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Chilean Baptists and the State

Baptists have always existed and flourished—independent of the state—and therefore are natural libertarians; thus making the new Independence Party (Partido Independencia) in Chile appropriate for promoting their ideals. In the British colonies before the founding of the United States of America, Baptists opposed (1) paying taxes to build churches for Anglicans, Congregationalists, etc., (2) the obligation to request licenses to preach from other religious authorities, and (3) to pay fines or suffer enslavement (in the case of Virignia) for not attending the worship services of other religions established by law, for example Anglican services in Colonial Virginia.

In the face of such threats, Baptist pastors of the era Isaac Backus and John Leland fought to ratify a Bill of Rights, which was later transformed into the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution in 1789. Those Baptists were true libertarians.

The same thing happened in Chile where early American Baptist missionaries and a Scottish Baptist opposed the link between the state and the church, especially the prohibition of conducting public worship services or preaching the gospel in Spanish. It is not surprising that the first missionaries who arrived in Chile from the United States (1917-1926), advocated changes leading up to the 1925 Chilean Constitution or became active members of the Radical Party of the time. They wanted the freedom from the state and its bride, the Roman Catholic Church.

These Baptists brought many dollars to Chile (undoubtedly in the form of U.S. gold coins commonly circulating before 1933), investing the equivalent today of many hundreds of millions of pesos in: (1) paying salaries of more than ten full-time missionaries, largely with advanced degrees, (2) building many churches and pastoral residences between Santiago and Chiloé and also in Antofagasta, (3) launching a publishing house called El Lucero, a Christian radio broadcast, and a monthly magazine La Voz Bautista, (4) erecting a seminary on Miguel Claro street (Providencia, Santiago), and (5) building a main school in Temuco (initially for girls only) in 1921, led by Miss Agnes Graham, with branch or satellite schools around Temuco.

This last project was very successful, according to missionary Dr. William Earl Davidson, “Time proved the wisdom of co-educational venture, Miss Graham’s school became the pilot co-educational school for all Chile.” His Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile 1917-1924, page 7[Photo credit]

Agnes Graham.PNG
For Chilean Baptists, activism against the state—and its most egregious manifestations like communism—was necessary. This fact was evidenced in many articles they wrote on the subject, published in La Voz Bautista in 1922 and 1923. Baptists do not want to force anyone to attend church services or follow religious precepts. On the contrary, they want to live in a free society where they can preach the Gospel in peace, persuading others to join them by converting to Christ. The Baptist religion is simple and biblical, providing no place for the state—an institution that was (and often still is) repugnant for many Baptists, if not openly satanic.

The Chilean state was an annoyance to the early Baptist missionaries and first Chilean pastors like Honorio Espinoza, a law school graduate from the University of Chile and first Chilean president of the Baptist seminary in Santiago. All these men had graduate degrees—some of them holding doctorates (Davidson, 1928; Moore, 1944; McGavock, 1961; Maer, before 1941). Espinoza and Isaías Valdivia were examples of Chilean Baptist pastors who studied in prestigious seminars in the United States before 1940, returning to Chile to participate in the struggle against personal and social sins pervasive in Chile, being aided by their degrees and preparation. The intellectual Baptists of the time had a very high level of education, even by today’s standards, and should be an example to follow for modern Baptists and other Evangelical, Protestant and Pentecostal Christians.

For example, the missionary Roberto Cecil Moore, who obtained his doctorate (Ph.D.) at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with his thesis The Economic Influence of Roman Catholicism in Chile, attributed mid-Twentieth Century Chilean poverty and backwardness to (1) useless dogma, (2) ecclesiastical corruption among the priests and other leaders, (3) the cruelty of the church to indigenous peoples, and (4) other abuses, such as the arbitrary extraction of money from ship captains arriving in Valparaíso under threat of excommunication.

After 25 years living in Chile, he wrote frankly in the same thesis:

Chile is infinitely behind other countries that have inferior resources, not because of inferior race, but because of a religion that gives inferior economic results. Is it too much to say that Chile is poor because it is Catholic? [p. 84]. Judged by the history of colonial Chile, Roman Catholicism is not conducive to intellectual liberty and exploration nor to inventiveness in any line. Catholicism is contrary to social change, and social change is essential to permanent economic well-being [p. 119]. [Italics not in the original; added by the blog software.]

