Return to homeChile source: http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/chile/
Library of Congress:
World History Archives: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/42a/index-d.html When the Spanish conquistadors invaded Chile, the
nation had 99 million acres (40 million hectares) of virgin forest.
In 1996 slightly more than half remained.
(SFC, Z-1, 4/28/96, p.5) 18Mil BC In 2004 Scientists
searching for fossils high in the Chilean Andes mountains unearthed
the remains of a tank-like mammal related to armadillos that grazed
about this time. Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis, was a
primitive relative of a line of heavily armored mammals that
culminated in the massive, impregnable Gyptodon, which died out only
about 8,000 BC.
7Mil BC - 2Mil BC At least 75 whales mysteriously
died together some time in this period on the Pacific coast of
Chile. Their fossils were discovered in 2011.
31000BC Stone tools from Monte Verde, Chile,
indicate that people lived there about this time.
(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A13)
12000BC In 2008 evidence from Monte Verde, Chile,
indicated that a small band of people inhabited the area. Initial
evidence was found in a peat bog there in 1977.
10800BC-10300BC A village in Monte Verde, Chile
was identified to be this old by a team of anthropologists. The site
is described in the 1997 book: "Monte Verde: A Pleistocene
Settlement in Chile" by Tom Dillehay. Dillehay later reported that
new excavations revealed evidence that human bones and tools may
date back to about 28,000 BC.
(USAT, 2/11/97, p.A1)(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.61)(SFC,
5000BC The Chinchorro, hunter-gatherers in Chile’s
Atacama Desert, began mummifying their dead about this time.
(SFC, 8/15/12, p.A7)
600-800CE Polynesian seafarers 1st landed on
Easter Island, 1400 miles from the coast of South America. They
later carved nearly 900 colossi of compressed volcanic ash: the
moai. In 1722 A Dutch explorer stopped by on Easter Sunday. It later
became a possession of Chile.
(WSJ, 2/8/02, p.W11C)
1100 Statue (moai) building
began about this time on Easter Island and continued to the 1700s.
(SSFC, 9/18/05, p.E14)
1520 Oct 21, Ferdinand Magellan
arrived at Tierra Del Fuego (Argentina-Chile).
1541 Feb 12, Santiago, Chile,
was founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, a lieutenant
of Pizarro. When the Spaniards arrived in Chile, 11 languages were
in widespread use: Quechua, Aymara, Rapanui, Chango, Kunza,
Diaguita, Mapudungun, Chono, Kawesqar, Yagan and Selk’nam. By 2007
only the 1st 3 remained. The last ethnic Selk’nam died in the 1970s.
1551 Spaniards in Chile began
(SFC, 8/31/07, p.F4)
1578 Dec 5, Sir Francis Drake
sailed into the port of Valparaiso. He had renamed his flagship, the
Pelican, to the Golden Hind, and ravaged the coasts of Chile and
Peru on his way around the world.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)(ON, 7/03, p.7)
1586-1618 The San Francisco Church was built in
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.T8)
1600 Feb 19, Arequipa, Peru,
was destroyed as the Huaynaputina volcano exploded catastrophically,
in the largest volcanic explosion in South America in historic
times. The eruption continued with associated earthquakes into March
and devastated the socioeconomic fabric of southern Peru and
neighboring Chile and Bolivia. The explosion had effects on climate
around the Northern Hemisphere, where 1601 was the coldest year in
six centuries, leading to a famine in Russia.
1722 Apr 5, On Easter Sunday
Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered a Polynesian Island 1400
miles from the coast of South America and named it Easter Island. He
noted that the island was treeless and wondered how its massive
statues were erected. Much of the population was later wiped out and
the island became a possession of Chile. An indigenous script called
rongorongo survived but by 2002 was still not deciphered. In 2005
Steven Roger Fischer authored “Island at the End of the World: The
Turbulent History of Easter Island."
p.W1)(http://islandheritage.org/eihistory.html)(Econ, 7/23/05, p.77)
1730 Jul 8, A magnitude 8.7
earthquake in Valparasio, Chile, killed at least 3,000 people.
1748-1979 The Cathedral of Santiago was built. The
current structure replaced three earlier ones destroyed by fires or
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.T8)
1778 Feb 25, Jose Francisco de
San Martin (d.1850) was born in Argentina. He liberated Argentina,
Chile and Peru. Protector of Peru (1821-1822).
(WUD, 1994 p.1267)(MC, 2/25/02)
1778 Aug 20, Bernardo O'Higgins
was born in Chile. He later won independence for Chile.
1781-1865 Andres Bello, diplomat, politician (a
Senator in Chile - his adopted country), educator, poet and author
of a Spanish grammar, was born in Venezuela. His selected writings
were published by the Oxford Library of Latin America in 1998.
(WSJ, 2/3/98, p.A20)
1810 Sep 18, Chile declared its
independence from Spain (National Day). Bernardo O’Higgins helped
lead Chile to independence.
(AP, 9/18/97)(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.T9)
1810-1817 Colonial revolts against Spain started
in Chile in 1810 and ended in victory in 1817 under the leadership
of Bernardo O‘Higgins and Argentina‘s Jose de San Martin.
1815 Jose Francisco de San
Martin, governor of Cuyo, Argentina, founded a militia and prepared
for an attack on Spanish royalists in Chile.
(ON, 10/09, p.8)
1817 Jan 17, Jose Francisco de
San Martin led a revolutionary army from Argentina over Andes into
(ON, 10/09, p.10)
1817 Feb 12, Under the
leadership of Bernardo O‘Higgins, Chile gained its independence from
Spain, when a combined Argentine and Chilean army defeated the
Spaniards. O‘Higgins went on to become head of state on February 17,
supported by the army but not favored by the oligarchy because he
sought abolition of their privileges. Once the threat from Spain was
eliminated from the region, opposition to O‘Higgins mounted. General
unrest and a poor harvest combined to force O‘Higgins to abdicate
his position in 1823. The official proclamation was made on Feb 12,
(HNQ, 9/1/99)(AP, 2/12/07)
1817 Feb 12, Argentina’s Jose
de San Martin, having led a revolutionary army over the Andes into
Chile, helped defeat the Spanish forces at Chacabuco. The royalists
lost 500 men in the battle and another 600 were taken prisoner.
p.87)(ON, 10/09, p.10)
1818 Feb 12, Chile officially
proclaimed its independence, more than seven years after initially
renouncing Spanish rule [see Feb 12, 1817].
1834 Sep 27, Charles Darwin
returned to Valparaiso.
1834 Nov 10, HMS Beagle with
Charles Darwin sailed from Valparaiso.
1834 Nov 21, HMS Beagle
anchored at Bay of San Carlos, Chile.
1834 Dec 25, Charles Darwin
celebrated Christmas on Beagle at Tres Montes, Chile.
1835 Feb 20, Concepcion, Chile,
was destroyed by earthquake and some 5,000 died.
1835 Feb 22, HMS Beagle with
Charles Darwin left Valdivia, Chile.
1835 Mar 4, HMS Beagle moved
into Bay of Concepcion.
1835 Mar 7, HMS Beagle returned
from Concepcion to Valparaiso.
1835 Mar 10, Charles Darwin in
a letter to Carolyn Darwin described a massive earthquake in
(NH, 5/96, p.7)
1835 Mar 13, Charles Darwin
departed Valparaiso for Andes crossing.
1835 Mar 18, Charles Darwin
departed Santiago, Chile, on his way to Portillo Pass.
1835 Mar 23, Charles Darwin
reached Los Arenales in the Andes.
1835 Apr 10, Charles Darwin
returned to Santiago, Chile.
1835 May 12, Charles Darwin
visited the copper mines in North Chile.
1835 May 14, Charles Darwin
reached Coquimbo in Northern Chile.
1839 Jan 20, Chile defeated a
confederation of Peru and Bolivia in the Battle of Yungay.
1843 In Santiago, Chile, Sen.
Andres Bello, a Venezuela-born diplomat and educator, became the
founding rector of the Univ. of Chile.
1854 Oct 3, San Francisco
businessman Harry Meiggs departed SF aboard the bark America with
his family after embezzling $800,000 from the city to cover debts.
He took refuge in Chile where he built a railroad between Santiago
and Valparaiso. After 13 years he moved to Peru.
(SFC, 1/18/14, p.C2)
1862 Peruvian slavers arrived
on Easter Island. Slaves that eventually returned brought smallpox.
(SSFC, 9/18/05, p.E14)
1863 Dec 8, A Jesuit church in
Chile caught fire and 2,500 died in a panic.
1866 May 3, The first submarine
in the Americas, a 39-foot vessel designed in the 1860s by German
immigrant Karl Flach, sank in the Bay of Valparaiso off the coast of
Chile. The crew, two Chileans, two Frenchmen and seven Germans,
including Flach and his 15-year-old son, all died. In 2007 a search
team found the vessel.
1868 Aug 13, A magnitude 9.0
quake in Arica, Peru (later Chile), generated catastrophic tsunamis;
more than 25,000 people were killed in South America.
1879 Feb 14, Chile invaded the
Bolivian port of Antofagasta after Bolivian authorities attempted to
auction the confiscated property of CSFA, a Chilean mining company.
1879 Oct 8, Chile captured the
Huascar, a British-built ironclad, from Peru. The ship was named
after the 16th-century Inca emperor, Huáscar.
1879-1883 In the War of the Pacific, Chile’s army
won the nitrate-rich desert lands from Peru and Bolivia. The war was
fought over the treatment of Chilean investors in the desert
territories. The area remained in contention until a 1929 agreement
proposed by Pres. Herbert Hoover.
(SFC, Z-1, 4/28/96, p.5)(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A22)
1880s The Mapuche Indians were
conquered by the Chilean army. By 2000 they lost nearly 95% of their
land on the Bio Bio River.
(SFEC, 5/7/00, p.A18)
1881 Chilean soldiers pillaged
Peru’s national library during the War of the Pacific. In 2007 Chile
returned 3,778 books taken by its soldiers.
(SFC, 11/7/07, p.A3)
1881 The Mapuches Indians made
peace with the Republic of Chile. Their name means "people of the
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.A12)
1881 A German expedition to
Chile that took 11 Kawesqar Indians to Europe to appear in what was
later described as a human zoo. 5 of the Indians died in 1882 in
Zurich, Switzerland. Their remains were repatriated in 2010.
1883 Chile’s Concha y Toro
(Shell & Bull) wineries were founded by Don Melchor with vines
brought from France.
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.T9)(SFC, 8/25/05, p.F3)
1884 Chile established a
marital code the included a prohibition of divorce. A divorce law
was passed in 2004.
(WSJ, 10/5/04, p.A1)
1888 Chile annexed Easter
Island. The official native name of Easter Island, known for its
stunning gigantic stone heads known as Moais, is Rapa Nui, and
that's what many natives call themselves, refusing to identify with
1889 In Chile the Falabella
company was founded as a tailor shop by Salvatore Falabella, an
Italian Chilean immigrant. By 2015 it was the largest South America
1891 Oct 16, The "Baltimore
Crisis" was triggered by the stabbing of two United States Navy
sailors from USS Baltimore in front of the "True Blue Saloon" in
Valparaíso. The United States government demanded an apology. Chile
ended the episode when it apologized and paid a $75,000 indemnity.
1896 Erland Nordenskiold, a
Swedish scientist, explored the Milodon Cave in Patagonia, Chile. He
found a large piece of leather with gray-red hair and declared it to
have been the hide of a milodon, a giant sloth, extinct for 8,000
years. The site was later made famous in the Bruce Chatwin book: In
(SFEC, 11/24/96, p.T6)
1900 By the beginning of the
20th century Easter Island had about 200 inhabitants. Most of the
island was leased to a British sheep farming company.
(SSFC, 9/18/05, p.E14)
1904 Jul 12, Pablo Neruda
(d.1973), Chilean poet and political activist (Residence on
Earth-Nobel 1971), was born as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in
(HN, 7/12/01)(SFC, 7/15/04, p.E11)
1904 Oct 20, Bolivia and Chile
signed a treaty ending the War of the Pacific. The treaty recognized
Chile's possession of Bolivia's nitrate-rich coastal province of
Antofagasta, but provided for construction of a railway to link La
Paz, Bolivia, to Arica on the coast.
(HN, 10/20/98)(Econ, 12/6/03, p.34)
1906 Aug 16, A magnitude 8.6
earthquake in Valparaiso left an estimated 20,000 people dead.
(SFEC, 6/13/99, Z1 p.5)(AP, 6/22/02)
1908 Jul 26, Salvador Allende
Gossens, Chile's last elected president (1970-73), was born.
1912 Aug 31, Ramon Vinay
(d.1996), Chilean operatic tenor and baritone, was born in Chillan.
1913 Ricardo Roth Schutz, a
guide of Swiss descent, began leading groups of tourists across
Lakes Crossing (Cruce de Lagos), linking Bariloche in northern
Argentina to Puerto Varas in Chile’s Lakes District.
(SSFC, 1/6/08, p.G4)
1915 Nov 25, Augusto Pinochet
(d.2006), general, coup leader and president of Chile (1974-1990),
1918 Nov 25, Chile and Peru
1923 Pablo Neruda was appointed
as Chile’s consul to Burma.
(SFC, 7/15/04, p.E11)
1929 Jan, Anaconda Copper Co.
purchased the Chuquicamata mine in Chile.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R46)
1929 Jun 3, Chile, Peru &
Bolivia signed an accord about the Tacna-Arica area. Chile and Peru
accepted a proposal by Pres. Herbert Hoover over the outcome of the
1879-1893 War of the Pacific. Chile would retain Arica and return
Tacna to Peru and grant access to the Arica port as a compromise.
The accord was not implemented until 1999.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A22)(MC, 6/3/02)
1932 Chile and Peru signed an
(Econ, 11/12/05, p.40)
1939 Jan 24, Some 28-30,000
were killed by magnitude 8.3 earthquake in Chillan, Chile.
(MC, 1/24/02)(AP, 6/22/02)
1942 Jan, Chile and Argentina
were the only two Latin American countries that did not comply at
once with the Rio de Janeiro Conference recommendation to those
countries who had not already done so to sever diplomatic and
commercial relations with the Axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan.
Chile eventually broke Axis relations in January 1943 and Argentina
complied in January 1944. The conference of Western Hemisphere
foreign ministers also called for suppression of pro-Axis activity
in the Americas, establishment of an Inter-American defense board
and economic cooperation within the hemisphere.
1942 Mar, British and US
intelligence received information on Nazi plans for the Holocaust:
"It has been decided to eradicate all the Jews." This was part of a
dispatch from a Chilean consul in Prague, Gonzalo Montt Rivas, to
Santiago of a German decree that Jews abroad could no longer be
(SFC, 7/3/01, p.A8)
1942 Jun 24, Eduardo Frei was
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A20)
1943 Jan 31, Chile broke
contact with Germany and Japan.
1943 Feb 18, Augusto Pinochet
Ugarte (Chilean gen., dictator) married Lucia Hiriart.
1943 A Vultee BT-13 Valiant
disappeared on a flight from San Antonio, Texas, to Chile. Pilot
Werner Martinez and Sgt. Tomas Ayala were on ill-fated flight, which
crashed in Costa Rica. In 2008 police were led to the crash site
after an anonymous caller reported seeing a local resident carrying
plane parts in the town of San Isidro de El Guarco.
1945 Feb 14, Peru, Paraguay,
Chile and Ecuador joined the United Nations.
1945 Mar 14, Chile declared war
1952 Aug 18, Chile, Ecuador and
Peru signed the Declaration on the Maritime Zone. On Jan 27 the
Int’l. Court of Justice ruled on the sea border between Chile and
Peru. It confirmed Chile’s hold over inshore waters rich in fish.
(http://tinyurl.com/nx4o9uz)(Econ, 2/1/14, p.30)
1960 May 22, Chile experienced
a 9.5 earthquake (moment magnitude). A slow earthquake was detected
just before the big one. It caused tsunamis in every coastal town
between the 36th and 44th parallels with a death toll of some 1000
(PCh, 1992, p.977)(SFC, 9/6.96, p.A11)(Econ,
1961 In Chile Paul Schaefer,
former WW II German corporal, founded the "Colonia Dignidad" (the
Dignity Colony), a reclusive German-speaking colony on a 34,000 acre
site in the Andean foothills. He had fled Germany while under
investigation for allegations of sexually molesting children. In
2005 Schaefer (d.2010) was arrested in Argentina and extradited to
Chile. In 2016 Germany ordered documents about the colony through
1996 to be released.
(SFC, 6/27/97, p.A14)(AP, 3/13/05)(SFC, 4/28/16,
1962 Aug 8, The Chilean TV
variety show "Sabados Gigantes" (Gigantic Saturdays) debuted with
Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld (b.1940) as Don Francisco. In
April, 1986, the show got shortened to the singular version (Sabado
Gigante) went it went on air in Miami, Fla. Kreutzberger was the son
of German Jews who fled Nazi persecution.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, Par p.16)(SFC, 4/14/04,
1963-1973 The 1975 US Church committee report on
CIA activity in Chile included a chronology that covered this
1964 Eduardo Frei Montalva
defeated Salvador Allende Gossens to become president.
(SFC, 1/29/99, p.E2)
1966 Pablo Neruda authored his
play “Fulgor y Muerte de Joaquin Murieta." In 1972 a bilingual
edition was published as “Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta."
(SFC, 7/15/04, p.E1)
1967 Jul 20, Pablo Neruda
received the 1st Viareggio-Versile prize.
1967 Oct, Pres. Johnson named
Edward M. Korry (d.2003 at 81) to serve as the US ambassador to
Chile. Korry served until 1971 and was kept ignorant by the Nixon
administration of plans for a coup.
(SFC, 2/1/03, p.A19)
1967 Marxists took power and
nationalized nearly everything.
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-10)
1968 Jul 25, H. Wroblewski
discovered asteroid #1993 Guacolda on exposures by G. Plouguin and
I. Belyaiev at the University of Chile, Cerro El Roble Station.
1970 Sep 4, Salvador Allende
Gossens (1908-1973) won the presidential election in Chile. A week
later in Washington Henry Kissinger discussed a "covert action
program" to oust Allende.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Allende)(SSFC, 4/21/02, p.D1)
1970 Sep 15, Pres. Nixon
authorized a US-backed coup in Chile.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F7)
1970 Oct 25, In Chile a US
CIA-backed kidnapping attempt was botched and left Gen. Rene
Schneider dead. Schneider had opposed a US plan for a military coup.
In 2001 his widow and 3 sons filed a suit against Henry Kissinger,
Richard Helms and several other former US bureaucrats.
1970 Nov 3, Salvador Allende
was inaugurated as president of Chile. He was elected with 36% of
the vote, only 40,000 ahead of the candidate of the right.
(AP, 11/3/97)(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1970 Dec 31, President Allende
nationalized the Chilean coal mines.
1971 Jul 11, Chile’s Congress
passed an amendment, submitted by President Allende, to nationalize
all mines. On July 16 Chile by law nationalized the US-owned copper
mines based on a calculation of the companies' "excess profits" from
1955 to 1970. It was determined that Chile owed American companies
Anaconda and Kennecott Copper nothing for the mines.
1971 Jul 22, Salvador Allende
and Alejandro Lanusse, Presidents of Chile and Argentina, signed an
Arbitration Agreement formally submitting the dispute concerning the
territorial and maritime boundaries between them and the title to
the islands Picton, Nueva and Lennox near the extreme end of the
American continent to binding arbitration under auspices of Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
1971 Oct 21, The Nobel Prize
for literature was awarded to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973).
1971 Dec 1, In Santiago, Chile,
students began a 2-day against the Allende government. The
government banned public demonstrations and declared a state of
(WUD, 1994, p. 1688)
1971 Claudio Bravo,
Chilean-born Moroccan based artist, created a surrealist still life
of an assemblage of light bulbs.
(WSJ, 3/17/00, p.W12)
1971 Chilean folk singer Victor
Jara released an album titled "El dereche de vivir en paz" (The
right to live in peace). The title song was originally
dedicated to the Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh, as the
United States waged war in Vietnam.
1971 The Chilean government
confiscated the Chuquicamata mine from the US Anaconda Copper Co.
Anaconda lost two-thirds of its copper production. A unit of
Atlantic Richfield purchased the company for $700 mil. ARCO later
sold most of its interests in Anaconda except for ARCO aluminum.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R46)
1972 Mar 23, Pres. Nixon
discussed his orders to undermine Chilean democracy after the leak
of corporate papers revealing collaboration between ITT and the CIA
to rollback the election of socialist leader Salvador Allende.
1972 May 13, There was a
burglary at the Chilean Embassy in Washington DC. Two members of
Pres. Nixon's secret White House team, known as the plumbers, were
(SFC, 2/26/99, p.A4)
1972 Jun 17, Chile’s president
Allende changed his Cabinet. The two most prominent departures were
Brigadier General Pedro Palacios Cameron from Mines and Pedro
Vuskovic from Economy.
1972 Aug 26, In southern Chile
the Calbuco volcano erupted for four hours. It is considered one of
the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile's 90 active
1972 Oct 13, A Uruguay to Chile
Fairchild FH-227 turboprop carrying 45 people crashed in the Andes
Mountains. The event was concluded by December 23, 1972 when the
last of 16 survivors were rescued. The group survived by
collectively making a decision to eat flesh from the bodies of their
dead comrades. The book “Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors,"
published two years after their rescue, was written by Piers Paul
Read, who interviewed the survivors and their families.
1972 Dec 23, 16 plane crash
victims (Oct 13 flight from Uruguay to Chile) were rescued from the
Andes after 70 died. The group survived by collectively making a
decision to eat flesh from the bodies of their dead comrades.
1972 Chile’s dept. of tourism,
SERNATUR, was established.
(SFC, Z-1, 4/28/96, p.5)
1973 Jul 13, In Chile a strike
began that lasted until the September 11 coup. More than a million
workers were on strike demanding that Allende go. American CIA
funding was involved.
1973 Aug 22, Chile’s Chamber of
Deputies issued its “Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s
Democracy." It accused Pres. Allende of violating laws.
