in recent years:

Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real
in% compared to the previous year
year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Change in% yoy 4.9 3.5 −1.6 5.8 6.1 5.3 4.0 1.9 2.3 1.3 1.5
Source: World Bank
Development of GDP (nominal)
absolute (in billion US dollars) per inhabitant (in thousands of US dollars)
year 2015 2016 2017 year 2015 2016 2017
GDP in billions of US dollars 244 250 277 GDP per inhabitant (in thousands of US $) 13.7 14.0 15.3
Source: World Bank
Development of the inflation rate Development of the budget balance
in% compared to the previous year in% of GDP
("minus" means deficit in the national budget)
year 2015 2016 2017 year 2015 2016 2017
inflation rate 3.8 3.2 ~ 2.8 Budget balance −2.3 −2.5 ~ −2.6
Source: GTAI ~ = estimated
Main trading partner (2016)
Import (in%) of Export (in%) to
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 24.1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 28.5
United StatesUnited States United States 17.4 United StatesUnited States United States 11.5
BrazilBrazil Brazil 8.0 JapanJapan Japan 8.6
ArgentinaArgentina Argentina 4.2 Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 6.9
GermanyGermany Germany 3.8 BrazilBrazil Brazil 4.9
MexicoMexico Mexico 3.4 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 2.7
JapanJapan Japan 3.4 PeruPeru Peru 2.5
other countries 35.7 other countries 31.8
Source: GTAI
Main products of foreign trade (2005)
Export goods (share in%) Imported goods (share in%)
Industrial goods 34.0 Industrial goods 56.2
copper 45.1 Consumer goods 14.1
other mining products 10.6 Capital goods 21.7
Agriculture and fishing 6.1
Source: bfai
Development of foreign trade
in billion US dollars and its year-on-year change in%
2014 2015 2016
Billion dollars % yoy Billion dollars % yoy Billion dollars % year-on-year
import 72.3 -8.6 63.0 -12.9 58.8 -6.7
export 76.6 -0.1 63.4 17.3 59.9 -5.5
balance +4.3 +0.4 +1.1
Source: GTAI

Energy industry

Electricity supply

In 2012 Chile was in 41st place in the world for annual generation with 66.89 billion kWh and 42nd place in the world for installed capacity with 18,600 MW. A study by the IEA predicts an increase in consumption to 100 billion kWh by 2020.

Currently (as of June 2016) there is no nationwide network in Chile , but two independent network systems, the Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) for the center and the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING) for the north of the country. The two networks are to be synchronized with each other by 2017. In addition, there are various island networks in the south of the country . There is a connection between SING and the Sistema Argentino de Interconexión in Argentina: a 345 kV line connects Mejillones in Chile with Cobos in the Argentine province of Salta .

Traditionally, electricity generation in Chile is largely based on hydropower . The hydropower plants are practically exclusively in the area of ​​the SIC. A pronounced drought caused by El Niño led to power cuts in the capital Santiago de Chile from November 1998 to April 1999 . Thereupon the government decided to reduce the dependence on hydropower and to diversify the generation of electricity through combined cycle power plants . The natural gas was delivered through pipelines from Argentina. In 2004, however, the government of Néstor Kirchner unexpectedly reduced gas deliveries, which caused another crisis in Chile. As a result of this experience, Chile has since increased its reliance on coal for power generation. In addition, gas terminals were built for the import of LNG , one in Mejillones to supply the gas-fired power plants in the SING and one in Quintero for the SIC. A further expansion of hydropower is controversial for ecological reasons (see HidroAysén ).

Attractions

Easter Island , Moais at Rano-Raraku

Due to the great length of the country, Chile has a wide variety of landscapes. The Atacama Desert dominates in the north . The east is shaped by the Andes . Central Chile is influenced by the Mediterranean climate . The Little South is characterized by forests and beautiful landscapes, which are often referred to as Chilean Switzerland . From region XI. there are already large glacier areas. The largest glacier in South America is the Campo de Hielo Sur . The barren landscape of Patagonia begins here . The climate is harsh and rainy.