He also wrote the book Men and Acts: Baptists of Chile (in Spanish, 1965), in which he recounts some difficulties that the missionaries had with the Chilean state. A famous example in his time, but almost forgotten today, is the case of the Baptist School located in Temuco, funded 100% by Southern Baptist churches in the United States, in order to eliminate illiteracy in the region and raise the academic level for girls. and (later) boys. Moore tells us on pages 101-102:

The State
Another problem for the Baptists, and perhaps of greater danger, was their relationship with the state. As they became more well-known and their influence increased, so did the problems pertaining to their relationship with the state.
Years ago, a well-meaning Chilean congressmen managed to apportion a considerable sum for the Baptist School’s budget, without first consulting with Agnes Graham. The provincial treasurer called her on the phone and said:
—”Miss Graham, your money is waiting for you.”
—”What money? What are you talking about?”
—”Well, it is the government’s subsidy for the Baptist School.”
Agnes Graham could hardly convince the kind treasurer that the school was not going to accept tax money to teach the Baptist creed. And the problem has yet to be resolved. The solution is not easy.
On the one hand, Baptists are citizens and they want to be able to participate in government and public affairs such as this one. And they must have the same privileges and guarantees as any other person. On the other hand, the government needs all the support and moral guidance that the believer in Christ can bring. [Italics not in the original; added by the blog software.]

Nevertheless, the Chilean state afflicted the Baptist School in Temuco, placing obstacles in its way and, apparently, compelling the closure of some satellites for being so “rebellious” by its refusal to accept state money [Moore, p. 85]. Like Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul, Baptists are often considered “rebels” in the eyes of the state.

Espinoza was the most prominent member of the first generation of Chilean Baptists who were trained by Baptist missionaries in the southern United States. He wrote: “Again and again formal means of social control such as government and law, with all their machinery and technique, fail to realize their purpose because they cannot deal with the spring of human action itself. Religion proves to be the force in that realm for social order [page 282].” (Source: “The Place of Religion in Social Control” (1940), Review & Expositor 37:3, pp. 282-285.) This reality is one of the reasons why state authorities are constantly looking for a way to control or manipulate religion—along with their private schools—in a way that furthers the state’s ends.

The idea that the church and its institutions might have been controlled or manipulated by the state was repugnant to the early Chilean Baptists. As true libertarians, receiving state funds for such ends is just as bad—for a consistent Baptist—as paying taxes to accomplish religious ends. This idea was still underscored nearly four decades later, in La Voz Bautista of July 1961 (53:7, page 6), where the opposition of the Baptist churches to subsidize religious schools was affirmed under the principle of separation of church and state.

According to Moore, “in 1920 illiteracy in Chile was almost 50%” [page 50]. Could Chileans understand the word of God without having being able to read? Hardly! Thus, a school was necessary, but one without influence or connection with the state [page 84]. Moore recounted, “Some—especially the missionaries and some others—thought that accepting such government assistance to subsidize a Baptist school violated the principle of separation of state and church” [page 85]. This position caused some discord among them, since some Chileans were (mistakenly) willing to accept this form of state financing. They did not understand their own doctrine well, just like many modern Chilean Baptists whose biblical formation is not good.

The Bible teaches how Christians should act before authorities, normally submisively (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13), but not always (Acts 5:29; 2 Kings 1:9-11; Judges 3:17-23): “lest we offend them” unnecessarily (Matthew 17:27), try to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18), and also seek out an adequate public policy prescription so “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:2), yet “if you can be made free, rather use it…You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:21,23). The Chilean Baptists of the first part of the Twentieth Century—such as Davidson, Moore, Graham, Espinoza and Valdivia—fulfilled this mandate.

It is high time for Chilean Baptists to recognize their biblical and historical roots and to act as “rebellious” libertarians instead of statists. Their faith should not depend on the state, nor should greater moral behavior in Chilean society. Their duty is to preach the Gospel and be political activists in the struggle to achieve freedom from the state and its most nefarious, vile and atheist manifestations—e.g., communism, radical ecology, radical feminism, gender identity or homosexuality, abortion rights, and the modern secular dogma of being politically correct. Like the Baptists, the Independence Party, without being a religious party, shares this same struggle against the state and its evil proactive policies.

I am certain that many consistent or dedicated Baptist activists in Chile, along with some of their counterparts in Presbyterian, Lutheran, Anglican, Opus Dei-style Catholic, etc. circles, will find this party to be the one that promotes their ideals and convictions.