1973 Aug 23, Gen'l. Augusto
Pinochet was named commander-in-chief of the Chilean army by Pres.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A3)
1973 Sep 11, Pres. Salvadore
Allende of Chile was toppled in a bloody military coup in Santiago
led by 4 commanders: Gen’l Augusto Pinochet, Admiral Jose Toribio
Merino (d.8/31/96), air force Gen’l. Gustavo Leigh Guzman (d.1999 at
79) and police director Gen’l. Cesar Mendoza. Allende allegedly blew
his head off with an AK 47 given to him by Fidel Castro. The
government was taken over by Gen. Augusto Pinochet and his economic
managers dubbed the "Chicago boys," for their training at the Univ.
of Chicago and belief in free markets. The first 3 months of
fighting claimed 1261 victims. The air force bombarded the
presidential palace to put down resistance by Allende and a small
group of followers. In 2011 two forensics experts, citing a
long-lost, 300-page military summary of Allende's death, said they
were inclined to conclude that Allende was assassinated. On July 19,
2011, court officials announced that a scientific autopsy has
confirmed that Allende committed suicide.
(SFC, 8/31/96, p.A23)(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)(SFC,
9/30/99, p.A31)(AP, 7/20/11)
1973 Sep 16, Victor Jara
(b.1932), one of the best-known members of Latin America's "New
Song" folk movement, died. He had been arrested after the Chilean
military coup that overthrew Allende and taken to a soccer stadium
used as a detention camp. Court papers indicate Jara was tortured,
his hands smashed with rifle butts, and then was shot to death along
with former prison service director Littre Quiroga. In 2008 a court
charged retired Col. Mario Manriquez in the case, saying he was
"responsible" for the death. In 2009 Jara’s body was exhumed for a
proper autopsy. Army draftee, Jose Paredes, later described the
murder and named the officers he said were responsible. Paredes told
interrogators that a lieutenant known as "El Loco," the Crazy One,
held Jara against a dressing room wall and played Russian roulette
until a bullet blasted through the singer's skull. In 2012 eight
retired army officers were charged in Jara’s slaying. On Sep 5,
2013, a civil suit accused Lt. Pedro Barrientos Nunez of ordering
torture and firing the fatal shot that killed Jara. In 2014 three
more people were charged in the murder of Jara.
11/26/09)(SFC, 12/29/12, p.A2)(SFC, 9/6/13, p.A5)(SFC, 9/4/14, p.A2)
1973 Sep 17, Charles Horman
(31), a US free-lance journalist, was arrested by Chilean security
forces. He was executed the next day. His body was found months
later. In 1999 US intelligence complicity was reported based on
newly declassified material. Horman and student Frank Teruggi (24)
worked for a newsletter that reprinted articles and clippings from
American newspapers critical of US policy. Teruggi was executed on
Sep 22. The 1982 film "Missing" was based on their story. In 2003
retired security officer Rafael Gonzalez (64) became the 1st person
formally charged for the murder. On Nov 29, 2011, a Chilean court
charged former US Navy Capt. Ray E. Davis (d.2013) in the deaths of
Horman Teruggi. The court statement said retired Chilean army
Brigadier Pedro Espinoza Bravo was also charged in the murders. In
2014 a court ruling said Davis gave information to Chilean officials
about Horman and Teruggi that led to their arrest and execution.
(SFC, 10/9/99, p.A14)(SFEC, 2/13/00, p.A19)(AP,
12/11/03)(AP, 11/29/11)(AP, 7/1/14)
1973 Sep 21, A secret CIA
report indicated that severe repression was planned in Chile and
that 300 students were killed in the technical university when they
refused to surrender to the military. The report was made public in
(SFC, 7/1/99, p.C3)
1973 Sep 22, In Chile Michael
Woodward (42), a suspended priest, died. He had been taken into
custody by security forces in the port city of Valparaiso on Sep.
16, 1973. Woodward was allegedly tortured with other detainees on at
least two navy ships used as detention centers. In 2008 retired
admirals Sergio Barros, Guillermo Aldoney and Adolfo Walbaum and
retired navy captains Sergio Barra and Ricardo Riesgo were indicted
for the kidnapping and torture of Woodward and other members of
1973 Sep 23, Pablo Neruda
(b.1904), Chilean Nobel laureate poet, died of alleged leukemia. One
of his last works, "The Book of Questions," was published in an
English translation in 1991. In 2003 Ilan Stavans edited "The Poetry
of Pablo Neruda." In 2004 Matilda Urrutia’s “My Life With Pablo
Neruda" was translated into English. Neruda’s driver later said the
poet was poisoned by government agents.
(SFEC, 6/25/00, BR p.2)(SSFC, 8/31/03,
p.M3)(SSFC, 10/31/04, p.M4)(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A2)
1973 Oct 6, In Chile Andres
Pereira was arrested, assassinated and thrown into the sea. He was
considered disappeared until his death was confirmed in a 2001
(SFC, 1/9/01, p.A15)
1973 Oct 17, Winston Cabello
Bravo (28) and 12 other political prisoners were shot to death in
Copiago, Chile. Bravo's body was carved with a corvo knife. He had
been Allende's chief of economic planning in 2 northern regions
where copper mines were to be nationalized.
(SFC, 2/3/99, p.A9)
1973 Oct, A group of military
officers toured several cities by helicopter in northern Chile in a
"caravan of death" and had 72 dissidents dragged from jail and
executed. Five high ranking officers, including Gen'l. Sergio
Arellano, were indicted for these executions in 1999. In 2004 Gen.
Gonzalo Santelices, head of the Santiago army garrison, resigned
amid accusations that he was involved in the “Caravan of death."
Santelices acknowledged that as a young lieutenant he followed
orders and transferred 14 prisoners from a jail in northern Chile to
a desert area where they were executed by firing squad. In 2008
retired Gen. Sergio Arellano was sentenced to six years in prison
for the killing of five dissidents in the helicopter tour.
(SFC, 6/9/99, p.C2)(SFEC, 10/3/99, p.A19)(SFC,
4/28/00, p.D4)(AP, 2/4/08)(AP, 10/16/08)
1973 Nov 11, The Soviet Union
was kicked out of World Cup soccer for refusing to play Chile.
1973 Dec 8, In Chile soldiers
shot Argentine primary school teacher Bernardo Lejderman and Maria
Avalos, a Mexican citizen, in front of their 2-year-old child. In
2007 a retired general and two former sergeants were fined and
sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing the leftist couple, and
were ordered to pay $600,000 to Ernesto Lejderman, the son of the
1973 Chile’s Gen’l. Pinochet,
following his Sep 11 coup, instituted free-market reforms, but left
the mines under state control. He merged them into a single-state
owned enterprise (Codelco) and required it to hand over 10% of its
export revenues to the armed forces.
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.44)
1973 In 2006 Chile’s
government-owned La Nacion newspaper reported that at least 22
dissidents, who disappeared under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto
Pinochet, were killed at the secretive German commune-like Dignity
Colony and their bodies later burned with chemicals. It was later
alleged that the leaders of the Dignity Colony under Paul Schaefer
engaged in sexual abuse and cult-like activity and helped the
Chilean secret police operate a concentration camp after the
(AP, 7/23/06)(SFC, 6/27/97, p.A14)
1973 Chile’s secret police took
over a mansion in Santiago that had served as the Spanish Embassy in
the 1950s. In 2006 the mansion reopened as the Salvador Allende
(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.F8)
1973 Chilean navy officers
allegedly used the tall ship Esmeralda as a hideaway for
interrogation and torture.
1973 Bolivia’s Pres. Hugo
Banzer met with Chilean military authorities. The Chilean military
Operation Condor sought Chilean exiles in Bolivia and other
countries for return to Chile for execution.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A26)
1973-1980 Gen’l. Augusto Pinochet led a 17-year
dictatorship. He enacted a constitution that reserves 4 Senate seats
for former military commanders and the national police. Under his
rule the Chilean military Operation Condor was begun where Chilean
exiles in Bolivia and other countries were sought for return to
Chile for execution. Some 3,000 people were killed or disappeared
during Pinochet’s rule. In 2004 John Dinges authored "The Condor
Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three
(SFC,12/12/97, p.B6)(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A26)(SSFC,
2/14/04, p.M6)(Econ, 9/27/08, p.52)
1973-1990 Chile’s National Information Center was
the secret police agency under Gen. Pinochet. It was headed by Gen.
Hugo Salas. Some 3,000 people were killed or disappeared during this
period. Another 38,254 were imprisoned or tortured.
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.A13)(Econ, 9/14/13, p.48)
1974 Mar 12, Chilean Gen.
Alberto Bachelet (b.1923) died in prison after Gen. Augusto
Pinochet's military convicted him of being a traitor. His daughter,
Michelle, later became Chile's first female president. In 2011 a
judge agreed to review a complaint alleging that Bachelet was
tortured to death. On July 17, 2012, two military officers were
charged with torturing Bachelet.
(AP, 8/26/11)(SFC, 7/18/12, p.A2)
1974 Jun 27, In Chile Gen.
Augusto Pinochet proclaimed himself "Supreme Chief of the Nation"
(de facto provisional president).
1974 Sep 30, Gen. Carlo Prats,
a former Chilean army chief, was killed with his wife by a car bomb
in Buenos Aires. In 2000 an Argentine judge called for the
extradition of Augusto Pinochet for the slaying. In 2000 Enrique
Arancibia Clavel was sentenced in Argentina to life in prison for
his role in the murder.
(SFC, 10/28/00, p.A14)(SFC, 11/22/00, p.C6)
1974 Oct 5, in Chile
Miguel Enriquez (b.1944), physician and founder (1965) of the
Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR), was shot dead by
Pinochet’s security forces.
1974 Dec 11, In Chile General
Augusto Pinochet took the title of president of the republic.
(SFC, 12/11/06, p.A4)
1974 Chile’s government created
a military intelligence agency that became a rogue elephant
responsible for many human abuses. It was disbanded by Gen’l.
Pinochet in 1978.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1974 Ricardo Claro (1934-2008),
Chile’s ambassador at large, announced to the world, on behalf of
the Pinochet government, that Chile was once again open for
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A6)
1974-1978 The Villa Grimaldi, a 19th century
estate outside of Santiago, Chile, was used by the National
Intelligence Directorate (DINA) under Gen’l. Manuel Contreras as
clandestine detention center. Some 5,000 political prisoners passed
through and many suffered inside torture chambers and closet-sized
cells near the stables. The main house was used as an administrative
center and casino for officers.
(SFC, 7/15/97, p.A12)
1974-1990 In 1996 a 5-year Chilean government
investigation found that the 16-year dictatorship of General
Pinochet killed 3,197 civilians for political reasons. This included
1,102 people who disappeared after being arrested by his security
forces. In 2000 a retired air force colonel charged that 500
political dissidents were slain by security forces, and that their
bodies were weighted down and tossed into the sea.
(SFC, 8/23/96, p.A20)(SFC, 1/21/98, p.C12)(SFEC,
2/1/98, p.A11) (SFC, 8/4/00, p.D4)
1975 Jul, In Chile 119
dissidents were kidnapped as part of Operation Colombo. Their bodies
were never found. In 2008 98 people were indicted on charges of
kidnapping the victims.
(SFC, 5/27/08, p.A3)
1975 Oct 6, Chilean Vice Pres.
Bernardo Leighton and his wife, Anita Fresno, were shot in Rome.
Anita was left permanently disabled. In 2000 Chilean authorities
arrested former Gen. Eduardo Iturriaga for the shooting.
1975 Nov 20, An interim report
by the US Senate’s Church Committee said that the CIA failed to
assassinate Fidel Castro at least 8 times. The report also covered
CIA activity in Chile, the Congo, the Dominican Republic and
1975 The Torres del Paine
National park opened in the Patagonia region of southern Chile.
(SSFC, 12/17/00, p.T6)
1976 Sep 16, Secretary of state
Henry Kissinger sent a cable canceling a US warning against carrying
out international political assassinations that was to have gone to
Chile, Argentina and Uruguay just days before a former ambassador
was killed by Chilean agents on Washington's Embassy Row. The
document was not made public until 2010.
1976 Sep 21, Chilean exile
Orlando Letelier, one time foreign minister to Chilean President
Salvador Allende, was killed when a bomb exploded in his car in
Washington D.C. He was assassinated by order from Chile by Gen’l.
Manuel Contreras, head of the secret police known as DINA. Ronni
Moffitt (24), an American colleague of Letelier, was also killed.
Contreras was convicted of the order in 1993 and sentenced to a
7-year prison term. In 2000 Gen. Pinochet was linked to the killing.
In 2015 declassified US documents relating to the assassination
reportedly pointed to Pinochet's role in ordering the murder.
(SFC, 6/27/97, p.A14)(SFC, 7/1/99, p.C3)(SFEC,
5/28/00, p.A7)(AP, 9/21/01)(Reuters, 10/8/15)
1976 Gen. Augusto Pinochet
commenced that Carretera Austral project, an effort to connect the
northern Chile to southern Aisen province.
(SFCM, 10/3/04, p.30)
1976 Chile departed the Andean
Community trade block. In 2006 it planned to rejoin.
(Econ, 8/26/06, p.30)
1976 Victor Diaz Lopez, former
leader of Chile’s Communist Party, was picked up the DINA, the
secret police of dictator Augusto Pinochet. In 2007 the former
leader of the DINA’s Lautaro Brigade confessed to murdering Victor
Diaz in 1977.
(Econ, 4/14/07, p.39)
1976 In Chile Adriana Rivas, an
assistant to DINA police chief Manuel Contreras, was reportedly
involved in the killing of Communist Party leader Víctor Díaz, who
was held in a secret prison, was suffocated and thrown into the
ocean. In 2014 Chile requested the extradition of Rivas from
Australia on charges that she kidnapped seven people in 1976 and
1977, including Diaz. The alleged victims have never been found. In
2019 she appeared before a court in Australia as Chile requested her
(SFC, 2/21/19, p.A2)(AP, 5/24/19)
1976 Gen’l. Juan Jose Torres,
ousted as president of Bolivia in 1971, was kidnapped by a death
squad in Argentina and killed. He was a victim of the Condor Plan, a
South American military pact between Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia,
Chile and Paraguay to exchange intelligence information and help
each other hunt down suspected leftists.
(SFC, 11/23/99, p.A16)
1976 A US congressional
commission found that Pres. Nixon had authorized $10 million for a
covert CIA mission to get rid of Allende in Chile. Papers to this
effect were declassified in 1998.
(SFC, 10/22/98, p.A12)
1977 Apr 5, A group of Chilean
military men in London announced the formation of a "Front of
Democratic Forces of Chile in Exile." Another similar group was
formed in Brussels and shortly later in East Berlin.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1977 Apr 6, Jaime Estevez spoke
from a Moscow broadcast that the purposes of the newly formed
Soviet-backed entities was to lead the fight for the overthrow of
the fascist junta in Chile.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1977 Aug, The Central Committee
of the Chilean Communist Party constituted itself as "The General
Staff of Revolution."
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1977 Chile’s DINA secret police
reporting to Gen. Pinochet was replaced by the National Information
Center (Centro Nacional de Información--CNI).
1978 Jan 4, Chile’s Gen.
Pinochet held a National Consultation, "in defense of the dignity of
Chile," which took place one week after it was first announced, on
1978 Apr 19, In Chile a law was
enacted that gave amnesty to the military.
1978 Jul 24, Chile’s Air Force
Gen'l. Gustavo Leigh Guzman was demoted. He was the first junta
member to urge the restoration of civilian rule.
1978 Nov 30, In Chile the
remains of 15 disappeared were discovered in Lonquen. The Vicaria
publicly announced the discovery of an illegal burial ground in an
abandoned limestone mine in Lonquén which had been used to conceal
the bodies of 15 people who had disappeared since the onset of the
military regime in 1973.
1979 Jan 9, The Act of
Montevideo was signed in Uruguay pledging Argentina and Chile to a
peaceful solution and a return to the military situation of early
1977. Cardinal Antonio Samore (1905-1983), Vatican representative,
mediated the Beagle conflict.
1979 Chilean Communist Party
Sec. Gen’l. Luis Corvalan proclaimed from Moscow a new era of acute
violence, and endorsed guerrilla warfare, terrorism and a massive
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1980 Sep, Chile’s Gen'l.
Pinochet called for a referendum to approve a constitution extending
his rule for the next 8 years.
(SFC, 12/11/06, p.A4)
1980 Oct 21, Chile’s Gen'l.
Pinochet issued a new constitution that allowed him to stay in power
for another 8 years. It was approved by plebiscite.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A3)(Econ, 10/23/04, p.36)
1980 Jose Pinera revolutionized
Chile's pension system while he was secretary of labor and social
security. Pinochet wrote a new constitution that included statutes
that forced politicians, journalists and musicians to practice
self-censorship or face prosecution.
(WSJ, 6/28/96, p.A9)(SFC, 12/9/96, p.A18)(AP,
1980 Chile’s National Geology
and Mining Service was founded to regulate the country’s mining
(Econ, 10/16/10, p.43)
1981 May 1, Chile completely
privatized Social Security as part of its economic reforms.
(SFC, 6/16/96, Z1 p.7)(SFC, 6/25/96, p.A18)
1981 Jul 2, L.E. Gonzalez
discovered asteroid #3495, Colchagua, from the astronomical station
of Cerro El Roble in Chile.
1981 Chile under Gen’l. Augusto
Pinochet began a voucher scheme to enable poor students to move from
bad public schools to good private ones.
(Econ, 8/1/15, p.20)
1981 Chile barred private
universities from making profits. Many got around this restriction
by setting themselves up as property companies that lease their
premises to the universities.
(Econ, 10/29/11, p.45)
1981 In Chile Paul Schaefer
(b.1921) of the Dignity Colony was accused of child molestation but
the case file disappeared at the courthouse in Parral. The judge
lived in a house owned by the colony.
1982 Jan 22, Eduardo Frei
Montalva (b.1911), former Chilean President (1964-1970), died from
septic shock as he recovered from stomach surgery at a Santiago
clinic. In 2007 his family filed a court complaint claiming that
Frei had been assassinated by poisoning after a Belgian university
investigation found mustard gas in the body of the former Christian
Democratic leader. In 2009 a Chilean judge ruled that Montalva was
assassinated and that his killing was covered up by people linked to
the dictatorship of Gen. Pinochet. Six people were charged in the
(AP, 1/24/07)(AP, 12/7/09)
1982 Feb 23, Tucapel Jimenez, a
Chilean labor leader, was found with his throat cut and face shot in
his car. Gen. Humberto Gordon Rubio (d.2000), secret police chief,
was implicated in the killing.
1982 An economic crises in
Chile caused the establishment of capital controls and a minimum
permanence period for foreign capital of ten years.
(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A17)
1983 May, Chile’s Gen'l.
Pinochet reacted to protests with strong repression.
(SFC, 12/11/06, p.A4)
1984 Chile’s military
government set up the Taxable Profits Fund (FUT), a mechanism to
encourage investments by allowing companies to defer indefinitely
payment of some tax on retained profits.
(Econ, 5/24/14, p.32)
1984 Alpacas from Chile began
arriving in the US after the US lifted a ban.
(WSJ, 4/5/07, p.A10)
1985 Feb 5, The US halted a
loan to Chile in protest over human rights abuses.
1985 Mar 29, In Santiago,
Chile, police killed Rafael and Eduardo Vergara. The 2 young
brothers, active members of the often violent “Movement of the
Revolutionary Left" (MIR), were peppered with bullets by military
police during an anti-Pinochet protest in the low-income Villa
Francia district. The event became known as the “Day of the Young
1985 Jan 5, Boris Weisfeiler
(43), a Russian émigré and naturalized US citizen, disappeared while
hiking in Chile. US declassified documents in 2000 indicated that
Boris, a mathematics professor, was detained by the Chilean military
and handed over to Colonia Dignidad.
(SFC, 6/19/00, p.A8)(SFC, 6/12/08, p.A10)
1986 Apr 29, Raul Prebisch
(b.1901), Argentine policy maker and economic diplomat, died in
Santiago, Chile. In 2009 Edgar J. Dosman authored “The Life and
Times of Raul Prebisch."
(Econ, 3/7/09, p.90)(http://tinyurl.com/cgd359)
1986 Jul 2, Chilean soldiers
doused Rodrigo Rojas (19) and 1 Carmen Quintana (18) with gasoline
and set them ablaze during a street demonstration. Rojas, a
Chilean-born photographer visiting from the United States, died four
days later. Quintana survived and underwent lengthy recovery
treatment for severe burns at a Canadian hospital. On July 21, 2015,
two former army officers and five former noncommissioned officers
were taken into custody after Judge Mario Carroza issued an order
for their arrest.
1986 Sep 7, Chile’s Gen’l.
Pinochet narrowly survived an assassination attempt involving 70
terrorists. 5 of his escorts were murdered.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A3)
1986 The Chilean group Los
Prisioneros released "El baile de los que sobran (The dance of those
left over). It written and composed by Jorge González and became one
of the greatest classics of Chilean popular music.
1986 Chile’s military
discovered a clandestine arms shipment that was traced to Cuba.
There were enough arms to support 5,000 men.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1986-2006 In Chile the poverty rate during this
period fell from 45% to just 13.7% of the population.
(Econ, 9/19/09, p.47)
1987 Cecilia Bolocco of Chile
won the Miss Universe crown.
(WSJ, 8/3/01, p.A1)
1987 In Chile a secret police
unit killed 12 members of a pro-communist urban guerrilla gang. In
2007 retired Col. Ivan Quiroz was convicted as a member of the
secret police unit and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Sentenced
along with Quiroz were 10 other agents of Dina, including its
director at the time, retired Gen. Hugo Salas, who received a life
1988 Feb 2, In Chile the
Concertación, a coalition of center-left political parties, was
founded. Presidential candidates under its banner won every election
from when military rule ended in 1990 until the conservative
candidate Sebastián Pińera won the Chilean presidential election in
2010. In 2013 it was replaced by New Majority coalition.
1988 Apr 2, Police Corp.
Alfredo Rivera Rohas (35) was murdered by 3 youths while carrying
home groceries in Santiago, Chile.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1988 Sep 29, In Chile a
17-year-old girl died from electric torture by military police. This
case was later cited by a Spanish judge as part of the 1998 warrant
against Gen’l. Pinochet.
(SFC, 11/13/98, p.D3)
1988 Oct 5, The Chilean
population agreed at referendum their opposition to the Pinochet
1988 Oct 6, Gen. Augusto
Pinochet, the president of Chile, conceded defeat in a referendum
held the day before to determine whether he should receive a new
eight-year term of office. He was forced to call for an open
election but stayed president until his term ran out in 1990.
(AP, 10/6/98)(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A3)
1988 Jacobo Timerman (d.1999 at
76), Argentine journalist, published "Chile: Death in the South."