The oceanic islands, such as Easter Island and the Juan Fernández Islands, offer a completely different world . Easter Island is very interesting, especially from an archaeological point of view.

Tierra del Fuego often serves as a starting point for the Chilean Antarctica .

National parks in Chile

Parque Vilches east of Talca

Chile has a very large number of national parks and national reserves, these are managed by the Chilean forest authority CONAF .

The most famous national parks, the National Park Conguillio, the Torres del Paine National Park , the National Park Lauca , the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park and the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island.

In the province of Palena near Chaitén is the Parque Pumalín, which was built with private funds and covers over 3000 square kilometers . It was built by the American Douglas Tompkins through large land purchases from the mid-1990s. The land was later given to the non-profit Fundación Pumalin . The park is particularly interesting for eco-tourism.

Biosphere Reserves in Chile

The UNESCO declared a total of eight areas in Chile to biosphere reserves .

World cultural heritage / world natural heritage of UNESCO in Chile

The UNESCO declared so far three places in Chile to the World Heritage Site : In 2000, the Chiloé National Park and part of the wooden churches located there, in 2003, the historic district of the port city of Valparaiso and in 2005 the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

The Torres del Paine National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978 and the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island in 1995.

Tulor (settlement of the Atacameños ,
approx. 800 BC - 1100 AD)

Museums and historical places

Santiago de Chile , Concepción (Chile) and Valparaíso offer the greatest variety of museums and historical places. There are many monuments all over the country that were built long before the Spanish colonization.

Culture

There are major differences between the culture in the cities and in the country. In the country folklore plays an important role with traditional dances like the national dance Cueca . The folk culture is strongly influenced by Spanish and Araucanians . Payadores are folk singers whose songs are mostly about love and dreams. Political songs were forbidden to them during the Pinochet dictatorship . The handicrafts in the country are characterized by Indian influences. Above all, weaving and pottery works as well as carvings are produced . The Huasos , a kind of Chilean cowboys or gauchos, play an important role in the countryside . You are at almost all folklore festivals and especially at the Chilean rodeo . The city culture is more cosmopolitan .

In a representative survey carried out in 2008, almost 50 percent of Chileans said they never or almost never read. Books are very expensive in Chile because the print runs are very small. The book market has only slowly recovered from the cultural paralysis under the military dictatorship.

Culinary specialties and eating habits

Chilean cazuela : freshly slaughtered chicken, cooked with potatoes, corn on the cob, pumpkin and other vegetables; with beetroot , green salad , young beans , parsley , coriander and pebre as well as homemade bread and Chilean red wine.
Fried Chilean empanada
Cooked humita

Chilean cuisine is by no means an offshoot of Spanish cuisine, as many suspect. Rather, there is a multitude of influences - in many cases also from German immigrants. For example, German terms such as “Kuchen” ( kuchen , pronunciation as in German) or “Apfelstrudel” ( estrudel ) can also be found in the vocabulary of Chilean confectionery . Berliners (mostly with a pudding filling) are common under the name Berlines . The Christstollen as a Christmas biscuit is also known (under the name pan de pascua ) and is considered a Chilean specialty in South America; likewise the pork head jelly ( queso de cabeza ), tartare ( tártaro de carne ) or the bouillabaisse- like Chilean fish soup Paila marina . The typical Chilean sauerkraut (called Chucrú , derived from the French Choucroute ), the preference for curd-like cream cheese preparations and the very strong brewing tradition, especially in the south , can also be traced back to Central European influences . Many beers are brewed in accordance with the German purity law and hops imported from German growing areas are often used.

Due to the sunny conditions in central and northern Chile and the volcanic soils, the country is very suitable for growing crops and fruit types , which are offered in great variety in Chile's markets. In Chile, one of the potatoes' countries of origin, there are also many different types of table potatoes. Visiting the market at least once a week and using fresh vegetables and other ingredients in the kitchen still plays a major role for the majority of Chilean housewives and the kitchen mamsells who are often found in affluent households .