Haz click aquí para ver la versión en español.

John Cobin, Ph.D. George Mason University Twitter
Co-founder Partido Independencia/Independence Party
www.libertarios.cl

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

A Grateful Immigrant

Some people are surprised to learn that not only did I immigrate to Chile, but I also renounced my American citizenship after I became a Chilean. Indeed, I prefer freedom, and with all its faults Chile is an even freer place than the United States of America. I do not mean to say that the Chilean state is good or without its faults; not at all. I am a libertarian and according to my experience, the theoretical framework of my Worldview, and the empirical results that I have seen many scholars come up with: all States are vile.

In Chile there is no justice, there is crime; it is a lying, dishonest, deceitful and distrustful society with an odious bureaucracy that is coupled with annoying hassles and hurdles to get anything done. People tend to be overtly selfish, especially when driving or shopping. A large percentage of professionals and tradesmen seem to be incompetent. The Marxist minority is disgusting and irksome. These things are annoying. However, there are dozens of excellent reasons to be in Chile: beautiful landscapes, good medical care, low taxes, privatization of pensions and former state-run enterprises, affordable housing (in Chilean First World places), the best anti-seismic construction in the world, good food, a large number of libertarians, little political correctness, scant radical ecology or radical feminist policies, a strong family focus, strong opposition to abortion, etc.

I left the U.S.A. and I eliminated my citizenship because I did not want to be linked with that state and I adopted the considerably less malignant Chilean one. I am certainly more optimistic about the future of Chile than that of North America. Chile is my homeland now and I am working to make it even more libertarian.

What do I think about the old country? Not much; I do not feel any moral obligation to liberate the U.S.A. from its evil, nor raise funds from here to free its serfs from their regulatory, tax and politcally-correct slavery. Am I a degenerate or indolent for not caring about fixing the big mess up yonder? I do not think so. Instead, I recommend that North Americans (and Europeans) come to Chile.

For me, life is clearly a struggle between good and evil, in general trying to help others be a little freer, even though my main desire is for Chile to move towards greater liberty. Such freedom is a strong magnet that will automatically attract oppressed immigrants—similar to Hong Kong in the Twentieth Century. My idea is not original, since during the Nineteenth Century and the first decades of the Twentieth, Valparaíso, Chile fulfilled that magnetic function. I want Valparaíso to regain that virtue during the Twenty-First Century so that, once again, the world’s oppressed, poor, ignorant and persecuted will reach its shores alon with the rest of the country.

! [] ()

I am a grateful immigrant because Chile welcomed me on March of 1996 when I was thrity-three years old—without a job, with less than USD$10,000 in savings, with five children under eight years old (and another one to be born that July), and without being able to speak much Spanish. We all had a temporary visas when we arrived, obtained before boarding the plane, but nothing else of significant earthly value besides courage, resourcefulness, dedication and diligence.

In addition, I have been rather serious about promoting Chile to others. Since 2006, I have publicized and “sold” the country to many Americans (and several Europeans), with many of them having come down to stay (a few in conditions similar mine in 1996). Now, most of these folks speak, more or less, in Spanish. Many of them work here and are applying for Chilean nationality. I am happy for them and I hope they serve as great blessings for Chile.

With the help of some fabulous individuals (i.e., Chicago boys or, in one case, a UCLA boy) who trusted me and hired me even though I spoke Spanish poorly, boosted my career growth and later facilitated the development of some projects in Chile. I would be remiss not to mention and thank, in a special way, Álvaro Vial, who even signed up to be my personal guarantor, allowing to lease my first home in 1997, as well as Harald Beyer, Cristian Laurroulet, and later (in 2008) Francisco Labbé, among others.

In mentioning these fine men, I am not implying that I got work on account of favoritism. For instance, to get my first full time job in Chile I had to pass a “test” before being hired by the Finis Terra University. It consisted in me teaching a semester-long course (in English) about free market and public policy topics, for authorities and professors of the university. Thus, I earned the job based on my merits. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity they gave me. Also, nobody claimed that I was going to take away the work of a Chilean that might have otherwise gotten my university post. Its authorities, with the exception of Adelio Pipino, were pro-immigrant.