(SFC, 11/12/99, p.D6)
1988 Chile was kicked out of
America’s system of preferences and cut its average tariffs from 20%
to 15% in a bid to lower the cost of imports.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.78)
1988 Ricardo Claro (1934-2008),
Chilean industrialist, became head of Compania SudAmericana de
Vapores (CSAV), a shipping company. He expanded the company 10-fold
by 2007 raising its revenues to $4.15 billion.
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A6)
1989 Mar 13, The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration began a quarantine of all fruit imported from
Chile after traces of cyanide were found in two Chilean grapes.
1989 Dec 14, Opposition leader
Patricio Aylwin, representing the left and center opposition
alliance, was elected president in Chile's first free election since
1970. However the generals maintained great power that included the
right to veto political decisions.
(AP, 12/14/02)(WSJ, 1/9/96,
1989 Sebastian Pinera (b.1949),
Chilean businessman and politician, was elected senator in Chile.
His fortune in 1996 was estimated at $300 mil.
(WSJ, 3/26/96, p.A-10)
1990 Mar 11, Chile’s General
Augusto Pinochet gave up power after 16 years of rule, but remained
commander of the army. Some 3,200 people were murdered under his
dictatorship and 30,000 more were tortured. Patricio Aylwin
(1918-2016) began serving as president.
p.89)(SFC, 4/20/16, p.A2)
1990 Mar 12, Vice President
Quayle met in Santiago, Chile, with Nicaraguan President Daniel
Ortega, who promised to peacefully relinquish power to Violeta
Chamorro, the U.S.-backed candidate who had won Nicaragua's
1990 Chile’s Gen’l. Pinochet
sent troops into the streets of Santiago as a warning to drop an
official investigation into his son’s business dealings.
(SFC, 12/9/96, p.A18)
1990 Chile’s Gen’l. Pinochet
ended the legal practice of allowing abortions to protect the health
of the mother. Such abortions had been legal since 1931.
(Econ, 8/12/17, p.27)
1990 Inflation in Chile hit
(Econ, 4/30/05, p.74)
1990 Chile exported 23,000 tons
of farmed salmon.
(SFC, 4/1/02, p.A3)
1990 Chile had some 245,000
students in higher education. By 2005 this rose to 600,000.
(Econ, 4/2/05, p.33)
1991 Apr 1, Chilean Senator
Jaime Guzman was assassinated in Santiago. Sergio Galvarino
Apablaza, head of the left-wing Manuel Rodrizuez Patriotic Front,
was later accused of the murder and an arrest warrant was issued
2004. In 2005 an Argentine judge refuse to extradite Apablaza. In
2017 Mexican authorities arrested suspect Raul Escobar Poblete, an
alleged Chilean militant, wanted in connection with the death of
assassination of Guzman.
p.A11)(http://tinyurl.com/76olz)(Econ, 10/9/10, p.55)(SFC, 6/12/17,
1991 Aug, Chile’s Hudson
Volcano erupted in Aisen province. It launched a cubic mile of ash
and piled ash 18 inches (45 cm) high killing an estimated 1.5
million sheep on the Argentine side of the Andean mountain chain.
(SFCM, 10/3/04, p.51)(AP, 10/28/11)
1991 Dec, Hungarian officials
discovered 11 tons of rocket launchers and automatic weapons being
loaded on trucks headed for Croatia in violation of a UN arms
embargo. They had been labeled as Chilean humanitarian aid for Sri
Lanka. In Chile Col. Gerardo Huber, who directed purchases at the
army's weapons manufacturer, turned up dead shortly after testifying
in a military investigation. His head had been blown apart by a
blast from a machine gun. In 2009 former Chilean Army Gen. Guillermo
Letelier and Air Force Gen. Vicente Rodriguez were sentenced to
prison for shipping arms to Croatia at the time of its battle for
independence from Yugoslavia. 11 people were sentenced by a military
court in June, 2009, for their roles in the deal. In October, 2009,
retired Gen. Victor Lizarraga and retired Col. Manuel Provis got 10
and eight years, respectively, for conspiracy and homicide. Gen.
Carlos Krum and Col. Julio Munoz, also both retired, got nearly 2
years for conspiracy and murder, respectively. The identity of the
gunman in Huber's murder remained unknown.
(AP, 6/10/09)(AP, 10/5/09)
1991 In Chile the National
Commission on Truth and Reconciliation probed the abuses of the
military regime and reported that some people arrested by the DINA
were taken to the Dignity Colony, held there and tortured by agents
of the DINA and by people of the colony. The Rettig Commission was
named by the first post-military government to investigate human
rights abuses. It was headed by a former Allende minister and
counted a total of 2,279 dead and missing on both sides of the civil
(SFC, 6/27/97, p.A14)(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1991 Capital controls in Chile
were adjusted to a minimum permanence period of 3 years for foreign
(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A17)
1991 Chile’s Escondida mine,
the world’s biggest, began producing copper.
(Econ, 4/27/13, p.64)
1991-2001 Chile’s capital controls during this
period made foreigners leave part of their investment on deposit
with the central bank where it earned no interset. Research later
showed that this made it harder for small companies to raise fund
and had serious negative microeconomic effects.
(Econ, 10/12/13, SR p.12)
1992 Doug Tompkins, founder of
Esprit Corp., began purchasing a 762,000-acre property north of
Valle Chacabuco, Chile. He named the area Pumalin park and opened it
as a nature sanctuary. His townhouse and office building are located
in the coastal city of Puerto Montt. The $60 million deal was
concluded in 2001.
(SFC, 7/4/01, p.A10)(SFCM, 9/10/06, p.11)
1993 Dec 11, Eduardo Frei
(b.1942) was elected president of Chile.
1993 Chile passed its first law
offering protection, formal recognition and development aid to
indigenous groups. 5 of its original native tribes were already
lost. In 2006 the Kawesqar were down to just 15 full-blooded
members. The Mapuche numbered some 600,000.
(SSFC, 10/8/06, p.A25)
1993 Capital controls in Chile
were reduced to a minimum permanence period of 1 year for foreign
(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A17)
1994 Mar 11, Eduardo Frei
(b.1942) began office as president of Chile.
1994 May 29, Erich Honecker
(81), former East German leader (1971-89), died of liver cancer in
(AP, 5/29/99) (SFC, 8/26/97, p.A17)
1994 Pres. Ruiz-Tagle took
office in Chile.
(SFC, Z-1, 4/28/96, p.5)
1994 Chile’s National
Indigenous Development Corp. (Conadi) was formed to address
(SFEC, 5/7/00, p.A18)
1994 In Chile Luksic companies
earned $283 mil on revenue of over 2 bil. The Luksic family was into
banking and brewing. It minted coins and mined copper. It served
school lunches and sold cellular phones.
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-10)
1994 In Chile the giant
state-owned copper company, Codelco, lost more than $200 million in
dealings with the London Metal Exchange at the hands of rogue trader
Juan Pablo Davila.
(WSJ, 6/17/96, p.A6)
1994 A French wine expert
analyzed Chilean vines and reported that many of the Merlot vines
were actually Carmenére, a variety that was wiped out in France by a
phyloxera outbreak in 1860.
(WSJ, 12/28/01, p.A17)
1995 May, Chile’s Ministry of
Agriculture imposed a System of Appellation for the wine industry.
Labels would correctly indicate a wine’s region of origin.
(SFC, 1/8/96, zz-1 p.4)
1995 Fall, Chile’s Pres.
Ruiz-Tagle ordered the establishment of an ecotourism and adventure
travel branch for the tourism dept.
(SFC, Z-1, 4/28/96, p.5)
1995 Chile spent nearly $2
billion on defense this year, about 4% GNP.
(SFC, 11/23/96, p.A8)
1995 Chile’s military received
10% of the proceeds of exports by the state-owned Codelco copper
concern. That came to $316 million in this year. The government was
not allowed to question the military’s budget.
(SFC, 12/9/96, p.A18)
1995 Argentina and Chile signed
an energy agreement that allowed Argentina to cut supplies in an
emergency, but only in the same proportion as they are restricted at
(Econ, 5/15/04, p.34)
1996 In Chile bicyclists formed
“Furiosos Ciclistas" (raging cyclists) patterned after a SF group,
founded in 1992, to promote bicycling as a form of nonpolluting
(SSFC, 11/14/04, p.A16)
1997 Mar 4, Chile’s prison
population was 25,000 people. They were encouraged to participate as
employees in a joint government-business program.
(SFC, 3/4/97, p.A5)
1997 Apr 14, In SF the winners
of the 1997 Goldman Environmental Prize were: Included were Juan
Pablo Orrego of Chile for his battle to stop the damming of the Bio
(SFC, 4/14/97, p.A11)
1997 Jun, Storms in Chile
killed at least 19 people and left 51,000 homeless.
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.A12)
1997 Jul 7, Chile’s government
agreed to back the 670,000 acre nature preserve of Doug Tompkins,
founder of the Esprit clothing chain.
(SFC, 7/8/97, p.A7)
1997 Jul 28, In Santiago,
Chile, nearly a million children stayed home when the government
closed schools for 2 days due to high smog levels.
(SFC, 7/29/97, p.A10)
1997 Aug 7, Chile’s Pres.
Eduardo Frei and Argentine Pres. Carlos Menem opened a $325 million
pipeline for natural gas from Argentina to Santiago.
(SFC, 8/8/97, p.E3)
1997 Sep 21, From Chile it was
reported that the hanta virus had caused the death of 13 people in
(SFEC, 9/21/97, p.A27)
1997 Sep 29, A fire killed 30
children in a home for retarded children in northern Santiago,
(SFC, 9/30/97, p.A13)
1997 Oct 14, In Chile an
earthquake that measured 6.8 left 8 dead and 100 injured.
(SFC,10/15/97, p.C3)(WSJ, 10/16/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 29, It was reported
that giant rats, fattened from feeding on droppings of
hormone-fattened poultry, were attacking barnyard animals in the
Maipu suburb of Santiago, Chile.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A20)
1997 Dec-2004 Jan, In 2005
Britain’s Guardian newspaper claimed that during this period a
series of payments totaling $2,098,841 were made by BAE Systems PLC
to former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
1998 Jan 20, The 1st criminal
suit was filed against Chile’s Gen’l. Pinochet for human rights
(SFC, 12/11/06, p.A4)
1998 Jan 26, In Chile Gen’l.
Pinochet (82) backed away from scheduled retirement after the
Christian Democratic Party filed suit to prevent him from becoming a
senator for life.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A11)
1998 Mar 11, In Chile Gen’l.
Pinochet could not be removed as head of the army until this date.
His successor would be chosen by Pres. Eduardo Frei from 5 generals
proposed by Pinochet. He had agreed to resign on condition that he
be allowed to assume a Senate seat. Pinochet stepped down and was
replaced by Patricio Aylwin.
(SFC, 12/9/96, p.A18)(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A11)(SFC,
1998 Apr 15, Pres. Clinton
traveled to Chile for a Latin American trade summit.
(WSJ, 4/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 18-19, A 34-nation
trade summit was held over the weekend in Santiago, Chile. Some $45
billion from the Inner-America Development Bank, The World Bank and
the US Agency for Int’l. Development was to be made available for an
array of development projects.
(WSJ, 4/17/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 4/19/98, p.A24)
1998 Apr 19, In Chile leaders
of the 34 Western Hemisphere democracies at the second Summit of the
Americas agreed on a free-trade zone to be created by 2005. The
first summit met in Miami in 1994.
(SFC, 4/20/98, p.A1)
1998 Jun, It was reported that
the Catholic Univ. of Valparaiso, Chile, had sold its parcel of land
that cut the Park Pumalin of Doug Tompkins in half. It was sold to
Endesa Corp., a Spanish multinational.
(SFC, 6/5/98, p.A14)
1998 Aug 19, Chile’s senate
approved a bill to abolish the national holiday marking the 1973
coup against Pres. Allende. A Unity day was proclaimed instead to
begin in 1999.
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.A16)
1998 Aug, Chile’s Pres. Eduardo
Frei demanded the resignation of the director of the Indigenous
Council in order to proceed with the development of the Ralco Dam
through the land of the Pehuenche people on the Bio Bio River.
(SFEC, 8/28/98, p.T4)
1998 Sep 11, Chile’s last
national holiday to celebrate the end of the Allende government in
1973 was held.
(WSJ, 9/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Sep 12, The anniversary
of the 1973 coup was marked by weekend clashes with police and 2
people were killed and 77 injured.
(WSJ, 9/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 16, After receiving a
Spanish extradition warrant, British police arrested former Chilean
dictator Augusto Pinochet in London for questioning about
allegations that he had murdered Spanish citizens during his years
in power. Pinochet was held for 16 months as courts decided whether
he could be extradited to Spain; he was allowed in 2000 to return to
Chile, where a court later held that he could not face charges
because of his deteriorating health and mental condition.
1998 Oct 17, Chilean officials
lodged a formal complaint to Britain over the arrest of former
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who arrested in a London medical
clinic following a request from Spain for his extradition.
(SFEC, 10/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 19, A Spanish judge
filed a motion for the extradition of Gen’l. Pinochet from England
that encompassed 94 cases of genocide, as well as the deaths of 79
Spaniards who were killed in Chile after being abducted by an
alliance of south American intelligence services.
(SFC, 10/20/98, p.A8)
1998 Oct 28, Britain’s High
Court ruled that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet could not be
tried in England for anything he did in Chile. Pinochet was still
held pending an appeal. The House of Lords later overturned the
decision, saying Pinochet's arrest could stand. Pinochet was
eventually allowed to return to Chile, where a court later held that
he could not face charges because of his deteriorating health and
mental condition. Pinochet died in 2006.
(SFC, 10/29/98, p.A1)(AP, 10/28/08)
1998 Nov 10, Chile announced
the promotion of Brig. Gen’l. Sergio Espinoza Davies to Inspector
Gen’l. of the Chilean Army. This followed his departure as chief of
the UN military observer mission in India and Pakistan due to his
role in human rights abuses during the Pinochet dictatorship.
(SFC, 11/13/98, p.D2)
1998 Nov 25, In Britain 5
members of the House of Lords voted 3 to 2 to reject former Chilean
dictator Augusto Pinochet’s claim of immunity from extradition. The
rejection came one day before Pinochet’s 83rd birthday. The final
decision rested with Home Sec. Jack Straw.
(SFC, 11/26/98, p.A1,B2)(SFC, 11/27/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 9, Britain’s Home
Secretary, Jack Straw, turned down Gen’l. Augusto Pinochet’s plea to
be set free.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 17, In Britain the
high court set aside its ruling against Gen’l Pinochet because one
member failed to disclose close ties with Amnesty Int’l. A new panel
will rehear Pinochet’s claim of immunity.
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.A18)
1998 The film "Chile, Obstinate
Memory" was about Chilean politics and showed at the SF Film Fest.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, DB p.55)
1998 Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas
won the Mexican Octavio Paz Prize for poetry and essay writing.
(SFC, 3/1/99, p.E5)
1998 The Funa movement began in
Argentina in the 1990s where it was known as escrache. Protesters
marched to the homes or workplaces of former military agents
involved in "disappearances," where they chanted "If there isn’t any
justice, there’s La Funa!" The movement expanded to Chile especially
after Pinochet was arrested in 1998.
(SSFC, 11/11/01, p.F1)
1999 Jan 17, A forest fire had
destroyed 24,000 acres near San Fernando, some 80 miles south of
Santiago, Chile. It was the worst fire in 25 years.
(SFC, 1/18/99, p.A17)
1999 Feb 18, In Chile Lee Pope
of California and 27 demonstrators against the Ralco Dam project on
the Bio Bio River were arrested.
(SFEC, 3/14/99, p.A3)
1999 Feb, Six African lions
escaped from a crashed truck in the north of Chile. By August they
had killed some 600 llamas.
(SFC, 8/14/99, p.A6)
1999 Mar 24, In Britain the
high court rejected the claim of Pinochet for immunity from
prosecution, but reduced the charges that could be brought against
him to offenses after Sep 29, 1988. 27 of the 30 charges in the
Spanish warrant were thrown out.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A3)
1999 Apr 9, Cardinal Raul Silva
Henriquez (91), the former archbishop of Santiago, Chile, died. He
was renowned for defending human rights during the dictatorship of
(SFC, 4/10/99, p.A21)
1999 Apr 13, Alejandra Matus,
author, launched her new book "The Black Book of Chilean Justice."
Police confiscated the books the next day and Matus fled the country
(SFEC, 5/2/99, p.A26)
1999 May 30, In Chile Ricardo
Lagos won the presidential primary to represent the center left
governing coalition against Joaquin Lavin on Dec. 12.
(WSJ, 6/1/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 8, Five Chilean army
officers were indicted in connection to the executions of 72
dissidents after a 1973 coup. Indicted were retired Gen'ls. Sergio
Arellano, Pedro Espinoza, retired Cols. Sergio Arredondo, Marcelo
Moren, and retired Capt. Patricio Diaz.
(SFC, 6/9/99, p.C2)
1999 Jun 19, In Chile some 100
Mapuche Indians completed a 24 day walk to Santiago to demand more
land and greater autonomy ahead of a planned demonstration the next
(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.A13)
1999 Jul 1, Sola Sierra,
president of the Chilean advocacy group Families of the Detained and
Disappeared, died at age 63.
(SFC, 7/2/99, p.D6)
1999 Oct 8, In London a court
ruled that Gen'l. Pinochet can be extradited to Spain for trial on
torture and conspiracy charges.
(SFC, 10/9/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 29, In Chile a court
charged 7 retired military officers, including Gen. Hugo Salas, for
the kidnapping and killing of 7 leftists of the Manuel Rodriguez
Patriotic Front during the rule of Gen. Pinochet.
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.A13)
1999 Nov 13, Peru and Chile
signed an agreement to end a 120-year territorial dispute. Peru was
granted the exclusive use of a pier in the Chilean port of Arica.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A22)
1999 Dec 11, In Chile
presidential elections were held. Ricardo Lagos, a leftist moderate,
was the candidate for the governing Concertacion. Joaquin Lagos, a
right-wing populist, was a member of Opus Dei, a conservative
(SFC, 12/11/99, p.A16)
1999 Dec 12, In Chile Ricardo
Lagos and Joaquin Lavin stood at a virtual tie in presidential
elections. A runoff was set for Jan 16.
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A12)
2000 Jan 16, In Chile Socialist
Ricardo Lagos (61) won the presidential elections in a 51.3% to
48.7% vote over Joaquin Lavin, a former aide to Gen. Pinochet.
(SFC, 1/17/00, p.A10)(WSJ, 1/17/00, p.A1)
2000 Feb 16, Spanish papers
reported that former Chilean Gen. Pinochet suffered from brain
damage, according to a leaked British medical assessment, and could
not stand for trial.
(WSJ, 2/16/00, p.A1)
2000 Mar 1, In Britain Home
Sec. Jack Straw ruled that Gen. Pinochet should not be extradited to
(SFC, 3/2/00, p.A11)
2000 Mar 3, Gen. Pinochet was
flown home to Chile after being released from Britain on medical
(WSJ, 3/3/00, p.A1)
2000 Mar 11, In Chile Pres.
Ricardo Lagos took power as the 1st socialist president since
Salvadore Allende was killed in a 1973 coup.
(SFEC, 3/12/00, p.A19)(AP, 3/11/01)
2000 Mar 14, In Chile
authorities arrested former Gen. Eduardo Iturriaga for the 1975
shooting of former Vice Pres. Bernardo Leighton and his wife, Ana,
(SFC, 3/15/00, p.A10)
2000 May 24, In Chile an
appeals court ruled that Gen. Pinochet cannot claim immunity from
(SFC, 5/25/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 12, The worst rains in
20 years began and caused flooding in Santiago and a large portion
of central and southern Chile.
(SFC, 6/15/00, p.C4)
2000 Jun 13, Chile’s military
agreed to search for the remains of the 1,200 dissidents who
disappeared between 1973-1990 under Gen. Pinochet.
(SFC, 6/14/00, p.A16)
2000 Aug 1, In Chile the
Supreme Court was reported to have voted in secret to strip Gen.
Pinochet of his senatorial immunity.
(SFC, 8/2/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 7, Chile’s Supreme
Court announced a vote of 14-6 to allow the prosecution of Gen.
Pinochet on human rights charges.
(SFC, 8/9/00, p.A10)
2000 Aug 8, Chile’s Supreme
Court stripped General Augusto Pinochet’s immunity, clearing the way
for the former dictator to be tried on human rights charges.
However, an appeals court later ruled Pinochet unfit to stand trial
because of his deteriorating health and mental condition.
(SFC, 8/9/00, p.A10)(AP, 8/8/01)
2000 Nov 28, Chile’s Pres.
Ricardo Lagos met with technology leaders in California’s Silicon
(SFC, 11/28/00, p.A16)
2000 Dec 1, In Chile an Appeals
Court judge ordered the house arrest of Gen. Pinochet for
kidnappings following the 1973 coup.
(SFC, 12/2/00, p.A12)
2000 Dec 5, In Chile a court of
appeals suspended the house arrest of Gen. Pinochet.
(SFC, 12/6/00, p.A16)
2001 Jan 7, Chile’s Pres. Lagos
confirmed that an investigation had found that at least 151
dissidents were assassinated by security forces under Pinochet in
the 1970s and their bodies thrown into rivers, lakes or the pacific
(SFC, 1/9/01, p.A15)
2001 Jan 29, In Chile Judge
Guzman reinstated his case against Gen. Pinochet.
(SFC, 1/30/01, p.A10)
2001 May 21, Chile’s Pres.
Ricardo Lagos made a state-of-the-nation address and raised the
government’s job creation pledge to 150,000 to help offset rising
(WSJ, 5/25/01, p.A8)
2001 May 21, In Iquique, Chile,
26 prisoners, mostly first time offenders, died after rioting
inmates set fires in their cells. Authorities later said the fire
was started by accident.
(WSJ, 5/22/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/23/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 20, It was reported
that Chile had recently abolished its death penalty.
(SFC, 6/20/01, p.A9)
2001 Jul 9, In Chile an appeals
court ruled that Gen. Pinochet was mentally unfit to stand trial.
(SFC, 7/10/01, p.A7)
2001 Nov 13, An anthrax tainted
letter was received by a pediatrician in Santiago, Chile. It was
postmarked from Switzerland and marked for return to Florida. It was
actually mailed from NY through a NY-based subsidiary of the Swiss
Post office. The letter was later believed to have been contaminated
in a lab.