In addition to a wide range of fish and seafood , chicken is very popular in Chile . As in neighboring Argentina, grilled meat, a so-called asado , is a traditional meal for social occasions. In addition to beef and pork, spicy paprika sausages ( longanizas ) are mainly used. The meat is often soaked in beer for a few hours before grilling to increase its tenderness.

The national dishes include the Chilean empanada , which are dumplings filled with different fillings (e.g. with beef, chicken, seafood or cheese) that can either be baked in the oven or fried in frying fat. The cazuela is a hearty one-pot dish , for which chicken or beef, corn on the cob ( choclos ), pumpkin and other vegetables are used. As Humitas a hominy is called, which is cooked in corn leaves or grilled and eaten sweet or salty. Pebre is an oil-lemon sauce made from hot paprika ( Ají ), finely chopped onions and herbs, which is mainly served as a condiment to meat, but also to other dishes. Side dishes prepared with dried kelp, called cochayuyo (these are brown algae of the Durvillaea antarctica species ) are also popular . The relatively tasteless algae is cut into small pieces and cooked mixed with onions, various spices and herbs and possibly legumes or other vegetables. Also typical is the so-called "roasted flour" ( harina tostada ), obtained from heated and then ground wheat , which can be processed into a viscous mixture with water and sugar, possibly also melon juice or wine, the ulpo , which is a fortifying refreshment drink is consumed.

The classic Chilean fast food is created in the 1950s Completo , a kind of hot dog , which with plenty Avocadomus ( Palta ) and sauerkraut or coleslaw ( Chucrú handed) and chili paste ( salsa de aji chileno sweet mild) and the Chilean mustard eaten becomes. Also typically Chilean are the sandwiches ( sánguches ), which are often richly topped with roasted meat or other ingredients, and are available to take away from food stalls, snack bars or in restaurants almost everywhere in the cities.

Cochayuyo in the market

One of the peculiarities of the meal sequence in Chile is that in addition to breakfast ( desayuno ) and lunch ( almuerzo ), a snack is also served in the early evening, with tea always being drunk and the dinner ( comida ), which is usually taken very late can replace. This snack is tomar once called (literally "Elf occupy"). This tradition, which is peculiar to Chile, is often traced back to English customs (such as " five o'clock tea " or the morning tea called "Elevenses" in England). According to a popular and humorous explanation, the expression should go back to the fact that the Spanish word aguardiente ( schnapps ) has exactly eleven ( once ) letters. At the time of an alcohol ban in Chile, people would have ordered Once and had schnapps served in a cup. Even if the exact origin of the name can no longer be ascertained with absolute certainty, a derivation from the Catholic liturgical hour counting , which was common in Catholic countries such as Spain, Italy and Chile well into the 19th century: The eleventh The hour of the church's daily schedule corresponds exactly to the traditional “tea time” at 5 pm. Regardless of this, the “Once” in Chile is often postponed until 7.30 p.m., especially in summer.

The wine in Chile is of very good quality and has been exported to the world market with great success for many years. Grape varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are widespread in the red wine segment and are produced at different quality levels. An exclusive grape variety is the Carménère , a particularly sensitive variety of exceptional quality that is now practically only grown in Chile (since it became extinct in France due to phylloxera ).

literature

Pablo Neruda

Isabel Allende (* 1942) is probably the best-known contemporary writer in Chile. Her novels such as The Haunted House , Fortuna's Daughter or The Infinite Plan have been published worldwide. Many of her books are strongly autobiographical. She is the niece of former President Salvador Allende .

Roberto Bolaño (1953–2003), author of surrealist poetry and prose, went into exile after the 1973 military coup. He has won many literary prizes and died in Barcelona .

Jorge Edwards (* 1931) is the recipient of the Cervantes Prize . His work is hardly known in Germany. Only nine years after its publication did his novel Der Ursprung der Welt appear in German translation in 2005.

Alberto Blest Gana (1830–1920) wrote the first Chilean novel ( Martín Rivas , 1862), a realistic and socially critical family story . It has been filmed five times since 1925 and has also been adapted for theater and as a musical. The author's works are still an important part of school reading in Chile.

Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957), poet and Nobel Prize winner in 1945, wrote in her poems about love, death and hope after her lover Romelio Ureta committed suicide. She later worked in the diplomatic service of Chile.

