Home Chile Chile’s Uncertain Next Chapter: Foreign Affairs

Chile’s Uncertain Next Chapter: Foreign Affairs

Chile’s Uncertain Next Chapter: Foreign Affairs
Chilean presidential candidates debate in Santiago, December 2021 Reuters / Ivan Alvarado. Courtesy of Foreign Affairs.

When Chile emerged from the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet some three decades ago, its future stability hardly seemed assured. But after 17 years under Pinochet’s yoke, Chileans prioritized reconciliation, moderation, and global integration. The country alternated between center-right and center-left administrations, both of which pursued policies that fostered economic growth and reduced poverty. Although those economic gains were unevenly distributed, Chile became one of Latin America’s most stable democracies.

The runoff presidential election scheduled for December 19—which will pit ultraconservative José Antonio Kast against leftist Gabriel Boric—now seems destined to break Chile’s long-standing record for moderation. Demonstrations in 2019 laid bare the resentment many Chileans harbored over a stratified educational system, corruption and tax evasion among the wealthy, and a privatized pension system that has left many Chileans destitute in their old age.

Although the most recent national elections have shown that the right wing is gaining traction, either candidate could win the presidential election. Irrespective of the outcome, the country’s investor-friendly economy and reputation for democratic stability is at risk.

Read the full story.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here