(SFC, 11/23/01, p.A4)(SFC, 11/24/01, p.A9)(WSJ,
11/28/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 11/29/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 5, Oscar Gacitua (76),
pianist, killed himself in Santiago, Chile, by hurling under a
(SFC, 12/7/01, p.A25)
2001 Dec 16, A congressional
election showed the Coalition for Democracy with 47.8% of the vote
vs. 445 for the opposition Alliance for Chile.
(SFC, 12/17/01, p.A6)
2001 Chile exported over
200,000 tons of farmed salmon and was expected to become the global
leader by 2010. The industry was under fire for heavy use of
antibiotics, low wages and unsanitary conditions. A fishing quote
system, effective to 2012, was set up to stabilize stocks.
(SFC, 4/1/02, p.A3)(Econ, 8/11/12, p.32)
2002 Jan 30, It was reported
that the remains of some 10 victims of the Pinochet regime had been
found at Fuerte Arteaga, an army base north of Santiago, Chile.
(SFC, 1/31/02, p.A9)
2002 Jul 1, Chile's Supreme
Court ruled that former dictator General Augusto Pinochet was
suffering from dementia and dropped all charges against him for
human rights violations during his regime.
2002 Jul 2, In Chile the
highest court halted prosecution of dictator Augusto Pinochet ruling
that he was mentally unfit to stand trial for dozens of political
killings by the notorious "Caravan of Death."
2002 Jul 4, In Chile Augusto
Pinochet resigned as senator-for-life.
(SFC, 7/5/02, p.A14)
2002 Aug 12, In Chile hundreds
of thousands of Santiago residents had to walk to work as a strike
took virtually all the buses off the streets in this capital city of
5.5 million people.
2002 Sep 13, Argentine police
arrested Luis Ramirez Pineda (77), a retired Chilean army general,
at a Buenos Aires hotel on an international warrant for alleged
involvement in human rights abuses stemming from the 1973 coup in
2002 Oct 18, A Chilean judge
indicted six current and retired army officers, including two
generals, in the 1993 slaying of a chemist with former dictator
Augusto Pinochet's secret service.
2002 Nov 23, Chilean artist
Roberto Echaurren Matta (91), a master of surrealist painting and
sculpture, died at a hospital near Rome. His work included “Mirror
of Cronos" (1998).
(AP, 11/24/02)(Econ, 7/19/14, p.32)
2002 Dec 11, Chile’s Pres.
Ricardo Lagos announced it had reached an agreement for a free trade
accord with the United States.
(AP, 12/11/02)(SFC, 12/12/02, p.A20)
2002 In Chile a census counted
15% of the population claiming to be evangelicals, a Latin America
synonym for Protestants.
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.52)
2003 Feb 25, In Chile a
judge indicted 2 former commanders of the once feared secret police
in the 1974 assassination in Argentina of a former army commander
opposed to then-Pres. Augusto Pinochet. Gen. Manuel Contreras and
Brig. Pedro Espinoza were charged with homicide. 3 others, Gens.
Raul Iturriaga, Jose Zara, and Iturriaga’s brother, Jorge, were also
2003 Jun 6, Chile became the
first South American country to sign a free trade agreement with the
(AP, 6/7/03)(WSJ, 6/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Jul 15, Roberto Bolano
(b.1953), Chilean author, died in Spain. His novel “2666" was
published posthumously in 2006. In 2007 his novel “The Savage
Detectives" (1998) was made available in English.
2003 Sep 3, President Bush
signed legislation to begin free trade with Singapore and Chile.
2003 Oct 22, Chile's Senate
overwhelmingly approved a free trade treaty with the United States,
paving the way for the accord to become effective Jan 1.
2003 Oct, In Santiago, Chile,
Claudio Spiniak, a wealthy businessman, and 6 colleagues were
charged with using a luxury gym for sadomasochistic orgies with
children. An estimated 4,000 children worked in Chile's commercial
(SFC, 11/24/03, p.F1)
2003 A humanoid skeleton was
first discovered in the remote Atacama desert region of Chile. In
2012 Stanford reasearchers traveled to Chile to obtain detailed X
Rays, CAT scans and take genetic samples for testing at Stanford
University. Results showed that it was human and not an
extraterrestrial. Findings also show it may have been a 6-inch
Chilean human that survived for 6 to 8 years.
2004 Feb, South Korea ratified
its 1st free trade agreement. Its partner was Chile.
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.39)
2004 Apr 19, Chilean troops
prepared to take up posts in central Haiti, extending the
peacekeeping presence where as many as 400 rebels still hold sway.
2004 Apr 21, Chile said it
would begin negotiating a free-trade pact with India beginning in
August. It would at first be limited to commerce in goods.
(WSJ, 4/22/04, p.A17)
2004 May 7, Chile legalized
divorce despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
2004 May 26, Argentina said it
is imposing a 20% tax on natural gas exports. Chile, which imports
90% of Argentina’s gas, would be hard hit.
(WSJ, 5/27/04, p.A18)
2004 Aug 26, Chile’s Supreme
Court stripped Pinochet of his immunity.
(WSJ, 8/27/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 29, Chile's foreign
and defense ministers stepped down in moves making it easier for
them to seek public office.
2004 Oct 14, In Chile Cardinal
Juan Francisco Fresno (90) died. He played a key role in efforts to
restore democracy in Chile during the military dictatorship of Gen.
2004 Nov 17, Chile’s 1st
divorce law was scheduled to go into effect.
(WSJ, 10/5/04, p.A1)
2004 Oct 27, It was reported
that a coalition of small leftist political groups in Chile has sued
Pres. Bush and other US government officials for the abuses against
prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
2004 Oct 31, In Chile voters
gave strong support to the center-left government of President
Ricardo Lagos in nationwide municipal elections.
2004 Nov 5, The Chilean army
for the first time assumed institutional responsibility for
widespread human rights violations during the 1973-90 dictatorship
of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
2004 Nov 10, Chile confronted
the grim legacy of abuses under the 1973-90 dictatorship of Gen.
Augusto Pinochet completing a lengthy report on torture and
political imprisonment with testimonies from some 35,000 victims.
The commission concluded that torture was a habitual practice of the
armed forces and police throughout Pinochet’s dictatorship.
(AP, 11/10/04)(Econ, 12/4/04, p.38)
2004 Nov 17, In Chile top
government ministers from 21 Pacific Rim nations convened high-level
talks on free trade and global security as police battled university
students protesting the summit and a weekend visit by President
2004 Nov 18, A woman (48)
became the first person in Chilean history to file for divorce.
2004 Nov 19, APEC, the
Asia-Pacific Economic cooperation summit, opened in Chile.
(Econ, 11/20/04, p.40)
2004 Nov 21, In Chile
Asia-Pacific leaders wrapped up an annual summit dominated by US
President George W. Bush's core security agenda.
2004 Dec 2, In Chile an appeals
court ruled to strip former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet of
immunity from prosecution for a 1974 car bombing that killed an
exiled Chilean general and the man's wife.
2004 Dec 13, A Chilean judge
indicted former dictator General Augusto Pinochet on charges of
kidnapping nine political dissidents and killing one of them during
his 17-year military regime.
2004 Dec 14, Chile’s Congress
passed a bill granting compensation, a monthly pension of $190, to
some 28,000 former political prisoners from the dictatorship of Gen.
(SFC, 12/17/04, p.A27)
2004 Dec 18, Former Chilean
dictator General Augusto Pinochet was hospitalized after suffering a
2004 Dec 20, A Chilean appeals
court upheld the indictment and house arrest of General Augusto
Pinochet on murder and kidnapping charges during his rule.
2004 In Chile days after the
recipe was published in the paper's "Woman" magazine, hospitals
around the country began treating women for burns suffered when the
dough boiling in oil suddenly shot out of kitchen pots. In 2011
Chile's Supreme Court ordered the publisher of La Tercera to pay
$125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out the
2004 Vitro Centre Chile, a
joint venture between local investors and a Dutch firm, began
operations for bulb production.
(Econ, 4/2/05, p.33)
2004 Goldman Sachs donated a
2,750 square km. property in the Chilean part of Tierra del Fuego to
the Wildlife Conservation Society of NY. It became the Karukinka
nature reserve. Goldman acquired the property in 2002 along with
loans backing a failed 1990s project for logging lenga, a type of
(Econ, 3/11/06, p.74)
2004 In Chile Doug Tompkins,
founder of Esprit Corp., purchased the 173,000-acre Valle Chacabuco
ranch for $10 million. Their intent was to convert it into a
(SFCM, 9/10/06, p.10)
2004 Endesa, a Spanish-owned
utility firm, and Hydro-Quebec of Canada announced their Aysen
project, a $4 billion plan to build 4 dams in Chile’s Valle
(SFCM, 9/10/06, p.10)
2005 Jan 1, Chile was forecast
for 4.6% annual GDP growth with a population at 15.5 million and GDP
per head at $6,180.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.93)
2005 Jan 20, Chile, the world's
biggest copper producer, and India, the world's biggest grains
producer, agreed to launch talks to reduce import tariffs on some
goods to boost bilateral trade.
2005 Jan 28, In Chile Retired
Gen. Manuel Contreras, the chief of the feared security service of
former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, was forcefully arrested at
his home and sent to prison with four of his top aides after being
convicted in an emblematic human rights case.
2005 Jan, Chile shut halted
operations for a month at a $700m wood-pulp plant opened last year
in Valdivia due to environmental concerns. In June it was shut down
(Econ, 6/25/05, p.39)
2005 Feb 10, Chile raised its
key interest rate to 2.75% from 2.5%.
(WSJ, 2/11/05, p.A9)
2005 Mar 13, Paul Schaefer
(83), former head of a secretive German colony in southern Chile,
was flown to Santiago after his arrest in Argentina. Schaefer
founded Colonia Dignidad, or Dignity Colony, a commune-like enclave
in 1961, and is accused in the disappearance of a dissident under
dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
2005 Mar 15, A US Senate
investigators released a new report that said 9 US banks, including
Citigroup, Bank of America, and Riggs Bank, enabled Augusto
Pinochet, former Chilean dictator, and family members to build a
secret network of accounts to conceal his wealth. DC-based Riggs
Bank merged with PNC Financial following the inquiry, which also
revealed that Pinochet and Obiang Nguema, president of Equatorial
Guinea, had stashed millions in private accounts there.
p.A2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riggs_Bank)(Econ, 3/14/09, p.63)
2005 Mar 24, Chile’s Supreme
Court refused to strip Gen. Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from
(SFC, 3/25/05, p.A3)
2005 May 2, Jose Miguel
Insulza, Chile’s interior minister, became head of the Organization
of American States.
(WSJ, 5/2/05, p.A16)
2005 May 19, Five Chilean
soldiers froze to death and 65 were missing after a fierce snowstorm
pounded the Andes mountains.
2005 May 20, Young Chilean
soldiers who made it out of a blizzard alive said they had to leave
behind comrades who collapsed from exhaustion and cold. The soldiers
were on a training march in the Andes Mountains May 18, when hit by
the worst snowstorm in the area in decades. As many as 41 soldiers,
40 draftees and one officer, were believed to have died.
2005 Jun 3, The Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) was formed with Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and
Singapore as partners. It aimed to integrate the economies of the
2005 Jun 7, A Chilean appeals
court stripped Gen. Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution in
a tax evasion case stemming from multimillion-dollar bank accounts
the former dictator held in the US.
2005 Jun 14, A 7.9 earthquake
rattled cities in Bolivia and Peru and heavily damaged mountain
villages in northern Chile, killing at least 11 people including a
family of 6.
(WSJ, 6/14/05, p.A1)(AP, 6/15/05)
2005 Jun 27, France, Germany,
Brazil and Chile called for a tax on airline tickets to help finance
the global fight against poverty.
2005 Jul 6, A Chilean court
stripped Gen. Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution for his
alleged role in the killing of 119 dissidents in the early years of
2005 Aug 10, In Chile Gen.
Augusto Pinochet's wife and younger son were arrested and charged as
accomplices in a tax evasion case linked to an investigation into
the former dictator's multimillion dollar fortune overseas.
2005 Aug 18, Andronico Luksic
(78), Chilean billionaire, died. His holding included beach resorts
in Croatia, where his father was born.
(SFC, 8/30/05, p.B4)
2005 Sep 14, Chile’s Supreme
Court stripped Gen. Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution,
paving the way for a trial of the former dictator for his alleged
role in the disappearance and killing of 15 dissidents during his
2005 Sep 17, Chile’s Pres.
Lagos signed a reform of the constitution that deleted what he
called “authoritarian enclaves" left in place from the dictatorship.
2005 Sep 30, South American
presidents committed themselves to establishing a continental free
trade zone. The South American summit was attended by the presidents
of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and
2005 Oct 13, Argentina and
Chile suspended imports of Brazilian meat, joining 28 other
countries with similar bans after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth
2005 Oct 19, Chile's Supreme
Court stripped former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet of immunity
from prosecution for corruption charges related to his multimillion
dollar bank accounts overseas. It was revealed that he had up to $27
million stashed abroad.
(AP, 10/19/05)(Econ, 12/16/06, p.89)
2005 Oct 23, Pope Benedict XVI
named five new saints at the close of a 3-week Synod of Bishops.
They included: Rev. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, a Chilean Jesuit who
was known for his work with the poor as well as the young.
2005 Nov 6 Former Peruvian
President Alberto Fujimori was arrested, hours after he defied an
international arrest warrant and flew from Japan to Chile. Shortly
after Fujimori's presence in Chile was confirmed, the Peruvian
government asked Santiago to arrest him while a request for his
extradition was filed.
2005 Nov 14, Retired Gen.
Manuel Contreras (79), the head of Chile's secret police under Gen.
Augusto Pinochet, was sentenced to three years in prison for the
1976 killing of Julia Retamal, a teacher opposed to the dictator's
regime. Contreras was already serving a 12-year sentence for a
2005 Nov 18, China and Chile
signed a free-trade agreement on behalf of their nations, the first
between China and a Latin American country.
2005 Nov 23, In Chile former
dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was indicted and put under house
arrest on charges of tax evasion and corruption related to his
multimillion-dollar overseas accounts.
2005 Nov 24, Former Chilean
dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was indicted on human rights charges
and placed under house arrest, hours after he made bail on unrelated
corruption charges filed only a day earlier.
2005 Dec 7, In Chile Gen.
Augusto Pinochet was stripped of his legal immunity by an appeals
court, allowing his trial in the disappearance of 29 additional
dissidents during his 1973-90 dictatorship.
2005 Dec 11, In Chile Michelle
Bachelet easily defeated two feuding right-wing candidates with 46
percent of the vote, but fell shy of the 50 percent needed for
2005 Dec 28, Chilean police
took fingerprints and mugs shots of Gen. Augusto Pinochet following
his indictment for the killing and disappearance of 9 dissidents
during his dictatorship.
2005 Dec 28, Two members of a
secretive German colony in Chile were indicted on abuse allegations
in connection with the alleged torture of eight children.
2005 Dec 30, In Chile former
dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was stripped of his legal immunity to
face charges of diverting public funds to personal bank accounts.
2006 Jan 3, Peru formally asked
Chile to extradite former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori so he
can be tried on human rights and corruption charges.
2006 Jan 9, In Chile a judge
granted bail to former military strongman Augusto Pinochet in the
case of nine dissidents who disappeared during his dictatorship, but
the general will remain under house arrest while another court
reviews the decision.
2006 Jan 15, Chileans voted in
a presidential runoff election that pitted Michelle Bachelet, a
socialist pediatrician promising to maintain the country's
free-market policies, against Sebastian Pinera, a Harvard-trained
economist and multimillionaire businessman vowing to fight poverty.
Michelle Bachelet (54) won the elections with 53% of the vote,
compared to 46% for Pinera.
2006 Jan 20, In Chile former
dictator Augusto Pinochet was stripped of immunity from prosecution
on charges involving 59 cases of torture and kidnapping at a secret
detention center where hundreds of dissidents were held.
2006 Jan 23, In Chile Gen.
Augusto Pinochet's wife and four grown children were indicted and
ordered arrested on charges of tax evasion related to the former
dictator's multimillion-dollar accounts at overseas banks.
2006 Jan 25, The older daughter
of former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was detained upon arrival
in Washington after failing to obey a summons by a Chilean judge,
who indicted her on tax evasion charges.
2006 Jan 30, Chile’s
President-elect Michelle Bachelet unveiled a Cabinet that fulfilled
her campaign promise to give half the jobs to women and kept a
balance among the four parties in her center-left coalition.
2006 Jan 31, Chile received two
US F-16 warplanes out of 10 it had ordered as part of a major
military upgrade that has worried some of its South American
2006 Feb 15, A Chilean
environmental agency approved ambitious plans for an open-pit mine
high in the Andes mountains were unanimously, but the project's
future remained unclear because the agency rejected its most
controversial aspect, relocating three glaciers to reach the gold
2006 Mar 11, Michelle Bachelet,
a Socialist pediatrician who suffered prison, torture and exile
under Chile's military dictatorship, was sworn in as the nation's
first female president.
2006 Mar 13, Newly inaugurated
President Michelle Bachelet said that all Chileans older than 60
will immediately begin receiving free care at public hospitals.
2006 Mar 21, In Chile 13
retired army officers were indicted on homicide charges for their
participation in the Caravan of Death under the dictatorship of Gen.
Augusto Pinochet. The new warrants were issued against officers who
were serving at regiments visited by the Caravan and allegedly
helped the repression by participating in illegal executions and
2006 Mar 22, In northern Chile
a tour bus swerved to avoid an approaching truck and tumbled 300
feet down a mountainside, killing 12 American tourists and injuring
2006 Mar, Sebastian Pinera,
Chilean businessman and politician, paid some $6 million for 1,150
square km. on Chiloe Island and planned to invest some 20 million
over the next 5 years to develop ecotourism there.
2006 Apr 7, In Chile an appeals
court upheld the indictment of former dictator Gen. Pinochet on
charges of evading up to $3 million in taxes related to secret
accounts in foreign banks.
2006 May 18, A smiling Alberto
Fujimori left jail after almost seven months when Chile's Supreme
Court granted the former Peruvian president bail as he fights
extradition to face corruption and human rights charges.
2006 May 24, In Chile Paul
Schaefer (84), the leader of now-dismantled Colonia Dignidad, was
convicted of sexually abusing 25 children and sentenced to 20 years
in jail. The colony was founded by German immigrants in southern
Chile in the early 1960s.
2006 May 30, A nationwide
protest by Chilean high school students demanding school reforms
turned violent as police struggling to contain hundreds of raucous
marchers opened fire with tear gas and water cannons. Some 600,000
pupils, backed by university students, teachers and many parents,
walked out of classes.
(AP, 5/30/06)(Econ, 6/3/06, p.35)
2006 May 31, In Chile police
for a second day used water cannons to scatter demonstrations by
high school students that turned violent when masked protesters
started throwing rocks near downtown Santiago. President Michelle
Bachelet fired the commander of the Santiago riot police, Col.
Osvaldo Jara, in response to the initial clashes.
2006 Jun 5, In Chile protesters
clashed with police in Santiago as students stepped up demands for
reforms to the country's educational system, saying new government
concessions didn't go far enough.
2006 Jul 12, In central Chile
flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain left at least 11
people dead and forced 30,000 to flee their inundated homes.
2006 Aug 8, In Chile police
used tear gas and water cannons to disperse about 2,000
rock-throwing students seeking better equipment for 21 schools in
the Santiago area.
2006 Aug 10, In Chile a drug
trafficking network working on behalf of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC) was dismantled. Police seized almost a
half-ton of cocaine and arrested 12 people.
2006 Aug 14, In Chile a tough
nationwide anti-smoking law that took effect.
2006 Aug 18, Chile's Supreme
Court voted to strip Gen. Augusto Pinochet of immunity from
prosecution, allowing him to be tried on corruption charges for his
once-secret multimillion dollar overseas bank accounts.
2006 Aug 18, Anglo-Australian
resources giant BHP Billiton closed its operations at the world's
biggest copper mine in Chile and ended negotiations with striking
workers. The strike began on August 7 at the Escondida Mine,
majority owned by BHP. The Chilean government has signaled it was
ready to intervene.
2006 Aug 28, In Chile Paul
Schaefer (84), former leader of Colonia Dignidad, or Dignity Colony,
was sentenced to 7 years in prison for arms found at the secretive
enclave near Parral, 200 miles south of Santiago.
2006 Sep 2, In Chile miners at
Escondida returned to work following a 25-day strike that cost the
company some $200 million in lost profits. Their new deal included a
bonus of $12,000 on account of high copper prices.
(Econ, 9/9/06, p.40)
2006 Sep 21, Chile's President
Michelle Bachelet said her decision to allow the government to
distribute free morning-after contraception pills to girls as young
as 14 was a matter of "equality" within Chilean society.
2006 Sep 26, In Chile thousands
of public school teachers held a generally peaceful march in
Santiago to demand higher pay.
2006 Oct 4, In Chile government
officials announced plans to build a 62-mile highway through Pumalin
Park, a nature reserve created by Douglas Tompkins of SF. The
government also signaled that it will push ahead with the proposed
$4 billion hydroelectric complex to dam the Baker and Pasqua rivers
south of Pumalin.
(SSFC, 10/8/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 27, In Chile former
dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was indicted for abuses at Villa
Grimaldi, one of his regime's most infamous secret prisons, where
President Michelle Bachelet and her mother were once held and
2006 Nov 6, Chile’s President
Michelle Bachelet opened an international gathering of socialist
leaders in Santiago by urging them to take advantage of the
"reality" of globalization instead of fighting it. Police in Chile
arrested 4 suspected computer hackers for allegedly belonging to a
group accused of breaking into thousands of government Web sites
around the globe, including NASA's.
2006 Nov 12, In central Chile a
bus carrying members of a military band skidded off a precipice in
the rain and fell into the Tucapel River, killing 19 people and
2006 Nov 24, In southern Chile
a twin-engine plane crashed, killing the Chilean pilot and five
2006 Dec 10, In Chile Gen.
Augusto Pinochet (b.1915) died dashing hopes of victims of his
regime's abuses that he would be brought to justice. He overthrew
Chile's democratically elected Marxist president in a bloody coup
and for 17 years.