The avant-garde poet Vicente Huidobro (1893–1947) founded the modernist movement in Chile with his volume of poems Ecos de Alma (1911) . He fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

Pablo Neruda (1904–1973) was a world-famous poet, writer and Nobel Prize winner in 1971. He wrote a lot of social and political poetry and worked as an ambassador to France for the government of Salvador Allende. He died of cancer shortly after the 1973 military coup. His funeral became the first public demonstration against the military regime.

Luis Sepúlveda (* 1949) was arrested several times under Pinochet and had to go into exile. The “Diary of a Sentimental Killer” is one of his works that are known in Germany.

Also Antonio Skármeta (* 1940), writer and supporter of Salvador Allende, left the country after the military coup 1973rd He wrote novels and short stories, often dealing with the military dictatorship. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Chilean ambassador in Berlin, where he had lived during his exile.

music

The Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile was founded in 1941 and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago (the Municipal and Opera Orchestra of Santiago) was founded in 1955 .

The works of the composer Carlos Isamitt (1887–1974) are influenced by Chilean folk music .

Claudio Arrau (1903–1991), born in Chillán, was the most important Chilean pianist and one of the most important musical personalities of the post-war period. His interpretation of the works of Beethoven, Schumann and many other composers of the classical repertoire set standards to this day.

Violeta Parra (1917–1967) founded the “ Nueva canción Chilena ”. Starting in Chile, this socially critical artistic movement (“New Song”) reached widespread use in Latin America, Portugal and Spain until the 1980s. The singer grew up in poverty, composed her own folklore songs at an early age and began collecting and documenting traditional songs in the 1950s. Her own works influenced by this had a more politically and socially critical character. In addition to music, she wrote, painted, wove and created sculptures. Many Chilean and international artists such as Mercedes Sosa and Joan Baez have interpreted their works; her best known song is Gracias a la vida .

Víctor Jara (1932–1973) was a political singer and is also one of the great representatives of the "Nueva canción". He supported Salvador Allende and was tortured and killed during the 1973 military coup.

The groups Illapu , Inti Illimani and Quilapayún made the music of the “Nueva Canción Chilena” world famous. After the military coup they had to spend many years in exile and have constantly expanded their musical spectrum.

Movie

Modern Chilean films often deal with the period of the military dictatorship from 1973 to 1989. The most famous directors include Andrés Wood and Miguel Littín .

Carmen Castillo (* 1945) is a Chilean documentary filmmaker . In 1979 , one day in October in Santiago de Chile, she wrote a book about her underground life after the military coup. Orlando Lübbert (* 1945) and Andrés Wood (* 1965) deal with humorous social dramas, Cristián Galaz (* 1958) shows the everyday relationships between Chileans. Alejandro Jodorowsky is an actor, writer and director of a number of surrealist films, including El Topo and Montana Sacra - The Sacred Mountain .

Visual arts

Ramón Subercaseaux: The Docks of Valparaíso (1884)

The very popular and with 4000 pictures extremely productive Juan Francisco González (1853–1933), his pupil Joaquín Fabres (1864–1914) and Pablo Burchard Eggeling (1875–1964), who was influenced by the style of Pierre Bonnard , broke away from academism and founded the Chilean impressionism. Ramón Subercaseaux (1854–1936), who was influenced by Cézanne , is one of its representatives .

Roberto Matta (1911–2002) was a world-famous surrealist painter of the 20th century. At times he lived in Paris and was friends with Salvador Dalí and Federico Garcia Lorca . The Expressionists include Israel Roa (1909–2002). Ximena Cristi (* 1920) is influenced by Matisse and Bonnard . Both belonged to the generation of the 40s . Guillermo Núñez (* 1930) represented the abstract expressionism of the 1960s .

Gracia Barrios: picture with black horse (wall painting in the Valparaiso open-air museum)

The painter and graphic artist Nemesio Antúnez (1918–1993) founded “Werkstatt 99” ( taller 99 ), which paved the way for modern printmaking. From 1973 to 1984 he lived in exile. The painter Mario Carreño Morales, born in Cuba in 1913, painted sprawling forms in warm colors; he is considered one of the most important Latin American painters and died in Santiago de Chile in 1999.