Now, I want to help other immigrants as others have helped me—especially considering the great influx of immigrants that has arrived since 2015. Accordingly, I am especially happy to see Baptists (of which I am one) working with Haitian immigrants to learn Spanish and the Bible. I am libertarian in word and deed, and there is no man more naturally libertarian than a Baptist.

Unlike other Chileans who disdain immigrants, how could I be anti-immigrant after having such a good reception in Chile? I have been settled in the country for the better part of twenty-two years, working, paying taxes, participating in politics and active in church, writing 1,505 letters to the editor, hundreds of blog entries pertaining to Chile, and have been the subject of many press interviews. My language skills still leave something tp be desired. Yet, I was relatively comfortable writing this article in Spanish (having had people who helped me correct mistakes), before putting it into English. Another issue: note that my second daughter (Rachel) was born here, in Quilpué, on July 7, 1996 and is a Chilean citizen, too. I have another son who opted for nationality as well. For so many reasons, I have always felt welcome to Chile.

Álvaro Vial and Héctor Hevia (among others) told me that when they went to study at the universities of Chicago and Western Michigan, respectively, they were surprised by how well the gringos received them, willing to help and show kindness to an unknown foreigner. I must agree that the generosity and volunteerism of Americans is unparalleled in the world. (It is, after all, a country made up of once persecuted, oppressed and poor ignorant immigrants or their descendants, right?)

Upon seeing me in 1996, they told me that they were goig to take the opportunity to return the favor of what they had received in America by being generous and helpful to me, without expecting anything in return. At other times, different men helped me, too, especially in 2008 and 2015-2016. It is worth mentioning that Pablo Baraona, Hermógenes Pérez de Arce and super-libertario Álvaro Bardón nearly became my fans by helping me become yet another emblematic (or enigmatic?) Chilean libertarian who believed in the economic policies they envoked under Pinochet, and who showed his preference to live in these furthest confines of the world instead of the “fabulous” United States. I’m grateful for them too.

Blurb in <i>La Estrella</i> (The Star) of Valparaíso in January 1996 alerting people to the fact that the "<i>gringo loco</i>" was going to arrive.jpg

They put this notice for me at La Estrella in Valparaíso (January 1996). Mrs. Marta Ramírez (another fabulous person) answered and leased us a country house in Lo Hidalgo, between Limache and Villa Alemana. I am grateful again because he was interested in my case. From there, I launched my life in Chile. It has not been easy, but I have shown that you can achieve success as an immigrant in Chile.

Having considered the main provisions of the bill championed by President Piñera (April 2018) to modify Chilean immigration legislation, I think it will cause more distortions than solutions. Would it not be better to privatize the border? In what sense am I different from the Haitian immigrant so frequently despised today? My skin is white, my eyes are greenish, and my university and postgraduate education (coupled with my professional career) is far better than theirs. Are those the reasons why I was preferred? The differences I have with immigrants from Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela are relatively minor compared to the massive ones I have with Haitians—except that those folks already speak Spanish as their first language, unlike my unpolished drivel—wherein they beat me hands-down. All of that evidence leads me to believe that there is an immigrant prototype that the Chilean government under Piñera likes.

At any rate, I have empathy for the immigrants who have been coming to Chile since 2015. I hope that Chile is beneficial to them, and that they will consider becoming part of our pro-life libertarian political party (and perhaps ponder becoming Baptists, too!). Normally those who have fled oppression and social malice, having been persecuted by the Left, come to their new homeland willing to oppose the slavish, often violent and bloodthristy Left that beleaguered it. Just how beneficial would attracting so many new adherents that detest the Left be for the libertarian Right?

This article was published (in Spanish) by the popular, left-wing Chilean magazine The Clinic, on April 13, 2018.

Haz click aquí para ver la versión en español de este artículo.

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

New Pro-Life Libertarian Party in Chile / Nuevo Partido Político Libertario Chileno a Favor de la Vida

Chile has many classical liberals or libertarians that are pro-life who have now formed their own political party: the Independence Party. Chile tiene muchos liberales clásicos o libertarios que están a favor de la vida, y ya han formado su propio partido político: el Partido Independencia.

This article is written in both English and Spanish. The idea is (1) to inform English speakers of an important new political movement in Chile and also (2) to help attract people in Chile to participate. If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Chile, and you agree with the platform (whether or not you speak Spanish), please sign the Party’s online form to join with us and show your support!

Español abajo.