2006 Dec 15, President Michelle
Bachelet proposed a shake-up of Chile's widely admired but
incomplete private social security system, urging a minimum
government pension for 1 million elderly Chileans left out of the
2006 Dec 29, In Chile 13 former
dictatorship-era security agents were sentenced to prison terms
ranging from five to 18 years for four killings committed in revenge
for the bloody 1986 assassination attempt of dictator Gen. Augusto
2006 The population of Chile
was about 16 million.
(SSFC, 10/8/06, p.A25)
2007 Feb 3, In Chile a fire
swept through a small hotel in Punta Arenas, killing 10 foreign
tourists, including two children, as they slept in their rooms. A
large gas explosion rocked a historic area in the port city of
Valparaiso, killing at least one person, injuring 11 more and
causing extensive damage over three city blocks.
2007 Feb, Santiago, Chile,
launched an overhaul of its public-transport system. For a year the
program created a nightmare for the city’s commuters.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.40)
2007 Mar 26, Chile’s President
Michelle Bachelet fired her chief of staff and three other members
of her Cabinet in response to a public transportation crisis that
has badly damaged her government.
2007 Apr 4, In Chile police
used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesting
students in the capital of Santiago, and detained nearly 100 people.
2007 Apr 20, Eight workers went
missing after a fire swept through a fish-processing ship off
southern Chile, killing one person. 116 members of the Hercules'
crew were rescued.
2007 Apr 21, An earthquake in
remote southern Chile shook free a landslide of rocks, sending them
smashing into a narrow fjord and causing massive 25-foot waves that
swept away 10 beachgoers. Three bodies were recovered the next day.
2007 May 21, In Chile Pres.
Michelle Bachelet apologized for failing to fix her capital's public
bus system and promised to raise education spending by hundreds of
millions of dollars.
2007 Jun 8, In Chile former
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was put back under house arrest,
a day after a Chilean prosecutor recommended his extradition to face
charges of human rights abuses and corruption in his home country.
2007 Jun 13, Heavy snows hit
the Andean border region of Argentina and Chile, forcing the closure
of a key mountain highway connecting the two countries and idling
thousands of trucks.
2007 Jul 4, In Chile Osvaldo
Romo (70), a security agent who became a symbol of torture and
repression under Gen. Augusto Pinochet's former military
dictatorship, died in prison.
2007 Jul 6, Chile's securities
regulator fined Sebastian Pinera, a leading right-wing politician
and former presidential candidate, for insider trading of LAN
Airlines SA stock.
2007 Aug 18, Chile’s national
poverty line was reported to be $90 per month. The richest tenth of
the population garnered 38.6% of the national income.
(Econ, 8/18/07, p.23)
2007 Sep 12, Police in Chile
battled rampaging youths over night on the anniversary of the 1973
military coup. One officer was killed, 41 people injured with some
304 people arrested.
(SFC, 9/13/07, p.A4)
2007 Sep 21, Chile's Supreme
Court ruled that former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori must be
extradited to face human rights and corruption charges in Peru.
2007 Sep 22, Former Peruvian
President Alberto Fujimori was flown to his home country in police
custody, one day after the Chilean Supreme Court authorized his
extradition on human rights and corruption charges.
2007 Oct 4, In Chile the widow
and five children of Gen. Augusto Pinochet were among 23 people
indicted on charges of corruption related to the dictator's US bank
2007 Oct 26,
A Chilean appeals court dropped corruption charges against
former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet's widow and four of his
children, who had been accused of misuse of state funds related to
multimillion-dollar overseas bank accounts.
2007 Nov 14, In Chile a 7.7
magnitude quake, centered near the desert village of Quillagua in
the foothills of the Andes, killed at least 2 people.
2007 Nov 21, Chile’s Supreme
Court threw out embezzlement indictments against former dictator
Gen. Augusto Pinochet's widow and four of his children, who had been
accused of misuse of state funds related to multimillion-dollar
overseas bank accounts.
(SFC, 11/22/07, p.A3)
2007 Dec 19, In Chile a retired
general and two former sergeants were fined and sentenced to 10
years in prison for killing a leftist couple shortly after Chile's
1973 military coup. The Santiago Court of Appeals said in a
communique that Gen. Fernando Polanco and Sgts. Luis Fernandez and
Hector Vallejos, all retired, were ordered to pay $600,000 to the
son of the slain couple, Ernesto Lejderman.
2007 Chile’s salmon farming
industry produced $2.2 billion in export revenues this year.
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.45)
2008 Jan 2, In southern Chile
hundreds of people fled their homes overnight as the Llaima volcano
erupted, rocking the area with explosions and spewing lava and ash.
2008 Jan 3, In Chile Interior
Minister Belisario Velasco, one of the most powerful officials in
President Michelle Bachelet's government, resigned as part of an
expected Cabinet shake-up. Mapuche Indians trying to reclaim
farmland they say belonged to their ancestors clashed with police in
violence that left protester Matias Catrileo dead.
(AP, 1/3/08)(AP, 1/5/13)
2008 Jan 13, In Chile Patricia
Troncoso (39), an imprisoned Indian-rights activist who has been on
a hunger strike for 93 days, was sent to a hospital because of her
deteriorating condition. Troncoso, imprisoned in 2002, is serving a
10-year sentence for participating in a group that set a fire on a
farm claimed by Mapuche Indian activists who say the property
belonged to their ancestors.
2008 Jan 16, Chile's congress
backed a pension reform bill to ensure the country's landmark social
security program for the first time covers every citizen.
2008 Jan 23, In Chile retired
Col. Ivan Quiroz was arrested in the southern city of Concepcion
after remaining at large for four months. He went into hiding to
avoid a 10-year prison sentence in a human rights case dating from
the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet He had been convicted as
member of a secret police unit that killed 12 members of a
pro-communist urban guerrilla gang in 1987.
2008 Jan 28, In Chile Patricia
Troncoso, an indigenous rights activist jailed for setting fire to a
farm once owned by Mapuche Indians, ended her 110-day hunger strike.
2008 Feb 4, In Chile Gen.
Gonzalo Santelices, head of the Santiago army garrison, resigned
amid accusations that he was involved in a case dating back to the
nation's military dictatorship. Santelices had acknowledged that as
a young lieutenant in October, 1973, he followed orders and
transferred 14 prisoners from a jail in northern Chile to a desert
area where they were executed by firing squad.
2008 Feb 7, Chile announced it
will try to head off power rationing by cutting electrical voltage,
distributing efficient light bulbs and extending daylight savings
2008 Feb 27, In Chile a small
police plane crashed at a sports field in Chile's capital, killing
all six aboard and five on the ground.
2008 Mar 11, Some 600,000 poor
Chileans will receive monthly pensions starting in July under a law
signed by President Michelle Bachelet that plugs gaps in Chile's
widely copied private pension system.
2008 Mar 13, Chile said it has
agreed to receive 117 Palestine refugees from Iraq who have spent
months living in tents along the desert border with Syria.
2008 Mar 28, In Chile 5 youths,
aged 14-20, attacked 9 German soldiers and took them hostage in the
port city of Iquique. One soldier escaped and police quickly
surrounded the house and arrested four suspects after a shootout.
2008 Mar 29, In Santiago,
Chile, violence broke out during the annual commemoration of the
“Day of the Young Combatants." One man (23) was shot by masked
demonstrators. The demonstration marked the killing of 2 leftists in
(SFC, 3/31/08, p.A3)
2008 Apr 3, In Chile Yasna
Provoste, Chile’s education minister, was impeached following the
discovery of $560 million shortfall in the ministry for 2004-2006.
2008 Apr 4, Chile's
Constitutional Court halted a government program that provided the
contraceptive known as the "morning-after" pill free to women and
girls as young as 14.
2008 Apr 8, Chilean police said
Marko Kulju (26), a Finnish tourist who chipped an earlobe off an
ancient Moai on Easter Island, is being allowed to go home after
paying a US$17,000 (euro10,830) fine and agreeing not to return for
2008 Apr 17, Retired Gen.
Manuel Contreras (78), former chief of Chile's secret police force,
was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the disappearance of a
dissident during the dictatorship of the late Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
2008 Apr 18, In Chile 5
high-ranking retired navy officers were indicted for the abduction,
torture and killing a British-Chilean priest and other dissidents in
the days following Chile's 1973 military coup.
2008 Apr 20,
A group of Palestinian refugees stranded on the Iraq-Syria
border since 2006 flew to Chile under a resettlement plan sponsored
by the Catholic Church in the South American country and the UN
agency for refugees.
2008 May 2, In southern Chile
authorities evacuated hundreds of people from villages after the
snowcapped Chaiten volcano, considered dormant for thousands of
2008 May 6, Chile’s Chaiten
volcano spewed lava and blasted ash more than 12 miles into the sky,
prompting a total evacuation of the provincial capital and other
2008 May 23, In Brazil 12 South
American leaders gathered in Brasilia to set up the Union of South
American Nations. UNASUR was expected to replace the South American
Community, declared in 2004, and unite the Mercosur and Andean
Community free trade areas. Members included Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,
Uruguay and Venezuela.
2008 May 29, Chile's national
police chief and 10 other people were killed when the aging
Panamanian government helicopter they were riding in crashed into a
three-story building in the heart of Panama City.
2008 Jun 11, A plane carrying
10 people that disappeared four days ago in Chile's frigid southern
forests was found with nine survivors who stayed alive by huddling
for warmth, sharing food and sheltering in the plane's wreckage. The
only fatality was the pilot Nelson Bahamondes (65). The plane had
disappeared June 7 after taking off the Chilean city of Puerto Montt
en route to La Junta.
2008 Jun 12, Chile’s Pres.
Bachelet visited California on a trade mission, addressed the state
Assembly and signed a cooperation agreement with Gov.
(SFC, 6/13/08, p.B12)
2008 Jun 23, Chile’s Pres.
Michelle Bachelet pushed to permanently ban whaling along Chile's
coast at the opening of the weeklong International Whaling
2008 Jun 30, In Chile Judge
Alejandro Solis said he sentenced retired Gen. Manuel Contreras to
two consecutive life prison terms for the killing of retired army
chief Carlos Prats and his wife, who died when a bomb blew their car
in Argentina in 1974. Contreras was already in prison serving
sentences of more than 70 years for other crimes committed under
2008 Aug 4, In Chile Alberto
Achacaz Walakial, one of the last surviving members of the nomadic
Kaweskar tribe, died of blood poisoning. Government documents listed
Achacaz's age at 79, but some believe he was close to 90. The tribe
once plied the waters off Chile's Patagonian coast. Experts estimate
that only about a dozen full-blooded Kaweskars, or Alacalufes,
survive and the group appears destined to disappear in the near
future as there are no women of fertile age left. Since the arrival
of the first Europeans, Chile has lost five of its original 14
indigenous tribes to disease, displacement or the overuse of their
2008 Aug 14, Chile’s central
bank said it is boosting its lending rate to 7.75%, warning that
additional adjustments will likely be necessary to ensure inflation
meets its 3 percent target in the next two years. Annual inflation
reached 9.5% in July, Chile's highest rate since 1994.
2008 Sep 11, Chile’s Senate
unanimously passed a bill submitted by President Michelle Bachelet
that bans whale hunting off the country’s 3,400 mile (5,500 km)
2008 Sep 11, In Santiago,
Chile. clashes erupted as protesters erected burning barricades and
attacked police with firearms and rocks on the 35th anniversary of
the 1973 bloody military coup.
2008 Oct 10, A Swedish court
sentenced Chilean tenor Ernesto "Tito" Beltran (43) to two years and
six months in prison for raping an 18-year-old nanny and molesting a
7-year-old girl. The appeals court in Goteborg upheld a previous
rape conviction, but overturned an acquittal in the molestation
2008 Oct 15, Chile’s President
Michelle Bachelet signed into law a measure that bans all whale
hunting off Chile's 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) coast.
2008 Oct 26, In Chile municipal
elections were held and Alliance, the center-right opposition, won
41% of the vote for mayors, 2 point more than the governing
center-left Concertacion coalition. This was the first-ever
nationwide defeat of Concertacion, which has ruled since 1990.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.47)
2008 Oct 28, Ricardo Claro
(b.1934), Chilean industrialist, died. His industrial empire
stretched from shipping (CSAV) to media to wine (Santa Rita). In
1974 he announced to the world, on behalf of the Pinochet
government, that Chile was once again open for business.
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 10, Chile's President,
Michelle Bachelet, signed law 20.299 making October 31st a new
annual public holiday to coincide with Reformation Day and to be
called "Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes".
The date marked the 1517 posting by Martin Luther of his 95 thesis
in Wittenberg, Germany.
(http://tinyurl.com/62uhnt)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.52)
2008 Dec 12, In Chile admirers
of former dictator Augusto Pinochet inaugurated a museum in his
honor, a move they hope will burnish the image of a man reviled by
much of the world.
2008 Dec 23, It was reported
that Wal-Mart has offered $2.8 billion to buy a majority stake in
Distribucion y Servicio D&S, a Chile-based grocer.
(WSJ, 12/23/08, p.C10)
2008 Dec, In Chile engraver
Pedro Urzua Lizana unknowingly left off the bottom part of the
letter "l" while hurriedly fixing a minor deformity in the original
mold for making dies to stamp out Chilean 50-peso pieces for 2009.
The coins were released to the public, but no one at the mint,
including himself, knew about the error until a coin collector
called in October to point it out. Urzua was fired in December,
2009 Jan 5, Chile’s Pres.
Michelle Bachelet announced a $4 billion economic stimulus package.
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.A9)
2009 Jan 19, Chile's former top
air force commander was arrested on charges of taking graft in the
1994 sale of 25 Belgian military planes to the government. Air Force
Gen. Ramon Vega and three other retired officers were charged with
tax evasion, misappropriation of public funds and improper
2009 Feb 12, Chile’s central
bank slashed its key interest rate 2.5% to 4.75%.
(WSJ, 2/13/09, p.A8)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.40)
2009 Mar 27, In Chile the
Progressive Governance Summit, a 2-day gathering of leaders from
Latin America and Europe, opened at the resort city of Vina del Mar.
All agreed for an export-credit fund to get trade flowing again.
(AP, 3/27/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.43)
2009 Apr 20, In Chile Gen.
Gonzalo Santelices, former head of the Santiago army garrison, was
indicted along with 2 other officers in the killing of 14 dissidents
in the early days of the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet
(SFC, 4/21/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 26, In Chile a fire
touched off by brawling inmates swept through the Colina prison near
Santiago, killing 10 prisoners.
2009 May 17, Chile confirmed
its first two cases of swine flu in two women who arrived from the
2009 Jun 1, Chilean plumber,
Fernando Vera, died of swine flu, making him South America's first
2009 Jun 9, Two retired Chilean
generals were sentenced to prison for shipping arms to Croatia in
1991 at the time of its battle for independence from Yugoslavia. The
arms had been labeled as Chilean humanitarian aid for Sri Lanka.
Army Gen. Guillermo Letelier and Air Force Gen. Vicente Rodriguez
were sentenced to three years in prison. Letelier also was sentenced
to 541 days for falsifying documents.
2009 Jun 25, Spanish
legislators voted to change a law that let judges indict Osama bin
Laden and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, narrowing its scope to
cases with a clear link to this country and yielding to criticism
that Spain should not be a global cop.
2009 Aug 12, In Chile Mapuche
activist Fabian Facundo Mendoza Collio (24) was shot and killed by
police during a confrontation with Mapuche Indians outside
Collipulli. Hours after the Collio was killed, an agricultural
warehouse in the area was set on fire, destroying about $1 million
worth of equipment.
2009 Aug 15, In southern Chile
Manuel Calfiu, head of the Mapuche community Meli Wixan Mapu, said
dozens of Indian communities agreed to form the Mapuche Territorial
Alliance to fight for political autonomy, said after several days of
violence over land seizures.
2009 Aug 21, Chile's health
ministry said it ordered a quarantine for two turkey farms outside
the port city of Valparaiso after genetic tests confirmed sick birds
were afflicted with the same swine flu virus circulating in humans.
2009 Sep 1, A Chilean judge
ordered the arrests of 129 former security officers on charges tied
to the disappearance of leftists and the slaying of the communist
party leadership during the Pinochet dictatorship.
2009 Sep 2, In Chile Judge
Manuel Valderrama said the accounts of General Pinochet and his
family reached a value of $25,978,602.79 shortly before his death in
December 2006. The investigating judge said that more than $20
million of the funds have no justifiable origin.
2009 Sep 11, In Chile police
and hooded protesters clashed Santiago on the anniversary of the
1973 military coup that toppled elected President Salvador Allende.
State television reported one death amid the disturbances.
2009 Oct 5, In Chile 4 former
top army officials were sentenced to prison in the murder of a
colonel shortly after he testified about a 1991 illegal deal to
smuggle weapons to Croatia.
2009 Oct 8, French utility
group GDF Suez said it had signed a contract worth 3.0 billion
dollars (2.0 billion euros) to supply electricity to subsidiaries of
the Chilean electricity company EMEL.
2009 Nov 1, It was reported
that hundreds of former Chilean military draftees were making a
provocative offer to Chile's government: They would reveal details
of crimes committed by Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, but
only if their safety is guaranteed.
2009 Nov 12, Peruvian media
reported that air force officer Victor Ariza (45) was arrested last
month for allegedly spying for Chile. Peruvian President Alan Garcia
soon accused Chile of assaulting Peru's sovereignty, throwing his
weight behind allegations that Chile paid a Peruvian military
officer to spy. Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez denied
2009 Dec 13, Chile held
elections. Sebastian Pinera, a billionaire who grew rich providing
credit cards to Chileans, strongly led in the polls. With 98% of the
vote counted Pinera won 44% of the vote, to 30% for former President
Eduardo Frei (67). A runoff vote was scheduled for Jan 17.
(AP, 12/13/09)(AP, 12/14/09)
2009 Max Marambio authored,
"Las Armas de Ayer" (The Weapons of Yesteryear), which Fidel Castro
praised in one of his frequent opinion pieces. Marambio was the
former head bodyguard of Chilean socialist President Salvador
Allende, who was toppled in a 1973 military coup. Marambio sought
refuge in Cuba after the coup and took part in secret military
missions before becoming one of Cuba's wealthiest business leaders.
2010 Jan 6, In Chile
investigators accused Rev. Ricardo Munoz Quinteros (55), a Catholic
priest, and his girlfriend, Pamela Ampuero, of soliciting sex from
young girls, including one who later bore his child.
2010 Jan 11, Chile inaugurated
the Museum of Memory to make sure the tens of thousands of people
who were imprisoned, killed or disappeared during Gen. Augusto
Pinochet's dictatorship are not forgotten.
2010 Jan 17, Chile held
presidential elections. Sebastian Pinera won the election by a
52-48%margin over former President Eduardo Frei. His election
victory ended two decades of uninterrupted rule by a center-left
coalition, and returned to power the same political parties that
provided civic support for Augusto Pinochet's brutal 1973-1990
(AP, 1/17/10)(AP, 1/18/10)
2010 Feb 9, Chile’s
President-elect Sebastian Pinera named a Cabinet of technocrats to
run his government, calling more on political independents than
members of the Chilean conservative parties that made him their
2010 Feb 24, Chilean President
Michelle Bachelet said a group of South American nations has
committed to providing $100 million in aid for earthquake-ravaged
2010 Feb 27, A magnitude 8.8
earthquake struck Chile, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and
plunging trucks into the fractured earth. Interior Minister Edmundo
Perez Yoma said it was the most powerful quake to hit the country in
a half-century. Authorities the next day put the death toll from the
earthquake at over 700. The death toll was later revised to 486 with
79 missing. Some 1.5 million Chileans were affected and 150,000
people were left homeless. A tsunami caused by the quake swept
across the Pacific and killed several people on a Chilean island. It
devastated coastal communities near the epicenter, but caused little
damage in other countries. Damages were later estimated at $30
billion. By the end of March Chilean officials confirmed 432 people
dead and 98 still missing in the earthquake and tsunami.
(AP, 2/27/10)(AP, 2/28/10)(SFC, 3/17/10,
p.A2)(AP, 3/19/10)(Econ, 3/20/10, p.43)(AP, 4/7/10)
2010 Mar 4, Chile’s government
said it had identified 279 dead, dropping the confirmed official
death toll from 802. The Feb 27 magnitude-8.8 quake, one of the
strongest on record, and the tsunami that followed ravaged a 700-km
(435-mile) stretch of Chile's Pacific coast.
2010 Mar 5, In Chile 3 strong
aftershocks shook the center of the country, sending panicked
residents rushing out of their homes and leveling more buildings in
an area already hard hit by the Feb 6 monster earthquake.
2010 Mar 11, In Chile Sebastian
Pinera began serving as president, succeeding Michele Bachelet, who
went off to New York to head the UN organization for women. She
resigned from the UN in 2013 and returned home to campaign.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.46)
2010 Mar 14, In Chile a power
failure at nightfall plunged nearly the entire Chilean population
into darkness, rattling a country already anxious after last month's
2010 Mar, US and Chilean
engineers extracted Chile's last batch of highly enriched uranium
(HEU), 18 kg (40 pounds), from reactors near Santiago and shipped it
to the US. It was then driven to the Savannah River Site in SC and
the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Ten., where much of
it would be converted to safer fuel and resold for nuclear power.
2010 Apr 13, A top Chilean
executive, Roberto Baudrand (59), was found dead in his Havana
apartment after being detained by Cuban authorities investigating
his company, which is owned by a revolutionary-turned-businessman
and friend of Fidel Castro. Baudrand was general manager of
Alimentos Rio Zaza SA and served as point man in Cuba for business
leader Max Marambio.
2010 Apr 13, Chilean Roman
Catholic priest Ricardo Munoz Quinteros (55) was charged with 8
cases of sexually abusing minors, including his own daughter.
(SFC, 4/15/10, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/y552yje)
2010 Apr 24, In Chile Paul
Schaefer (89), a former Nazi soldier, died in a prison. He had
founded Colonia Dignidad, a secretive, commune-like colony of German
immigrants and was serving time for child molestation and human
rights abuses dating to the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
2010 Apr 26, Chile's Roman
Catholic Church was shaken by a series of dramatic televised
interviews of men alleging they were abused by a respected former
priest. Early the next morning a bombing that damaged a church's
2010 May 10, In Chile Mauhannas
Saif ur Rehnab (28) of Pakistan was detained under terms of Chile's
anti-terror law after officials detected traces of TNT on him when
he visited the US embassy in Santiago. On May 15 he was set free
pending an investigation, but could not leave Chile and must check
in with a judge every two weeks.