The works of the Catalan- born, also politically very active representative of the Informel, José Balmes (1927–2016), who went into exile in Chile in 1939 and in France in 1973, only to return to Chile in 1986, have received numerous international awards . Gracia Barrios (1917–2020), a representative of realismo informal , who also temporarily emigrated to France after the 1973 coup, was best known for her everyday scenes and wall paintings. Mario Toral (* 1934) takes up pre-Columbian forms in his work.

Mario Toral: On the beach of the yellow house

In recent Chilean painting, figurative representations dominate, with a remarkable number of women being active. Roser Bru (* 1923), who was born in Catalonia and emigrated to France and then to Chile during the Spanish Civil War, the feminist painter Carmen Aldunate (* 1940) and Natalia Barbarovic (* 1966) represent a neorealist style . The crises of democracy and the persecution by the dictatorship are reflected in Brus' pictures. Her publicly exhibited picture Ejecución ("Execution") was a symbol of resistance against the Pinochet regime. Samy Benmayor (* 1956) is a representative of neo-expressionism and co-founder of the school of the 80s .

Sports

The 1962 World Cup took place in Chile. The Chilean national soccer team achieved a respectable third place; that is the best result at a world championship. Chile has qualified for the World Cup eight times so far and, according to this criterion, is fourth in South America behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The national team also won the Copa América 2015 , which was played in their own country, and the Copa América Centenario 2016 in the USA. National football legends include Ivan Zamorano , Marcelo Salas and, undisputedly at the top, Elías Figueroa , the first (and only next to Zico ) player in America to win the title of best player on the continent three times. Figueroa is now considered one of the best defenders of the last century. Mention should also be made of Matías Fernández , South American Footballer of the Year 2006, and David Arellano , who is considered to be the inventor of the fallback ( la chilena in Spanish ). The most famous Chilean football players are currently Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal .

In addition to football, tennis , equestrian sports (especially the Chilean rodeo ) and sailing play an important role. In tennis doubles, Nicolás Massú and his partner Fernando González won the first ever Olympic gold for Chile at the 2004 Summer Olympics . One day later, Massú crowned his participation in the Olympics with victory in the men's singles, González won the bronze medal. One of the great sports legends in Chile is Marcelo Ríos , who was the first Spanish-speaking tennis player to reach the top of the world rankings, temporarily replacing Pete Sampras . In sailing, Breitling category, Chilean teams regularly took the first three places in prestigious races such as the Copa del Rey.

On May 3, 2008, the Chilean national polo team defeated the reigning world champion Brazil in the World Cup final in Mexico City and became world champion in this discipline for the first time.

In rowing ( two without a helmsman ) Christian Yantani and Miguel Angel Cerda became world champions in Seville in 2002 . In 2005 Cerda was runner-up in Japan with Felipe Leal and world champion in Switzerland .

Carlo de Gavardo is two-time motorcycle rally world champion.

media

The most important source of information for the Chilean people is television. The most important television channels are the state TVN program, Canal 13 of the Catholic University of Católica and private channels such as Megavisión and Chilevisión . The programs of the television stations are mainly geared towards entertainment, that is to say on shows, American films and television series, the popular "Teleseries" ( telenovelas , mostly from our own production) and on sports reporting . Political broadcasts, nature documentaries and cultural programs, on the other hand, are rather few and far between, but often of good quality. The messages don't start until 9 p.m. and last about an hour.

In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Chile ranked 33rd out of 180 countries. After Uruguay, Chile was the second best in South America. The press landscape is largely dominated by two groups, the Mercurio and the COPESA group, after a number of publications from the political center-left spectrum were unable to stay on the market after the decline in enthusiasm for politics at the time of speech democratization. The two respective "flagships" of the press groups are El Mercurio and La Tercera . The communist party's house paper, El Siglo , as well as the left-wing but non-party-affiliated magazine Punto Final are among the colorful birds that have become rare in the press landscape .

