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John Cobin

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A Note on the 2017 Chilean Primary Elections

Chile does not usually hold presidential primary elections. For that reason, we typically arrive at election day in November with seven or eight (or more) candidates on the ballot and thus no one ends up getting at least 50.1% of the vote. Therefore, the top two vote-getters do a run-off election in December, called la segunda […]

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A Second Citizenship Beyond Chilean

There are certain motifs that fascinate expatriates in general. The most common ones I hear are gold and its storage, tax reduction, escaping warfarism or welfarism, relationships with non-American women, offshore banking, lower-cost living (lifestyle upgrade) and second passports. For many of them, this last motif requires a great, if not the greatest, amount of […]

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Chilean Census – 2017

In Chile, the national census is taken every five years. Wednesday, April 19, 2017 was census day, and people were forced to take a confined (paid) holiday in order for census workers to get around to them and conduct a ten-minute household interview. The idea was that other than emergency personnel and the census takers […]

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Construction Quality in Chilean Cities

By now, most thinking people know that Chileans build the safest buildings in the world, at least in terms of earthquake protection. In the last seven years, populated areas of Chile have been struck by three large earthquakes (Richter Scale 8.2 Iquique, 8.3 Illapel and 8.8 Cauquenes). The damage done to postwar structures and highways was […]

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Notary and Recorder Monopolies in Chile

Notaries (notarías) and notarial services are vastly different in Chile than they are in places like the United States. A notary designation is not easy to get in Chile, and a notary does far more than just verify the veracity of the signer. In many cases, notaries offer legal advice, too, the liability associated with […]

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Overview of Nightlife and Activities for Younger People

There are many reasons to live in Santiago: jobs, business and networking, modernity, large First World areas, great medical care, extensive and modern shopping, amusement parks, bowling, golf, international access/airport hub and access to language schools or many people that speak English. Other than work and business, Viña del Mar can tick most of those boxes, […]

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Chilean Architects

Some Chilean professionals have a lot of power – too much power in fact. Architects fall into that group. You might ask, “In what sense does an architect have power?” Well, he has a lot if you hire him to build a home for you or for your construction company. He gets to make calls […]

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Chilean Realtors

One good (Chilean) friend of mine says they are just lazy. Nonetheless, I would like to think that Chilean realtors are also incompetent, uncreative, and not very good problem solvers. They have a hard time thinking out of the box, too. They have no multiple listing service and are reluctant to share commissions with other […]

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A Couple of New Scams by “Friendly” Chileans

Chile is well-known for its scams. It is society built on lying, cheating, stealing, dishonesty and deception. I do not know how I can put it more plainly. Yet, those of us raised in other cultures, even after living here many years, can still be blindsided by criminals and scammers. Thus, one can imagine how […]

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The Right´s Landslide Victory in Chile’s 2016 Mayoral Elections

The Chilean Right (which includes libertarians), absolutely dominated the Left in the Chilean mayoral elections on October 23, 2016. This was very good news for expatriates living in Chile, or those in beleaguered Northern Hemisphere countries wanting to come to Chile, as well as for investors looking to start businesses and projects in Chile. Just […]

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