2010 May 22, A Chilean appeals
court ordered Mohammad Saif Ur Rehman Khan, a Pakistani, man back
into a high-security prison, saying the chemicals allegedly found on
his possessions at the US Embassy and inside his apartment could
only have come from direct contact with explosives.
2010 May 27, Israel officially
joined the OECD club of rich economies. PM Benjamin Netanyahu
attended a ceremony at the Paris headquarters of the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development as it welcomed Israel along
with Estonia, Slovenia and Chile to the 31-nation grouping.
2010 May 30, In Peru Stephany
Flores (21) was killed in a room at a Lima hotel where Joran van der
Sloot (22), long suspected in the 2005 disappearance in Aruba of US
teen Natalee Holloway, had been staying. Her body was found on June
2. Chilean police captured van der Sloot on June 3 as he was heading
to the country's Pacific coast. On June 4 Van der Sloot was
handcuffed and placed aboard a police Cessna 310 in the Chilean
capital of Santiago for extradition to Peru. After 3 days in custody
van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores.
(AP, 6/3/10)(AP, 6/4/10)(AP, 6/8/10)
2010 Jun 4, A University of
Chile study, ordered up by the country's Supreme Court, said late
dictator Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006) had amassed a fortune of $21
million, of which less than 10 percent was justified by his military
2010 Jul 8, Chile's Supreme
Court upheld murder convictions for the dictatorship's former secret
police chief and his top agents in the 1974 assassination of Gen.
Carlos Prats and his wife. The court also reduced Manuel Contreras'
life sentence to just 20 years in prison.
2010 Jul 30, Chilean Foreign
Minister Alfredo Moreno said his nation's ambassador would return to
Honduras, but did not specify when.
2010 Aug 5, In northern Chile
the collapse of a small mine left 33 miners trapped, though they
could have taken refuge in an underground shelter with oxygen and
food. On Aug 9 Pres. Pinera pleaded for int’l. help to rescue the
miners. Rescue efforts reached the miners on Aug 22, it could take
months to carve a tunnel big enough for them to get out. On Feb 2,
2011, a congressional commission found gold and copper mine owners
Alejandro Bohn and Marcelo Kemeny responsible for the accident that
left the miners trapped for 69 days. In 2014 Hector Tobar authored
“Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean
Mine and the Miracle that Set Them Free."
(Reuters, 8/6/10)(SFC, 8/9/10, p.A2)(SFC, 3/3/11,
p.A2)(SSFC, 10/19/14, p.Q4)
2010 Aug 22, In Chile an
intense rescue effort finally reached 33 miners trapped since Aug 5.
After weeks of missteps, new cave-ins and other false starts, it
could take months to carve a tunnel big enough for them to get out.
2010 Sep 24, A Chilean court
froze all 9.7 million dollars in assets belonging to a troubled
mining company to fund the huge rescue operation for 33 miners
trapped below ground since early August.
2010 Sep 30, Argentina granted
asylum to Galvarino Apablaza Guerra, a former leftist guerrilla,
charged in his native Chile with assassinating right-wing Sen. Jaime
Guzman and kidnapping businessman Christian Edwards del Rio in 1991.
Apablaza, who requested asylum in 2004, was an ideological leader of
a branch of Chile's Communist Party that took up arms against
2010 Oct 9, In Chile a drilling
rig punched through to the underground purgatory where 33 miners
have been trapped for 66 agonizing days under the desert at Camp
Hope. If close video examination persuades engineers that the shaft
is smooth, strong and uniform enough to let the capsule pass without
significant obstacles, then rescuers plan to start pulling the men
out one by one as early as Oct 12.
2010 Oct 13, In Chile the 33
miners trapped for 69 days climbed into a rescue capsule and made a
smooth ascent to the surface. All the miners were pulled up through
a narrow escape chute from nearly a half-mile down in under 23
(AP, 10/13/10)(AP, 10/14/10)
2010 Nov 8, In Chile two mine
workers, 24 and 40 years old, were killed at the Los Reyes mine on
their first day on the job. The National Geology and Mining Service
said the mine was illegal and unregistered.
2010 Nov 26, In Chile the
lawyer for a group of men who accused Fernando Karadima, a prominent
Chilean priest, of sexually abusing them as teenagers said his
clients will not appeal a ruling in favor of the clergyman. Five
men, now adults, had alleged that Karadima began abusing them about
20 years ago, when they were between 14 and 17 years old. In 2011
the Vatican said Karadima was guilty of abusing minors and must
(AP, 11/26/10)(SFC, 2/19/11, p.A2)
2010 Dec 3, A land dispute on
Easter Island turned violent when riot police evicting islanders
from their ancestral home were surrounded by rock-throwing
protesters. About two dozen people were injured in a 7-hours-long
confrontation. The official native name of Easter Island, known for
its stunning gigantic stone heads known as Moais, is Rapa Nui, and
that's what many natives call themselves, refusing to identify with
Chile, which annexed the island in 1888.
2010 Dec 8, In Chile a fire set
off by rioting inmates in a severely overcrowded prison killed at
least 81 prisoners and seriously injured at least 14 others at the
San Miguel prison south of Santiago. In March, 2011, a Chilean court
ordered three prison guards held on negligent homicide charges for
the deaths of 66 of the 81 inmates. 5 senior officers were charged
with manslaughter and ordered to remain in the country.
(AP, 12/8/10)(AFP, 3/28/11)
2010 Dec 8, A French court put
14 former Chilean officials on trial in absentia over the 1973-1975
disappearance of four French citizens under the regime of Chilean
dictator Augusto Pinochet.
2010 Dec 17, A French court
convicted 13 former officials who served under Chilean dictator
Augusto Pinochet for roles in the disappearance of 4 French
nationals. It sentenced two to life in prison: Juan Manuel Contreras
Sepulveda, who at the time headed Pinochet's political police, and
Octavio Espinoza Bravo, an army colonel. All 14 of the defendants
were tried in absentia.
2010 Dec 22, In Rome, Italy,
all embassies were informed about a pair of package bombs that
exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies, injuring two people who
opened them. Security officials later said that an Italian group
calling itself Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility.
(AP, 12/23/10)(AP, 12/24/10)
2010 In Chile Nicolas Shea
founded Start-Up Chile, a program that used government funded seed
capital to encourage entrepreneurial activity.
(Economist, 10/13/12, p.79-80)
2011 Jan 7, Chile recognized
Palestinian statehood, joining other South American nations in a
push for Palestinians and Israelis to keep negotiating toward a
lasting peace in the Middle East.
2011 Feb 6, Police on Easter
Island raided the grounds of a luxury hotel to evict the last of
dozens of indigenous protesters battling for ancestral lands and a
larger share of profits from the tourists who come to see the
Pacific Island's mysterious statues of giant heads. The actions
posed legal and political dilemmas for a Chilean government already
criticized for its treatment of indigenous people on the mainland.
2011 Feb 18, The Vatican said
Fernando Karadima, a prominent Chilean priest, has been found guilty
of abusing minors and must retire to a life of prayer and penitence.
(SFC, 2/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 3, The daughters of
Chile's assassinated former army chief, Gen. Carlos Prats, sued the
Chilean government for $15 million dollars. The lawsuit also
targeted Manuel Contreras, the jailed former spy chief of Gen.
Augusto Pinochet, as well as other high-ranking members of the
2011 Mar 18, The US and Chile
signed a nuclear energy accord.
(SFC, 3/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 21, US President
Barack Obama flew to Chile to promote democracy and economic growth
on the American continent on the second leg of his Latin American
tour aimed at bolstering trade and investment. Obama said he's ready
to help Chile solve human rights crimes committed during the
dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, but avoided agreeing to a US
apology for meddling in the country's affairs.
(AFP, 3/21/11)(AP, 3/21/11)
2011 Mar 22, US President
Barack Obama wrapped up a visit to Chile and departed for El
Salvador, the third and final stop of his Latin America tour. In El
Salvador Obama promised increasing trade and economic growth,
fighting drug trafficking and creating work opportunities. In 2012
it was reported that Secret Service employees took prostitutes to
their hotel rooms ahead of Obama’s visit to El Salvador.
(AFP, 3/22/11)(SFC, 3/23/11, p.A3)(SFC, 4/27/12,
2011 Apr 28, In Peru the
leaders of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru agreed to launch the
Pacific Alliance in the declaration of Lima.
2011 May 5, Chile's Supreme
Court found six ex-navy officers guilty in the abduction and
execution of a Chilean journalist one day after the coup that
ushered in the 1973-1990 military dictatorship.
2011 May 5, A Cuban court
sentenced Chilean revolutionary-turned-businessman Max Marambio,
long a friend of Fidel Castro, to 20 years in prison for fraud and
bribery following a trial in absentia. Communist Party newspaper
Granma also said a 15-year sentence was handed down to Alejandro
Roca Iglesias, who was removed as food minister in March 2009.
2011 May 9, A Chilean
government commission approved a $7 billion project to dam, two
rivers for electrification, despite much opposition. 5 dams were
approved on the Baker and Pascua rivers in Aysen, southern
(SFC, 5/10/11, p.A4)
2011 May 23, Chile exhumed the
remains of President Salvador Allende for an autopsy to determine
whether he committed suicide or was assassinated during the 1973
2011 Jun 4, In southern Chile
the long dormant Puyehue-Cordon Caulle, one of the volcanoes in the
Caulle Cordon, erupted violently, billowing smoke and ash high into
the sky and prompting more than 3,500 people living nearby to
(AP, 6/5/11)(Reuters, 6/5/11)(AP, 6/5/11)
2011 Jun 12, Chile's
Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano continued to emit a cloud of ash,
disrupting flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo,
Uruguay. Authorities were also monitoring the volcano for its
potential to cause landslides and avalanches.
2011 Jun 14, In Chile the
Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano once again was spewing clouds of ash,
disrupting a growing number of flights throughout South America. The
main airports in both Argentina and Chile remained closed. The cloud
of ash threatened to delay next month's start of the Copa America
football tournament in Argentina.
2011 Jun 16, In Chile some
80,000 students, teachers and sympathizers demanded more money for
(Econ, 6/25/11, p.48)
2011 Jun 20, A Chilean appeals
court suspended a controversial hydroelectric project in the
country’s Patagonia region.
(SFC, 6/21/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 7, Ash from a Chilean
volcano grounded flights across much of South America again,
disrupting travel for thousands of people just as the continent's
premier football tournament got going in Argentina.
2011 Jul 17, In Chile a man
boarded a subway train, pulled out a gun and began shooting at the
Plaza Maipu station in the southwestern part of Santiago. He killed
two people and wounded four more before leaving the station and
2011 Jul 18, In Chile 8
students began a hunger strike to support demands for improvements
to the country's education system. Participants soon grew to 20.
2011 Jul 22, In Chile mine
workers at Escondida, the world's most productive copper mine,
went on strike. The main issue was a monthly production bonus. BHP
owned a 57% share. Other major investors include Rio Tinto,
Mitsubishi Corp. and International Finance Corp.
2011 Jul, Chile’s Supreme Court
ruled that ex-colonel Miguel Krassnoff (b.1946), serving a 144-year
prison sentence for crimes, was one of 20 people certified as agents
of repression related to the kidnapping and killing of government
opponents during Pinochet's rule between 1973 and 1990.
2011 Aug 4, In Chile riot
police battled high school and university students in Santiago.
Police detained 235 students demanding major changes to the
underfunded and unequal public education system.
(SFC, 8/5/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 5, Chilean police
arrested 874 people during student protests that left 90 officers
injured. Students have been demonstrating for free, quality public
(SFC, 8/6/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 9, In Chile violence
erupted on the streets of Santiago and other cities as tens of
thousands of students staged another protest demanding changes in
public education. By nightfall, at least 273 protesters were
detained, including 73 in Santiago, and 23 police officers were
2011 Aug 18, Chile officially
recognized 9,800 more victims of the Pinochet dictatorship
(1973-1990), increasing the total number of people killed, tortured
or imprisoned for political reasons to 40,018. Victims, relatives of
those killed and survivors were entitled to benefits and
2011 Aug 25, Chile's capital
was wracked overnight by looting, attacks on police and the burning
of cars and barricades as union members, students and government
workers waged a 2-day nationwide strike for changes in government
policies. Tens of thousands of Chileans marched peacefully demanding
profound changes in the country's heavily centralized and privatized
form of government, while smaller groups broke away to fight with
police. Some 1,394 people were arrested and dozens injured.
(AP, 8/25/11)(SSFC, 8/28/11, p.A4)
2011 Aug 26, Chilean President
Sebastian Pinera agreed to negotiate with students and teachers
demanding more state funding for education and profound changes in
2011 Aug 26, A Chilean official
commission posted its final report online naming each additional
victim that Chile recognizes as being killed, tortured or imprisoned
for political reasons by the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
The addition of 30 slayings raises the death toll to 3,095, and the
total victim list stands at 40,048.
2011 Sep 2, A Chilean CASA 212
military plane crashed after two failed attempts to land in
difficult weather on the Juan Fernandez islands, 400 miles (670
kilometers) from the Chilean mainland. All 21 aboard were believed
killed. Among those aboard was popular Chilean television
personality Felipe Camiroaga.
2011 Sep 11, Chileans
commemorated the 38th anniversary of a military coup. Police
arrested 280 people and 45 people were injured, including a teenager
who is in critical condition with a bullet in his chest.
2011 Sep 24, In Chile a massive
power blackout affected 9 million people across the country, forcing
thousands in the capital to be evacuated from trains or subway cars.
2011 Oct 4, In Chile a major
terror case fell apart as prosecutors dropped charges due to a lack
of evidence against 13 suspects who spent eight months in prison for
a series of bombings detonated outside financial institutions from
2006 to 2010.
2011 Oct 5, Chilean students,
led by Camila Vallejo (23), began face-to-face talks with the
government over their demands for profound changes in what they say
is the country's unequal and underfunded public school system.
2011 Oct 6, Chilean police used
water canons and tear gas to break up a student march hours after
talks with government regarding public education collapsed. By day's
end, 168 had been arrested in the capital, and more than 100 more
around Chile. Police said 25 officers and five civilians were
(SFC, 10/7/11, p.A2)(AP, 10/7/11)
2011 Oct 17, Chile said it is
giving nearly 57,000 18-year-olds one month to report for potential
military duty. The government said it needs to fill gaps in its
armed forces because a nationwide student protest movement has
reduced the number of volunteers it usually gets. Attending a
university does not enable young Chileans to avoid the draft.
2011 Oct 18, Chilean students
erected fiery blockades in major streets of the capital and clashed
with police on the first day of a two-day national strike to demand
that the government reform the education system.
2011 Oct 19, Violence again hit
Chile's capital as small groups of hooded youths clashed with police
and marred an otherwise peaceful march by as many as 100,000
students demanding changes in public education.
2011 Oct 20, Chilean students
and other protesters interrupted a Senate committee meeting to
demand a referendum on how to resolve Chile's social problems,
especially education. The protesters then occupied the Senate
headquarters and transmitted the situation live over the Internet by
2011 Oct 21, In Chile dozens of
protesting students voluntarily left the Senate headquarters they
had seized to demand a popular referendum on how to resolve Chile's
social problems, especially education.
2011 Oct 28, Chile's Hudson
Volcano released three huge columns of steam and ash that combined
in a cloud more than 3 miles (5 km) high.
2011 Nov 5, A 5.7 earthquake
struck near Chile’s port city of Antofagasta.
(SSFC, 11/6/11, p.A4)
2011 Nov 22, Chilean police
clashed with some 1,000 protesters who gathered to condemn the
gathering in honor of former brigadier Miguel Krassnoff, who is
serving a 144-year sentence for kidnappings and killings from
(SFC, 11/23/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 13, Chilean doctors
successfully separated conjoined twin girls in a marathon 20-hour
surgery, saying that the operation went extremely well despite
challenges. Doctors at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital separated Maria
Jose Paredes Navarrete from her twin sister Maria Paz at the thorax,
abdomen and pelvis. Maria Jose died on Dec 18.
(AP, 12/14/11)(AP, 12/18/11)
2011 Dec 31, Chilean
authorities said an Israeli tourist has been detained on suspicion
of causing a forest fire that has burned more than 42 square miles
(11,000 hectares) in the Torres del Paine national park. In 2012
Rotem Singer (23) agreed to pay $10,000 and raise other money to buy
50,000 native trees to replant the park.
(AP, 12/31/11)(SFC, 2/10/12, p.A2)
2011 Dec, Chile's National
Education Council decided to change the description of the country's
former military government from "dictatorship" to "regime" in the
nation's school textbooks. The move wasn't publicly known until the
digital daily El Dinamo reported on it Jan 4. On Jan 5 the Council
backed off the change following a political uproar.
(AP, 1/4/12)(AP, 1/6/12)
2012 Jan 5, In Chile shifting
winds caused flames to sweep over a group of firefighters battling
wildfires, killing six of them, badly burning two and leaving
2012 Jan 8, In Chile the family
home of one of a top Indian leader was destroyed in a suspicious
fire. Hours later, hooded gunmen attacked the home of a retired
military official and set it ablaze in the southern Araucania region
where Mapuche Indians and Chile's largest forestry companies have
been mired in land conflicts.
2012 Jan 20, In Chile two
retired generals in Chile were found guilty of illegal weapons sales
to Croatia in violation of a UN embargo. The Supreme Court sentenced
Hector Letelier Skinner and Vicente Rodriguez Bustos to three years
each. Eight others also were convicted. All are allowed to serve
their terms at home.
2012 Jan, Chile’s competition
authority found that three chains of pharmacies, which control 90%
of the market, had colluded to push up the price of over 200
medicines by around half.
(Econ, 4/14/12, p.47)
2012 Feb 24, The Interamerican
Court of Human Rights condemned the Chilean government for denying
Magistrate Karen Atala custody of her three daughters because she is
a lesbian. Atala filed a complaint with the Interamerican Commission
of Human Rights in Nov. 2004 after Chile's Supreme Court decided to
give custody of her daughters to her ex-husband because she is
2012 Mar 3, In Chile Daniel
Zamudio (24), a gay man, suffered severe head trauma and a broken
right leg in a beating in Santiago. A swastika was drawn on the
victim's chest by the unidentified assailants, leading to
speculation that neo-Nazis may have attacked him. Doctors put him
into an induced coma while treating his head trauma.
2012 Mar 15, Chilean police
used water cannons and tear gas to break up a march by thousands of
students, the first protest this year by student groups whose
demonstrations demanding education reform paralyzed major cities in
2012 Mar 17, In Venezuela the
daughter of Chilean diplomat Fernando Berendique was shot to death
by police at a road checkpoint. The young woman (19) was hit by
three bullets after her brother tried to evade an illegal unmarked
(AP, 3/18/12)(Econ, 4/14/12, p.48)
2012 Mar 25, A magnitude-7.1
earthquake struck central Chile, the strongest and longest that many
people said they had felt since a huge quake devastated the area two
years ago. There were no reports of major damage or deaths due to
2012 Mar 27, In Chile Daniel
Zamudio, a young gay man, died following a March 3 attack in
Santiago. Attackers had brutally beaten him and carved swastikas
into his body. The suspects included Raul Alfonso Lopez (25);
Alejandro Axel Angulo Tapia (26); Patricio Ahumada Garay (25); and
Fabian Mora Mora (19). On Oct 28, 2013, Garay was sentenced to life
(AP, 3/29/12)(SFC, 10/29/13, p.A2)
2012 Apr 4, Chile's Congress
passed an anti-discrimination law following the killing of a gay man
whose attackers beat him and carved swastikas into his body.
2012 Apr 4, Chile’s Supreme
Court rejected environmental challenges to 5 dams on the Baker and
Pascua rivers in Patagonia.
(SFC, 4/5/12, p.A2)
2012 Apr 16, A strong
magnitude-6.7 earthquake shook central Chile late today, prompting
authorities to order the evacuation of a stretch of coastline and
causing hundreds of people in the capital to flee buildings in
panic. A least one death was attributed to the quake.
2012 May 7, In Chile Koh-Ichiro
Morita (57), a Japanese astronomer who helped develop the
international ALMA observatory, died from injuries of a robbery in
Santiago. In 2014 Cristopher Quijada Villalobos was sentenced to 10
years in prison for the robbery and manslaughter of Koichiro Morita.
2012 May 10, Chile’s Congress
passed a hate-crimes law. It had been stuck in Congress for 7 years
until Pres. Pinera put it on fast track following the march 27
brutal murder of Daniel Zamudio.
(SFC, 5/11/12, p.A3)
2012 Jun 6, Chile, Colombia,
Mexico and Peru formally established their Pacific Alliance (Alianza
de Pacifico). The goal was free trade and economic integration with
a clear orientation toward Asia.
2012 Jun 28, In Santiago,
Chile, tens of thousands of students took to the streets to call for
the end of public financing for private universities. Many students
faced huge educational loan debts.
(SFC, 6/29/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 12, Chile's President
Sebastian Pinera signed an anti-discrimination law following the
killing of a gay man beaten by attackers who carved swastikas into
2012 Jul 20, Chile’s government
announced that 14.4% of Chileans were living below the poverty line,
down from 15.1% in 2009. The United Nation’s Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean had found the poverty rate to be
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.40)
2012 Aug 1, In Chile
McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and other fast-food companies were
accused in Chile of violating the country's new law against
including toys with children's meals. Sen. Guido Gerardi filed a
formal complaint with the health authority accusing those and other
companies of knowingly endangering the health of children by
marketing kids' meals with toys more than a month after the law took
effect June 7.
2012 Aug 8, Chilean police used
water cannons and tear gas to break up a demonstration in Santiago
by thousands of students demanding free education.
(SFC, 8/9/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 14, Chilean police
broke up protests by students, who had taken control of several high
schools in Santiago, demanding free education.
(SFC, 8/15/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 23, Chile's
state-owned copper company Codelco and British firm Anglo American
PLC settled their long-running conflict over control of a promising
copper mine with a multi-billion dollar deal that includes major new
Japanese investments in Chile.
2012 Sep 6, Google Inc. said it
has chosen a site just outside the capital of Chile for its first
data center in Latin America. The $150 million data center will
employ just 20 people.
2012 Sep 11, Chile's Supreme
Court closed the book on a judicial review of Salvador Allende's
1973 death, confirming the conclusion of a lower court last December
that the socialist leader committed suicide. Activists marked their
own 9-11, the anniversary of the day in 1973 when Gen. Augusto
Pinochet seized power in a military coup that prompted socialist
President Salvador Allende to kill himself rather than surrender.