Important weekly magazines are Ercilla and Qué Pasa . There is also the German-language weekly newspaper Cóndor .

public holidays

date Spanish name German name Remarks
January 1st Año Nuevo New Year
March April Viernes Santo Good Friday moving holiday
March April Sábado Santo Holy Saturday moving holiday
1st of May Día del Trabajo Labor Day
May 21 Día de las Glorias Navales Navy Day
June 29th San Pedro y San Pablo Saint Peter and Paul will be moved to the previous Monday
16th of July Día de la Virgen del Carmen Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Patroness of the fishermen
15th of August Asuncion de la Virgen Assumption Day
September 18 Primera Junta Nacional de Gobierno National holiday Independence Day (1810)
September 19th Día del Ejército Day of the Army
October 12th Día del Descubrimiento de Dos Mundos Columbus day will be moved to the previous Monday
October 31 Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes Reformation day
November 1st Día de Todos los Santos All Saints Day
December 8th Inmaculada Concepción Immaculate conception
25 December Navidad Christmas

See also

Portal: Chile  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Chile

literature

  • Karl F. Appl: The history of the Protestant churches in Chile. Erlanger Verlag for Mission and Ecumenism, Neuendettelsau 2006, ISBN 3-87214-616-5 .
  • Karla Berndt, Birgit Heitfeld: The Chilean cuisine. Umschau, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse 2006, ISBN 3-86528-266-0 .
  • Robert N. Burr: By Reason or Force. Chile and the Balancing of Power in South America 1830-1905. University of California Press, Berkeley 1974, ISBN 0-520-02629-2 .
  • Simon Collier, William F. Sater: A History of Chile, 1808-2002. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2004, ISBN 0-521-82749-3 .
  • Dirk Heckmann: Chile & Antarctica & Easter Island. OPS, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-930487-58-6 .
  • Peter Imbusch (Ed.): Chile today: politics, economy, culture. Vervuert, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-89354-590-5 .
  • Boris Schöppner: aftershocks. Chile between Pinochet and the future. Reports and interviews. Nevertheless publishing cooperative, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-86569-920-6 .
  • Günter Wessel: The Allendes: with burning patience for a better world. Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 2004, ISBN 3-404-61537-9 .
  • Sara Wheeler : On the move in a narrow country. Heyne, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-453-08319-9 .
  • Oliver Zöllner: Generating Samples of Diasporic Minority Populations. A Chilean Example. In: Oliver Zöllner (Ed.): Targeting International Audiences. CIBAR, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-932872-12-6 , pp. 138-149. (Web version of the article)
  • Daniel Stahl: Report of the Chilean Truth Commission , in: Sources for the history of human rights, published by the Working Group on Human Rights in the 20th Century, May 2015, accessed on January 11, 2017.

Web links

Wiktionary: Chile  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Chile  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Chile  - Sources and full texts
Wikivoyage: Chile  - Travel Guide
Wikimedia Atlas: Chile  - geographical and historical maps