2012 Oct 28, Millions of
Chileans voted in nationwide municipal elections that could set the
stage for next year's presidential race.
2012 Oct 30, A Spanish judge
indicted 6 Chileans and an American accused of the 1976 kidnapping,
torture and murder of a Spanish UN official in Chile. International
arrest warrants were issued for them to be tried in Spain.
2012 Nov 7, In Chile three
Europeans, identified as Dmitry Sivenkov (32) of Russia, Gillhem
Bellon (25) of France and Luca Ogliengo (25) of Italy, went missing
after climbing the Villarica volcano in Chile's central valley.
2012 Dec 3, Peru asked the UN’s
highest court to set a maritime border between it and Chile, which
insisted that the border was clearly set by treaties signed in 1952
(SFC, 12/4/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 14, Chile's government
apologized to a lesbian judge who was denied custody of her three
daughters in 2004 because she is gay. Chile said it will pay
Magistrate Karen Atala $70,000 and grant her medical and
psychological treatment.The ruling followed Chile's approval this
year of an anti-discrimination law.
2012 Ricardo Lagos with Blake
Hounshell and Elizabeth Dickinson authored “The Southern Tiger:
Chile’s Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future."
(Econ, 4/14/12, p.93)
2013 Jan 4, In southern Chile
Werner Luchsinger (75) and wife Vivian McKay, whose family's vast
landholdings have long been targeted by Mapuche Indians, were killed
in an arson attack while trying to defend their home. The attack
began the previous evening as one of many political protests around
Chile commemorating the death five years ago of Mapuche activist
Matias Catrileo, who was shot in the back by an officer who served a
minor sentence and then rejoined the police. In 2014 Celestino
Cordova Transito (27) was convicted for killing the couple.
(AP, 1/4/13)(SFC, 2/21/14, p.A2)
2013 Jan 28, In Santiago,
Chile, Cuban Pres. Raul Castro assumed the presidency of the
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
(SFC, 1/29/13, p.A2)
2013 Jan 30, In north-central
Chile a magnitude-6.8 earthquake shook offices, toppled supermarket
shelves and broke windows.
2013 Feb 9, In Chile a bus
carrying fans of a soccer team plunged into a ravine killing 16
people and injuring 21 others.
(SSFC, 2/10/13, p.A4)
2013 Mar 13, Chile officially
opened the $1.3 billion Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
(ALMA), the world’s most powerful radio telescope. It consisted of
(Econ, 3/16/13, p.81)
2013 Apr 4, In Chile a series
of fast-spreading port strikes in Chile blocked exports of copper,
fruit and wood pulp and kept thousands of workers idle. The stoppage
began in the northern port of Angamos more than two weeks ago, when
workers began demanding a 30-minute lunch break and a place to set
up a cafeteria.
2013 Mar, Chile became the 14th
Latin American country to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces.
(Econ, 3/30/13, p.38)
2013 Apr 5, In Chile the
Ultraport company managing the Angamos port agreed to compensate
workers with a bonus following negotiations mediated by Chile's work
2013 Apr 8, Chilean forensic
experts exhumed the body of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, trying to
solve a four-decade mystery about the 1973 death of one the greatest
poets of the 20th century.
2013 Apr 10, In Chile Barrick
Gold Corp. suspended construction on its Pascua Lama mine after a
Chilean court ruled in favor of indigenous communities that say the
world's highest-altitude gold mine threatens their water supply and
2013 Apr 11, In Chile an
estimated 100,000 students marched in Santiago demanding free
(SSFC, 4/14/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 17, A Chinese factory
fishing ship caught fire just off the coast of Antarctica and 97
crew members were rescued by a nearby Norwegian vessel as Chile's
military mobilized to prevent any environmental damage.
2013 Apr 25, Chilean police
arrested four people accused of burning a baby alive in a ritual
because the leader of the sect believed that the end of the world
was near and that the child was the antichrist. The 3-day-old baby
was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay near the Chilean port
of Valparaiso on Nov. 21 and was thrown into a bonfire. The
12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo
Castillo Gaete (36), who remained at large.
2013 May 24, Chile's newly
empowered environmental regulator confirmed nearly two dozen
violations of Barrick's environmental impact agreement, blocking
construction on the $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama gold mining project
until the Canadian company keeps its promises to prevent water
contamination. Some 500 local Diaguita Indians have joined a civil
lawsuit against Barrick, persuading an appellate court last month to
block construction despite the company's denials that it caused any
pollution or health problems.
2013 Jun 18, It was reported
that Chile’s Supreme Court authorized the extradition of
ex-Argentine judge Otilio Ireneo Roque Romano. He had escaped
Argentina to avoid trial in 103 cases of crimes against humanity
during Argentina’s years of military dictatorship (1976-1983).
(SSFC, 6/23/13, p.A4)
2013 Jun 26, In Chile over 100
thousand students demanded education reform in Santiago. The largely
peaceful demonstration was marred by small groups who stoned cars,
set up burning barricades and clashed with police.
(SFC, 6/27/13, p.A2)
2013 Jul 15, A Chilean appeals
court ruled against the world's largest gold mining company,
favoring Chilean Indians who accuse Barrick Gold Corp. of
contaminating their water downstream and creating more doubts about
the future of the world's highest gold mine.
2013 Jul 25, In Chile a group
of demonstrators broke off from a largely peaceful protest calling
for the legalization of abortion and stormed into the Metropolitan
Cathedral of Santiago, interrupting a homily. They painted walls
with pro-abortion messages, broke ornaments and hauled pews all the
way to the Plaza de Armas square in front of the cathedral.
2013 Aug 5, A Chilean judge
ended a 9-year probe into allegations of illegal enrichment by the
late Gen. Augusto Pinochet with no charges filed against his family.
(SFC, 8/6/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 9, Chilean press
reported that the US has spied on communications from Brazil,
Colombia, Venezuela and Uruguay from the island of Ascension
according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
(SSFC, 9/15/13, p.A6)
2013 Aug 14, In Chile workers
began a surprise strike at Escondida, the world's largest copper
mine, over pay and working conditions.
2013 Oct 17, The UN General
Assembly elected five new members to the Security Council. The
uncontested seats included Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi
2013 Nov 8, In Chile forensic
test results showed no chemical agents in the bones of Nobel
Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. His family and driver were not
satisfied and said they'll request more proof.
2013 Nov 17, Chile held
presidential elections. Michelle Bachelet (62), a former president
(2006-2010), nearly doubled her conservative rival's votes in the
first round of the election, but her center-left coalition fell
short of the gains in Congress needed to keep many of her promises.
(AP, 11/17/13)(AP, 11/18/13)
2013 Dec 15, Chileans voted in
a runoff election. President Michelle Bachelet won 62 percent of the
vote in a runoff against the center-right's candidate, Evelyn
(Reuters, 12/15/13)(AP, 12/16/13)
2013 Dec 24, In Chile Nicolesa
Quintreman (73), a Mapuche Indian leader, was found floating in a
reservoir she spent a decade trying to prevent from being created.
With her sister Berta, Quintreman became a national figure in Chile
during protests against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on
tribal land in the forested mountains of southern Chile.
2014 Jan 9, Chile's supreme
court ruled in favor of local fishermen who say Endesa Chile's
Bocamina coal-fired facility kills marine life and pollutes ocean
water, but it said halting its operations was a decision for
2014 Jan 25, Chilean port
workers negotiated a settlement with management and ended a more
than three-week-old strike that had slowed copper, fruit and other
shipments from the world's top copper producer.
2014 Jan 27, The UN’s highest
court set a new maritime boundary between Chile and Peru, granting
Peru a bigger piece of the pacific Ocean but keeping rich coastal
fishing grounds in Chilean hands.
(SSFC, 2/2/14, p.A8)
2014 Jan, Jaime Garcia
Covarrubias, a former member of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s
secret police, was ordered to remain in Chile while an inquiry
continued into his alleged role in the deaths of 7 people in Temuco
weeks after the US-backed Pinochet coup on Sept. 11, 1973. He had
taught at the US National Defense Univ. in Washington, DC, for 13
(http://tinyurl.com/ka5az7g)(SFC, 3/13/15, p.A2)
2014 Mar 11, Michelle Bachelet
took over the presidency of Chile for the second time. She planned
to spend $15 billion on ambitious reforms aimed at redressing steep
2014 Apr 1, A magnitude 8.2
earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile near the copper
exporting port of Iquique, killing 7 and triggering a tsunami that
pounded the shore with 2m (7-foot) waves. The quake allowed some 300
inmates to escape from the Iquique women’s prison.
(Reuters, 4/2/14)(SSFC, 4/6/14, p.A4)
2014 Apr 2, In Chile a
7.6-magnitude aftershock struck just before midnight. No new major
damage or casualties were reported.
2014 Apr 6, In Chile a fire
tore through a nursing home in Paillaco killing 9 residents and
(SFC, 4/7/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 12, In Chile a fire
began raging in the port city of Valparaiso. At least 15 people were
killed and 2,900 homes destroyed. Thousands were evacuated,
including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.
(AP, 4/13/14)(SFC, 4/16/14, p.A4)
2014 May 8, In Chile tens of
thousands of students protested for education reform in their first
march since Pres. Bachelet took power.
(SFC, 5/9/14, p.A2)
2014 Jul 7, Chile’s Pres.
Michelle Bachelet announced that her government objcts to the Int’l.
Court of Justice’s jurisdiction to hear Bolivia’s suit over a land
dispute that goes back to the 1879-1884 War of the Pacific.
(SSFC, 7/13/14, p.A4)
2014 Sep 8, In Chile at least
14 people were injured when an explosion ripped through a fast-food
restaurant in Santiago. Fragments from a fire extinguisher filled
with gunpowder caused the injuries.
(SFC, 9/9/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 18, Chilean police
arrested three suspects in the Sep 8 bombing attack, the country's
worst bomb attack in more than two decades.
2014 Nov 15, It was reported
that Chilean engineering students have designed a bike that can't be
stolen. The bike’s lower frame opens up into two arms that are then
connected to the seat post and locked to a post, so thieves would
have to destroy a Yerka to get it unlocked.
2014 Nov 21, Two retired
Chilean military officers, Cols. Ramon Caceres Jorquera and Edgar
Cevallos Jones, were sentenced to prison for the 1974 torture death
of Gen. Alberto Bachelet, the father of President Michelle Bachelet.
2014 Chile passed legislation
allowing women 14 and older to receive the contraception of their
choice, including the morning-after pill.
(Econ, 8/12/17, p.27)
2015 Jan 14, Chile's Senate
voted to end a dictatorship-era electoral system that has squeezed
out independent candidates and guaranteed an outsized presence in
Congress for the center-right coalition.
2015 Jan 21, British technology
firm Satellite Applications Catapult launched a new satellite
tracking system aiming to crack down on the industrial-scale theft
known as "pirate fishing." Experts will be able to watch satellite
feeds of the waters around Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the
southeastern Pacific Ocean, and the western Pacific island nation of
2015 Feb 21, In Thailand Juan
Francisco Guillermo (47), a Chilean cyclist, was hit by a pickup
truck and immediately killed on a highway in Nakhon Ratchasima
province. Guillermo was attempting to set a Guinness World Record by
cycling 250,000 km (155,350 miles) on five continents in five years.
His journey started in November 2010 and was scheduled to end in
November this year.
2015 Mar 3, In southern Chile
the Villarrica volcano erupted, spewing heavy smoke into the air as
lava surged down its slopes, prompting authorities to evacuate
thousands of people.
2015 Mar 21, In southern Chile
Rev. Juan Barros (58) was ordained on Osorno amid riot police and
shouting protesters, who accuse him of covering up crimes of a
mentor the Vatican has sanctioned for abusing young boys.
2015 Mar 25, In Chile
communities in a northern desert region struggled to cope with
rain-provoked flooding. At least 24 people were killed as power was
knocked out and roadways cut off. The interior ministry declared a
state of emergency.
(AP, 3/26/15)(AFP, 3/27/15)(AP, 4/2/15)
2015 Mar 31, In Chile a Bell
206 helicopter went missing while flying with drinking water for
residents of a desert region recently hit by flash-floods. It was
found on April 2 and the pilot and 3 other people aboard were dead.
Pilot Pedro Pablo Aldunate was married to one of Pres. Bachelet's
2015 Apr 17, In Chile 3 people
were killed and a dozen are injured after a large crowd tried to
force its way into of the Santiago club Tsunami early this morning
where British punk group Doom was playing.
2015 Apr 22, In southern Chile
the Calbuco volcano erupted for the first time in more than four
decades. LATAM airlines cancelled flights to and from Puerto Montt.
One hiker was reported missing.
2015 Apr 25, Some airlines
cancelled flights to the capitals of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay as
ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning
this week, reached as far as southern Brazil.
2015 Apr, Chilean members of
the pope's Commission for the Protection of Minors sent a delegation
to Rome specifically to hand-deliver a letter to the pope about
Bishop Juan Barros. The letter from Juan Carlos Cruz detailed abuse,
kissing and fondling he says he suffered at the hands of Rev.
Fernando Karadima. Cruz said Barros and others saw this but did
nothing to stop it.
2015 May 6, Chile’s Pres.
Michelle Bachelet asked her entire cabinet to resign.
(Econ, 5/9/15, p.32)
2015 May 17, In Chile thousands
of people, many waving rainbow-colored flags, gathered in Santiago
for a "March for Equality," pushing the government to acknowledge
more gay rights.
2015 May 28, Chilean police
fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse stone-throwing
students protesting against what they call inadequate education
reforms and heavy-handed crackdowns on recent demonstrations.
2015 Jun 22, Chile declared a
smog emergency in Santiago for the first time in 16 years forcing
some 3,000 factories and other businesses to shut down. Thousands of
cars were ordered off the capital’s highways.
2015 Jun, In southern Chile an
aerial survey found 337 dead whales in a remote fjord in Patagonia.
(SSFC, 12/6/15, p.C12)
2015 Jul 7, A French court
jailed a woman for conning thousands of Chileans into buying a kit
to make "magic cheese" they could sell back to French cosmetics
firms for use in luxury beauty products. Gilberte Van Erpe (74) was
given a six-year prison sentence -- three years suspended -- and a
250,000-euro ($270,000) fine for her scam. The scam. Which began in
2005, collapsed in July 2006 and Van Erpe was arrested in the French
Riviera city of Nice in 2008, but it was not possible to extradite
2015 Jul 24, In Chile mining
contractor Nelson Quichillao was shot dead after clashing with
police during protests by workers employed by service contractors at
the state-run copper giant Codelco.
2015 Jul 29, Hundreds of
Chileans took to the streets of affluent Santiago neighborhoods,
clanging kitchenware and waving banners to protest what they say is
an explosion in crime. Statistics indicated that crime has, in fact,
fallen in the past year.
2015 Aug 7, In Chile Manuel
Contreras (86) died. He had led Chile's now-defunct and much feared
secret police force for several years under the dictatorship of
Augusto Pinochet. After his death was announced, dozens of people
gathered outside the hospital to celebrate.
2015 Sep 7, President Michelle
Bachelet says Chile will welcome an important number of refugees.
2015 Sep 15, In Chile a 24-hour
strike by civil aviation workers grounded departing flights.
2015 Sep 16, In Chile a
magnitude 8.3 earthquake killed at least 12 people and sent powerful
waves barreling into coastal areas, forcing more than 1 million
people from their homes.
(Reuters, 9/17/15)(SSFC, 9/20/15, p.A6)
2015 Sep 24, The United
Nations' highest court ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear a case
focusing on Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean. Bolivia asked the
International Court of Justice in 2013 to order Chile to negotiate
over Bolivia's claim to at least part of the 240-mile (400-km) strip
of the Pacific coast.
2015 Oct 5, Chile said that it
is protecting more than 200,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean
near Easter Island from commercial fishing and oil and gas
(SFC, 10/6/15, p.A2)
2015 Oct 5, Twelve Pacific rim
countries sealed the deal on creating the world's largest free trade
area (TPP), delivering President Barack Obama a major policy
triumph. The Trans-Pacific Partnership included Australia, Brunei,
Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,
Singapore, the US and Vietnam.
2015 Oct, Chileans
discovered that for ten years they had paid over the odds for
toilet paper because of a cartel linking CMPC and a smaller rival
now owned by SCA, a Swedish company.
(Econ, 12/5/15, p.37)
2015 Nov 7, A magnitude-6.8
earthquake struck north-central Chile, causing buildings to sway in
the capital of Santiago, but there were no immediate reports of
2015 Nov 9, Chilean civil
registry workers resumed work after a 39-day nationwide strike.
2015 Dec 4, It was reported
that Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has signed a decree that
removes marijuana from the country's list of hard drugs.
2015 Dec 8, In Chile Douglas
Tompkins (72), the co-founder of The North Face and Esprit clothing
companies, died from severe hypothermia in a kayaking accident. He
had bought up large swaths of land in South America's Patagonia
region to keep them pristine.
2015 Dec 19, Ten of Chile's
airports remained closed as striking workers tied to the civil
aviation authority and officials failed to reach an agreement.
2015 Dec 23, In Chile both
houses of Congress approved a law granting free university education
to many of the South American country's students.
2015 Chile’s population was
about 18 million.
(Econ, 11/14/15, p.68)
2016 Jan 13, Chilean architect
Alejandro Aravena won the prestigious 2016 Pritzker Prize, earning
praise for "powerful" designs that address key social and economic
challenges of the 21st century.
2016 Jan 13, FIFA fined
Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay for anti-gay chants by
their national team's fans.
2016 Jan 24, British adventurer
Henry Worsley (55) died in an attempt to make history by crossing
the Antarctic alone in a trip backed by members of the royal family.
He was just 30 miles (48km) from the finish when he called for help
and was airlifted to a hospital in Chile on Jan 22 suffering from
exhaustion and severe dehydration.
(AFP, 1/25/16)(Econ, 2/6/15, p.82)
2016 Mar 26, Bolivian President
Evo Morales said his country has decided to file suit against Chile
at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over a water dispute.
Bolivia argues it owns the Silala spring waters originating in its
southwest department of Potosi and that it is not being compensated
for Chile's use of the water.
2016 Apr 19, Chile’s former
Pres. Patricio Aylwin (97) died. He ruled from 1990 to 1994 and was
the country’s first elected president following 17 years of brutal
(SFC, 4/20/16, p.A2)
2016 May 1, Pacific Alliance
members (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
and Venezuela) eliminated tariffs on 92% of their trade with each
other and planned to phase out the rest over 17 years.
(Econ, 5/14/16, p.26)
2016 May 6, In Chile food and
gasoline were running dangerously low on Chiloe Island, which has
been blocked from the mainland by desperate fishermen demanding
compensation for losing their livelihood to a toxic algae bloom. The
government has declared a state of emergency in the region and
offered those affected compensation.
2016 May 20, The Chilean
government said it has reached a deal with small-scale fishermen who
had blocked access to the Chiloe archipelago after a toxic algal
bloom put their livelihoods at risk. They will get $1,000 in
compensation. The government aid also extends to other non-fishing
families who depend on the sea, including algae gatherers and
2016 Jul 23, A drug bust in
Chile resulted in the haul of cocaine worth more than €11 million
($12 million) that was bound for Spain. Three suspected traffickers
were arrested, two of whom are confirmed Spanish nationals.
2016 Aug 21, In Chile tens of
thousands protested against the country’s privatized pension system.
(Econ, 8/27/16, p.24)
2016 Nov 4, Chilean police used
tear gas and water cannon to break up a protest against the
country's privatized pension system, which opponents say is leaving
many retirees in poverty.
2016 Nov, In Chile El Romero,
the largest solar plant in Latin America, became operational in the
Atacama desert after 13 months of construction. It was built by
Spanish company Acciona.
2016 Dec 3, Chilean media
reported that the government has decided to draw up charges against
lithium giant SQM for a series of alleged environmental violations
that could result in fines of up to $22.2 million.
2016 Dec 4, In France Japanese
student Narumi Kurosaki (21) disappeared in the city of Besancon
after having dinner with her ex, Nicolas Zepeda. In 2018 a
prosecutor said she was probably suffocated in her university room
by her fugitive Chilean ex-boyfriend. Her body has not been found
despite extensive searches of a nearby forested area. Zepeda, a
teaching assistant aged in his mid-twenties, left France and
returned to Chile shortly after Kurosaki was last seen.
2016 Dec 25, In southern Chile
thousands of people were evacuated from coastal areas following a
powerful 7.6 magnitude Christmas Day earthquake.
2016 Dec 28, Qatar Airways said
it has purchased a 10-percent stake in Chile's LATAM Airlines Group
for $608 million.
2017 Jan 2, In Chile a large
fire burned 150 homes in the historic port city of Valparaiso.
2017 Jan 26, Chile’s government
said forest fires in the central regions of O'Higgins and El Maule
have killed 9 people over the past week, displaced thousands and
destroyed entire villages. A state of emergency was in effect and by
early February the death toll reached 11.
(AP, 1/26/17)(SSFC, 2/5/17, p.A6)
2017 Jun 9, In Chile an
accident took place as two miners were working with heavy machinery
following flooding in the Delia II pit of the Cerro Bayo mine,
operated by Canadian firm Mandalay Resources. By June 17 the chances
of rescuing the two miners looked slim as the mine appeared to be
2017 Jun 30, Chilean scientists
said biodiesel made from microalgae could power buses and trucks and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent, possibly
curbing pollution in contaminated cities like Santiago.
2017 Aug 2, Chile's Congress
approved a bill late today that legalizes abortion in certain cases,
though it will still need to win the approval of the nation's courts
to go into effect.
2017 Aug 14, In Germany the
court in the town of Krefeld said Hartmut Hopp (73) must serve in
Germany the five-year sentence given to him by a Chilean court in
2011 for 16 counts of aiding in the sexual abuse of children.
2017 Aug 17, Chile said it is
rejecting a US request to break off all diplomatic and commercial
ties with North Korea that was made by Vice President Mike Pence
during a visit to the South American nation. Commercial trade
between Chile and North Korea is just $27 million a year, about $25
million of which is Chilean imports.
2017 Aug 21, The Chilean
government rejected a controversial $2.5-billion copper and iron
project proposed by privately-held Andes Iron after a prolonged
evaluation period that conservatives alleged was tainted by
2017 Aug 22, Chile said it has
granted diplomatic asylum to five Venezuelans who took refuge in its
embassy in Caracas, amid political turmoil as President Nicolas
Maduro moves to consolidate power.