Individual evidence

  1. Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas : Compendio estadístico 2006. (PDF) October 2006, accessed on November 29, 2007 .
  2. This number includes the area of Easter Island and the Juan Fernández Islands . In addition, Chile claims an area of ​​"1,250,257.6 km² in Antarctica between 53 ° and 90 ° west.
  3. a b c Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (INE): Población País y Regiones - Actualización 2002–2012 Proyección 2013–2020. (XLSX) September 2014, accessed September 4, 2014 .
  4. Rounded, more precise value 23.81
  5. [1] . Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund
  7. [2] United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ),
  8. Eva-Maria Krech u. a .: German pronunciation dictionary. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2009, p. 410.
  9. Duden - The pronunciation dictionary. 7th edition, Bibliographisches Institut, 2015, p. 274.
  10. Evidence for many: Isabel Allende : My invented country. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2012, blurb of the German publishers; OECD admission: Chile depends on neighbors. In: Handelsblatt , October 7, 2010, accessed on March 7, 2017; Andrés Mendoza: The Catholic Church in Latin America. In: Werner Löser (Ed.): The Roman Catholic Church (The Churches of the World, Volume XX). Evangelisches Verlagswerk, Frankfurt am Main 1986, pp. 261–291 (here: p. 289).
  11. Human Development Report 2019 (English; PDF: 1.7 MB, 40 pages ) on hdr.undp.org
  12. ^ Lorena Guzmán: Chile's mega-drought rolls on. dialogochino.net, October 11, 2019, accessed on August 11, 2020 .
  13. Massive earthquake strikes Chile. BBC News, February 28, 2010, accessed August 1, 2012 .
  14. a b c d See complete list of navigable rivers and lakes according to DO Nº 36.093, from June 19, 1998 in http://www.bordecostero.cl/documentos/nomina_rios_lagos.pdf
  15. Census 2017: 17,574,003 people live in Chile - The Santiago Times. Retrieved August 17, 2018 (American English).
  16. a b c Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas: Resultados generales: Población total, por sexo e índice de masculinidad, según división político-administrativa y área urbana-rural. (PDF) March 2003, accessed December 9, 2011 .
  17. a b Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas: Preguntas frecuentes - Censo - 54.-¿Cuántos Censos de población se han realizado? - Tasa de crecimiento anual intercensal. (PHP) Retrieved November 29, 2007 .
  18. a b c d e Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (INE): Resultados finales - Censo de 2012. April 2013, accessed on April 2, 2013 .
  19. Country Comparison :: Life Expectancy At Birth. In: The World Factbook . Central Intelligence Agency , accessed on April 8, 2018 (English, Chile ranks 51st overall with a life expectancy of 78.9 years, none of the previous 50 places is occupied by a country in South America).
  20. World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 14, 2017 .
  21. Population growth in Chile. In: Laenderdaten.info. eglitis-media, accessed April 12, 2018 .
  22. Chile: Child mortality * from 2006 to 2016 (deaths per 1,000 live births). In: statista . Statista, accessed April 12, 2018 .
  23. Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas: Chile: Estimaciones y proyecciones de población por sexo y edad. País urbano-rural: 1990-2020. (XLS) Archived from the original on August 25, 2011 ; Retrieved July 24, 2008 .
  24. María Eugenia Morales: Chile envejece: Prospectiva de los impactos políticos y sociales de este fenómeno hacia el bicentenario - El cambio demográfico en Chile. Universidad de Chile, accessed April 10, 2011 .
  25. ^ Central Intelligence Agency: Net Migration Rate. (No longer available online.) 2012, archived from the original on September 5, 2015 ; accessed on March 3, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.cia.gov
  26. Migration Report 2017. UN, accessed on September 30, 2018 (English).
  27. ^ Biblioteca y archivo histórico Emilio Held Winkler: Inmigración Alemana: Etapas de la inmigración alemana a Chile. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012 ; Retrieved April 6, 2011 .
  28. Leonor Adán: Los colonos. January 2007, accessed April 6, 2011 .
  29. Denisse Espinoza: Exposiciones en Valparaíso y Santiago rescatan el legado de los inmigrantes en Chile. In: Latercera . Consorcio Periodístico de Chile SA, May 18, 2011, accessed April 22, 2018 (Latin American).
  30. Austria in Chile. Beginning of the Austrian colony in Chile. In: Austrian Embassy Santiago de Chile. Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs , accessed on April 22, 2018 : "According to estimates, 4,000 - 5,000 Austrians are likely to have moved to Chile in the course of the 20th century."
  31. ^ Jorge Sanhueza Aviléz: Británicos y Anglosajones en Chile durante el siglo XIX. Retrieved on April 22, 2018 (Latin American): "La burguesía británica que llegó a Valparaíso ..."
  32. ^ Zlatar Montan, Vjera: Los croatas, el salitre y Tarapacá . Ed .: Hrvatski Dom. 2nd Edition. Iquique 2005, ISBN 956-7379-24-6 , pp. 286 ( online [PDF; accessed April 22, 2012]).
  33. Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España : Población de nacionalidad española por países . In: Padrón de españoles residentes en el extranjero . April 29, 2010, p. 2 ( Online [PDF; accessed May 7, 2011]).
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