2017 Aug, In Chile the Marist
Brothers, congregation dedicated to education, revealed that at
least 14 minors had been abused from the 1970s until 2008 by Brother
Abel Perez. The group later said Perez confessed in 2010.
(SFC, 5/15/18, p.A5)
2017 Aug, Chile's
constitutional court upheld a law allowing pregnancy terminations in
the case of rape or fetal deformation, or if the mother's life is
(Econ, 9/30/17, p.32)
2017 Nov 4, Venezuelan
opposition lawmaker Freddy Guevara (31) requested Chile's protection
after Venezuela's high court announced he would be prosecuted on
charges punishable by a decade in prison. He became the sixth
Venezuelan to seek protection at the embassy in under three months.
2017 Nov 19, Chileans went to
the polls in the first round of the country's presidential election,
with former leader Sebastian Pinera (67) hoping to capitalize on his
front-runner status to succeed Socialist leader Michelle Bachelet.
Pinera failed to get over 50% of the vote and faced Sen. Alejandro
Guillier for a Dec. 17 runoff.
(AFP, 11/19/17)(SFC, 11/20/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 12, California and
Washington state joined five nations (Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica,
Colombia and Chile) on the Pacific coast of the Americas to agree to
step up the use of a price on carbon dioxide emissions as a central
economic policy to slow climate change.
2017 Dec 16, In southern Chile
a mudslide fueled by heavy rains swept over a village, leaving at
least five people dead and 15 missing. Rain caused a river to
overflow and the side of a hill to collapse, burying 20 of the 200
houses in Villa Santa Lucia in the Los Lagos region.
2017 Dec 17, Chile held its 2nd
round of presidential elections. Former billionaire President
Sebastian Pinera (68), who won 36.6 percent in the first round,
faced Sen. Alejandro Guillier (64), a center-left former journalist
who got 22.7 percent. With nearly all ballots counted former
President Sebastian Pinera won 54.6 percent of the votes to 45.4
percent for former journalist and center-left Sen. Alejandro
(AP, 12/17/17)(AP, 12/18/17)
2017 In Chile the Minister's
Committee, a gathering of high-ranking political officials who
decide the fate of controversial projects, approved the construction
of a sprawling new industrial waste processing facility in Til Til.
The desert-dry community already had more than 30 industrial
projects. Among them: several mining waste sites, a pig farm, a
cement plant and Lomas Los Colorados, one of Santiago's largest
2017 In Chile a school was
launched for five transgender children in an effort to protect them
from bullying. By 2019 enrollment had increased to 22.
(SFC, 1/24/19, p.A5)
2018 Jan 12, In Chile three
Catholic churches were firebombed in Santiago, days before the start
of a visit to the country by Pope Francis.
2018 Jan 16, In Chile Pope
Francis expressed "pain and shame" over a sexual abuse scandal in
the Catholic Church in Chile, seeking forgiveness for a crisis that
has scarred its credibility and left many faithful skeptical of
2018 Jan 17, Authorities in
Chile investigated yet another burning of a Roman Catholic Church as
Pope Francis visited the nation. Pope Francis urged the indigenous
Mapuche people to shun violence, saying unity was the best weapon
against "the deforestation of hope," as they struggle to defend
their culture and reclaim ancestral lands.
(AP, 1/17/18)(Reuters, 1/17/18)
2018 Jan 23, Nicanor Parra
(103), a Chilean physicist, mathematician and self-described
"anti-poet", died. His eccentric writings won him a leading place in
Latin American literature. He earned international fame in 1954 with
"Poemas y Antipoemas" (Poems and Antipoems) and won Chile's
prestigious National Literature Prize in 1969 and a Guggenheim
fellowship in 1972.
2018 Jan 29, Kris Tompkins, the
widow of Doug Tompkins (d.2015), donated a million acres of land in
Patagonia, to Chile for the creation of five new national parks.
(SFC, 1/30/18, p.A3)
2018 Jan 30, The Vatican said
that Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile to
investigate Bishop Juan Barros, accused by victims of covering up
for the country’s most notorious pedophile pries.
(SFC, 1/31/18, p.A2)
2018 Feb 7, London-based Aon
Securities said the World Bank has launched a $1.4 billion
catastrophe bond covering Latin American earthquakes, the largest
earthquake catastrophe bond on record. The multi-tranche bond would
provide earthquake relief for Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
2018 Feb 15, A Chilean industry
group said a growing outbreak of "red tide" has put salmon farms on
alert in fish-rich southern Chile, though its impact is still far
less extensive than in 2016, when a much larger outbreak decimated
2018 Feb 16, In southern Chile
arsonists burned at least 25 tractor trailer trucks and other heavy
machinery early today in the country's heavily forested Araucania
region. Indigenous communities of south-central Chile have long
accused the state and private companies of taking their ancestral
2018 Mar 8, In Chile 11 nations
signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific
Partnership, dropping tariffs and establishing sweeping new rules in
markets representing about a seventh of the world's economy. members
included Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico,
New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
(SFC, 3/9/18, p.C5)
2018 Mar 19, Bolivian President
Evo Morales arrived in The Hague to petition the World Court to
force Chile to grant his land-locked country direct access to the
Pacific Ocean, in a dispute between the Andean neighbors that dates
2018 Apr 11, Pope Francis, in
the letter to the Chilean hierarchy, admitted he had made "grave
errors" in evaluating the case of a bishop accused by victims of
witnessing and ignoring their abuse. He invited the victims to Rome
so he could personally apologize.
2018 Apr 20, Bolivian Foreign
Minister Fernando Huanacuni said that Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Paraguay and Peru had decided to temporarily leave the
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), given differences over
choosing the secretary general of the group. UNASUR was promoted by
late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana,
Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela remained in the bloc.
2018 Apr 24, Juan Carlos Cruz,
the key whistleblower in Chile's clerical sex abuse scandal, arrived
in Rome for his audience with Pope Francis and said he will urge the
pope to get rid of the "toxic" bishops and cardinals who have
defamed and discredited abuse survivors around the world.
2018 May 18, The Vatican
confirmed that all 31 active Chilean bishop have offered to resign
over what Pope Francis said was their "grave negligence" in
investigating abuse and protecting children.
2018 May 26, In Chile Rancagua
Bishop Alejandro Goic presented his resignation as head of the
Bishops' Conference sex abuse prevention board, the latest episode
in a Chilean abuse scandal which has rocked Pope Francis's papacy.
2018 Jun 11, Pope Francis began
purging Chile's Catholic hierarchy over an avalanche of sex abuse
and cover-up cases, starting with accepting the resignations of the
bishop at the center of the scandal and two others. Francis accepted
the resignations of Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Bishop Gonzalo
Duarte of Valparaiso and Bishop Cristian Caro of Puerto Montt and
named a temporary leader for each diocese.
2018 Jun 14, Prosecutors in
Chile seized documents in raids on Roman Catholic Church offices in
Santiago and Rancagua as part of an investigation in clergy sex
abuse scandals. Police and prosecutors began staging raids on Church
offices in Santiago, looking for evidence of sex crimes the Church
had not reported to police.
(SFC, 6/15/18, p.A4)(Reuters, 7/31/18)
2018 Jun 28, The Vatican said
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of two more Chilean
bishops caught up in the country's sexual abuse scandal, bringing to
five the number he has accepted so far.
2018 Jul 3, A Chilean judge
sentenced eight retired military officers to 18 years in prison for
the 1973 kidnapping and murder of folk singer Victor Jara and a
government official at the start of the country's military
dictatorship. A ninth veteran was sentenced to five years for
2018 Jul 12, Chilean
authorities arrested Oscar Munoz Toledo (56), a priest, on
accusations of sexually abusing minors.
(SFC, 7/14/18, p.A2)
2018 Jul 20, Chile's
archdiocese of the city of Rancagua said the Vatican has dismissed
Chilean deacon Luis Rubio over sexual abuse accusations, amid a
widespread abuse scandal gripping the country's Catholic Church.
2018 Aug 7, UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he has chosen former Chilean
President Michelle Bachelet to be the world body's new human rights
2018 Aug 10, The UN gave
unanimous approval for former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as
the next UN human rights chief.
2018 Aug 14, Chilean
authorities raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church's
Episcopal Conference as part of a widespread investigation into
clerical sex abuse in the South American country.
2018 Aug 14, Chile's Supreme
Court sentenced 24 former police agents to prison from four to 13
years for the disappearance of Jorge Arturo Grez, who was detained
and tortured in 1974 before vanishing.
(SFC, 8/15/18, p.A2)
2018 Aug 14, In southern Chile
a fire swept through a nursing home, killing 10 elderly women at the
Santa Marta nursing home.
2018 Aug 17, Chilean miners at
the world's biggest copper mine, Escondida, signed an agreement with
Anglo-Australian owners BHP to avoid a strike announced two weeks
ago when unions rejected as insufficient a proposed salary hike.
2018 Aug 31, Chile's chief
prosecutor's office said the number of cases of priestly sexual
abuse of minors it was investigating had soared to 119 as more
victims came forward.
2018 Aug, Chile's water
regulator imposed a rare ban on new permits to extract water from an
aquifer that is a critical water supply for BHP´s Escondida, the
world´s largest copper mine. Small pockets of water trapped beneath
the salt flats of the Salar de Atacama feeds the world's biggest
copper mine and holds in suspension more than one-third of the
world's current supply of lithium.
2018 Sep 21, The Vatican said
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of two more Chilean
bishops, in his latest move to confront a widening worldwide sexual
2018 Sep 25, A German court
said it could not enforce a Chilean prison sentence for Hartmut Hopp
(74), a German former member of a Nazi pedophile sect, for
complicity in child sex abuse because the evidence the Chilean court
had provided against him fell short of that required under German
judicial standards. Dr. Hopp was the right-hand man of convicted
pedophile Paul Schaefer, a former Wehrmacht soldier and lay preacher
who in 1961 founded the "Colonia Dignidad" commune that
indoctrinated residents and kept them as virtual slaves.
2018 Sep 28, The Vatican said
Pope Francis has defrocked Rev. Fernando Karadima (88), the Chilean
priest at the center of the global sex abuse scandal rocking his
papacy, invoking his "supreme" authority to stiffen a sentence
originally handed down by a Vatican court in 2011.
2018 Oct 1, Judges at the
International Court of Justice ruled that landlocked Bolivia cannot
force Chile to negotiate over granting it "sovereign access" to the
Pacific Ocean, in a setback to Bolivian President Evo Morales.
2018 Oct 13, The Vatican said
Pope Francis has defrocked Chilean bishops Francisco José Cox
Huneeus (84), former archbishop emeritus of the city of La Serena,
and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández (53), former archbishop emeritus
of Iquique, who have been caught up in the country's widening sexual
2018 Nov 20, In Chile Luis
Mayol, the top government official in the restive Araucania region,
resigned late on today amid mounting political fallout after a
controversial police raid last week ended in the shooting of an
indigenous Mapuche man.
2018 Nov 26, Chile said it is
returning a second planeload of Haitian immigrants to their native
country and will make use of the return flight from the Caribbean
island to bring home Chileans stranded in crisis-stricken Venezuela.
2018 Nov 28, Chile's Pres.
Sebastian Pinera signed a measure that lets people over the age of
14 change their name and gender in official records.
(SFC, 11/29/18, p.A2)
2018 Dec 5, The Vatican
launched an investigation into a small Chilean religious order of
nuns after some sisters denounced sexual abuse at the hands of
priests and mistreatment by their superiors.
2018 Dec 6, Chile's
Constitutional Court threw out a regulation that prohibited some
private hospitals and clinics from refusing to perform legal
2019 Jan 13, Dubai-based port
operator DP World said it will pay $502 million for a 71.3 percent
stake in Chile's Puertos y Logistica SA, a port services firm.
2019 Jan 19, In Chile a
magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit the north-central coast late today. As
many as 200,000 were left without power and two people dead of heart
2019 Jan 23, A French court
refused an appeal by Chile to extradite a longtime fugitive leftist
guerilla who had escaped prison after being convicted for killing an
ally of ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet, spurring an immediate rebuke
from Chile. France had granted Ricardo Palma Salamanca asylum in
November 2018, more than two decades after Chilean authorities
imprisoned him for the 1991 murder of Senator Jaime Guzman.
2019 Feb 7, Police in Chile
arrested retired Gen. Juan Emilio Cheyre, a former army chief, on
charges of torturing 24 people in 1973, shortly after the coup that
brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power.
2019 Mar 22, In Chile a group
of South American presidents formed Prosur, a new regional bloc to
replace Unasur, founded in 2008. The new bloc included Argentina,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.
(SSFC, 3/24/19, p.A4)
2019 Mar 23, The Vatican said
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati
(77) as archbishop of Santiago, the highest-ranking member of the
Catholic Church in Chile, who has been caught up in the country's
sex abuse scandal. Spanish-born Capuchin friar and current bishop of
Copiapo, Chile, Monsignor Celestino Aos Braco was named as temporary
(Reuters, 3/23/19)(AP, 3/23/19)
2019 Apr 25, It was reported
that international thieves from Chile are suspected of committing
hundreds of burglaries across southern California after obtaining
visa waivers to enter the US.
(SFC, 4/25/19, p.A8)
2019 Apr 29, Alberto Curamil of
Chile was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. The jailed
indigenous activist had protested several hydroelectric projects in
the country. His efforts were credited with halting two projects and
protecting a critical ecosystem surrounding the Cautin River.
2019 May 17, Germany said it
would pay compensation of up to 10,000 euros ($11,000) each to
victims of the former Nazi pedophile sect "Colonia Dignidad" in
Chile. The sect was founded in 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a former
Wehrmacht soldier, lay preacher and convicted pedophile, who abused,
drugged and indoctrinated residents and kept them as virtual slaves.
Schaefer was arrested in Argentina in 2005 and then jailed in Chile
for child sexual and other abuses. Schaefer (88) died behind bars in
2010. Victims said compensation offered by Germany was not enough to
make up for decades of slavery and abuse.
(AFP, 5/17/19)(AFP, 5/18/19)
2019 Jun 13, In Chile three
Bolivian men went missing late today after a small landslide blocked
the entrance to the mine, trapping the miners nearly 70 meters (230
feet) beneath the surface. On June 15 authorities found alive one of
the miners trapped beneath the rubble at a small copper mine, while
another was found dead. A 3rd remained missing.
2019 Jun 14, At the Vatican
church officials said Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of
Carlos Eugenio Irarrázabal, the auxiliary bishop of the Chilean
capital city, just 24 days after he appointed him to the post.
Irarrázabal had become embroiled in controversy after he recently
said there were no women at the Last Supper of Jesus and his
disciples so "we have to respect that." He also said that perhaps
women "like to be in the back room".
2019 Jun 18, Chilean police
fired rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes early today with miners
striking at the giant Chuquicamata copper mine, as the workers tried
to block access to a site operated by state-owned giant, Codelco.
2019 Jun 22, In Chile striking
workers employed by the world's top copper producer were set to
continue their walkout after voting down a management offer of
better wages and compensation.
2019 Jul 15, Walmart Chile said
it would resume talks with a union of 17,000 workers who walked off
the job last week amid a major push by the global retail giant to
automate jobs and slash costs.
2019 Aug 26, It was reported
that Chile was facing one of its driest years in six decades. The
govnemnt has declared an agricultural emergency to try to fast-track
(SFC, 8/26/19, p.A2)
2019 Jul 27, Mining company CAP
reported a 40,000-liter diesel oil spill on an island on the far
southern coast of Chilean Patagonia at its onshore terminal on
2019 Sep 1, It was reported
that a group of young activists from several Latin American
countries, inspired by Swedish teenage climate activist Greta
Thunberg. have converged in Chile to exchange ideas on how to battle
2019 Oct 11, Uber said it would
buy a majority stake in online grocery provider Cornershop as the
ride-hailing giant moves to expand its fast-growing delivery service
into the grocery store market. Santiago-based Cornershop operates in
Mexico, Chile, Canada and Peru, but Chief Executive Oskar
Hjertonsson said the deal would allow it to deliver groceries "in
many more countries around the world".
2019 Oct 19, Chilean troops
patrolled the streets of Santiago after President Sebastian Pinera
evoked a state of emergency amid a surge in violent protests over
4-cent subway fare rise. At least three people died after a
supermarket in Santiago was set alight by demonstrators. Pinera
announced the repeal of a transit fare hike that had prompted the
violent student protests. Five more people were later found dead in
the basement of a burned warehouse.
(Reuters, 10/19/19)(Reuters, 10/20/19)(SSFC,
10/20/19, p.A4)(SFC, 10/21/19, p.A2)(SFC, 10/25/19, p.A2)
2019 Oct 20, In Chile any
flights into Santiago airport were suspended as crew were unable to
get to work. A curfew, a public transport shutdown and continued
rioting left flight crews struggling to get to work.
2019 Oct 21, Chilean
authorities scrambled to clear wreckage and re-open public
transportation in the capital Santiago after a weekend of violent
clashes, arson attacks and looting in cities throughout the
country. Days of protests throughout the country left 15 dead
and led to the arrest of 2,600.
(Reuters, 10/21/19)(Reuters, 10/22/19)
2019 Oct 24, Chile's Pres.
Sebastian Pinera announced a freeze on a 9.2% increase in
electricity tariffs until the end of next year, following large
protests in Santiago. At least 18 people have died in violence
following the announcement of a 4-cent subway fair rise.
(SFC, 10/25/19, p.A2)
2019 Oct 24, The United Nations
said it would send a special mission to investigate human rights
abuses in Chile, where a general strike went into its second day
following a week of street protests that left 19 dead.
2019 Oct 26, Chilean President
Sebastian Pinera called for a major cabinet reshuffle in a bid to
quell a week of mass protests against inequality that have rocked
the South American nation.
2019 Oct 29, Chileans gathered
for a 12th day of demonstrations demanding greater equality and
better public services.
(SFC, 8/30/19, p.A2)
2019 Oct 30, Chile's Pres.
Sebastian Pinera canceled the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
summit of world leaders next month in Santiago after a wave of
deadly protests in recent weeks. The decision also cancelled the
United Nations climate change conference, the COP25, due to take
place in Santiago Dec. 2-13.
2019 Oct 31, The US State
Department warned that it had seen indications of Russian
"influence" on recent unrest in Chile, where two weeks of protests
and riots have rocked the administration of President Sebastian
2019 Nov 2, Chile's government
backed off from a plan to cut corporate taxes following two weeks of
protests. At least 20 people have been killed since a proposed
increase in subway fares set off protests that morphed into a call
for seep-rooted changes.
(SSFC, 11/3/19, p.A4)
2019 Nov 6, Chile's Pres.
Sebastian Pinera sent a law to parliament to guarantee a minimum
wage of $480 a month, part of an ambitious social spending plan
announced last month as the protests grew. The government planned to
draw $600 million from a sovereign wealth fund to finance the social
plan. Protests continued.
2019 Nov 12, In Chile protests
against social inequality continued for a 26th day with huge
demonstrations and a national strike that brought much of the
country to a standstill.
(SFC, 11/13/19, p.A2)
2019 Nov 15, Chilean lawmakers
agreed to hold a referendum next April on replacing the country's
unpopular Pinochet-era constitution, bowing to demands of protesters
who say the country's decades-old social model has created deep
2019 Nov 17, Chile's Pres.
Sebastian Pinera condemned for the first time what he called abuses
committed by police in dealing with four weeks of violent unrest
that have rocked the country.
2019 Dec 4, In Chile thousands
of women, blindfolded and dressed in black, descended on Santiago
chanting what has now become their rallying cry: “El violador eres
tu", or, “The rapist is you".
(The Independent, 12/7/19)
2019 Dec 9, Walmart in Chile
pulled requests it filed earlier with Chilean courts demanding
police protection for its supermarkets, but said looting of its
stores continued and that the situation following weeks of unrest
2019 Dec 9, A Chilean Air Force
transport plane carrying 38 people vanished en route to a base on
Antarctica. The plane crashed over the Drake Sea, a vast untouched
ocean wilderness off the southernmost edge of Antarctica. There were
(AP, 12/10/19)(Reuters, 12/12/19)
2019 Dec 13, A UN human rights
report accused Chilean security forces of serious human rights
violations against protesters over the past two months, including
deaths, torture, sexual abuse and the use of excessive force.
2019 Dec 23, South Korea-based
Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) said it had suspended
construction of the bridge, which will connect the Chilean island of
Chiloe to the mainland, accusing the government of bad faith for
seeking to increase the scope of the project without additional
2019 Dec 24, In Chile a fire
swept through neighborhoods of Valparaiso destroying more than 120
(SFC, 12/26/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 27, In Chile clashes
between protesters and police left one man dead, raising the death
toll during protests that started in October to 27. The man
was electrocuted after falling into a pit in Plaza Italia, Santiago.
(SFC, 12/30/19, p.A2)
2020 Feb 17, South Korea's
Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd said it has resolved a
dispute with the Chilean government over a $740 million suspension
bridge in a deal that had required it to "give up its rights" in
various areas. The company said it has given ground on unspecified
areas to allow the stalled project to get back on track.
2020 Mar 2, Chilean President
Sebastian Pinera signed a law that strengthens existing legislation
against femicide, expanding the definition to include the killing of
non-married partners and boosting penalties for killing pregnant
women and minors.
2020 Mar 2, It was reported
that more than 180 children in Chile have been held in preventive
detention – some for up to four months – for their participation in
the wave of social unrest which have rocked the country since
(The Guardian, 3/2/20)
2020 Mar 7, Chile said it now
had seven confirmed coronavirus cases, up from five.
2020 Mar 11, Researchers said
they used the planet-hunting ESPRESSO instrument on the European
Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile to observe a
planet called WASP-76b located about 640 light years from Earth. It
is nearly twice the size of Jupiter, our solar system's largest
planet. Weather on the planet had a 100 percent chance of the most
outrageous rain imaginable, droplets of scalding hot liquid iron.
2020 Mar 18, Chile's president
declared a 90-day state of catastrophe due to the coronavirus.
2020 Apr 19, Chile reported
over 10,000 cases of coronavirus, the third-highest tally in Latin
America. Chile has reported a total of 133 deaths.
2020 Apr 20, Police in Chile
broke up a fresh round of anti-government protests in one of
Santiago´s central squares late today, arresting 14 and citing rules
against congregations intended to ward off the spread of
coronavirus. Health authorities have banned gatherings of more than
50 people nationwide to thwart the spread of coronavirus.