English

Declaration of Principles of the Independence Party

Preliminary Statement: In accordance with Article 5 of Law No. 18,603, the Independence Party expresses its commitment to the strengthening of democracy and respect, the guarantee and promotion of human rights enshrined in the Constitution, in ratified international treaties and laws in force in Chile, and in life generally.

1- On the human being and the individual:

The person is an end in itself and not a means. As a rational being (when we say rational being, we do not say that its actions are entirely dedicated mainly to its own survival) he exists for his own effort and courage in cooperation with others, and not to be used by others. Being endowed with a volitional consciousness (free will), social relations must be based on free collaboration that is voluntary between subjects to be considered fair, while rejecting forced impositions by the state.

2- On the Chilean nation:

The Independence Party advocates a civic nationalism. We consider Chile a Western and Hispanic American nation, with major cultural influences coming from several human groups: the Indians, the conquerors of the Spanish empire, many other European countries (especially Germany, Britain, Italy, Croatia, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Portugal), the United States, and a large Orthodox Christian remnant from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine—that part of the former Ottoman Empire that is now called Israel. Chile is a country of immigrants, but it is also a country of indigenous people, former Spanish conquerors and other settlers, but now its culture and common traits are easily identifiable as the small differences seen across our long geography.

The preservation and improvement of our nation is not a racial or biological problem, neither military nor expansionist. Civic nationalism seeks conservation and CULTURAL improvement of what we understand today by “Chile”. We reject isolationism or racism in every way.

  1. On citizenship and the state:

Citizens must be free and equal in dignity and rights. We live in a mixed society, with a state that exploits the private productive relationships of people through high taxes and regulation. Tax measures and administrative measures are due to adequate levels of effectiveness and efficiency. We stand for privatization and the use of market-based regulation wherever possible to reduce taxes and government regulation.

4- On property as a natural right:

Life, liberty and property are natural rights that are antecedent to the State. The defense of property is the basis of a well-formed civil society, allowing personal development and the improvement of individual initiative and private enterprise.

A free individual must take responsibility for the positive and negative consequences of his actions. The fruits of his work, i.e., his property, must be protected from the consequences of the acts of others, and thus protected by justice, peace and social harmony.

5- On justice:

We understand by justice the recognition of the fact that people and nature cannot be changed or interpreted differently and according to the discretion of others, much less by means of public policy. It means respect for the truth in an incorruptible way, given that all human beings must be judged by what is and treated accordingly with equality.

6- On protective and subsidiary status:

The state or, better said, the government, must defend the property rights of the people, which are the expression of human nature, savings, capital formation and the preservation of life and happiness, must promote voluntary private solidarity and ultimately fulfill the subsidiary role focused on the population most in need to guarantee the minimum benefits for the healthy coexistence. In doing so, government should rely on private, charitable, philanthropic, mutual and market-based institutions as much as possible.

7- On the law and legislation:

The law is a declaration of the sovereign will of the individuals that make up the national community, spontaneously generated and antecedent to the state, either in the general sphere of the country or in each territorial unit with it scorresponding jurisdictions. Legislation is the artifically imposed rules or codes of conduct created by legislative bodies of the government or state.

Notwithstanding the above, Chile is a Republic where natural rights are fundamental and protected, namely: the rights to life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. None of these rights may be restricted by majority vote or decrees by the executive or judicial power.

8- On national sovereignty:

The sovereignty of Chile lies in its people and is applied throughout its territory: Accordingly, it is important to review and submit to the democratic control of international treaties, pacts and agreements to which Chile subscribes.

9- On decentralization and cantonization:

In order to increase the degrees of freedom and responsibility of individuals, we believe that the delegation of decision-making power to the smallest organizational and territorial unit is important. We believe that the vast majority of administrative, valuation and tax matters correspond to the competencies of local communities. That is why we propose the cantonization as administrative structure of each territory, accomplishing as much decentralization as possible to promote efficiency and effectiveness. The current provinces will become autonomous political bodies to make decisions on issues of economic, social and regulatory relevance. We propose with this a confederated and cantonal Chile.

10- On trust in the family and community:

Given that human beings are eminently social and empathic beings, we believe in the family and the community (e.g., religious groups, neighborhood associations, sports club, and other institutions), as instances of participation and solidarity in which individuals may find support, help and mutually beneficial cooperation. We believe that the weight of “social action” falls on them instead of the bureaucratic and impersonal state.

We also believe that this makes the individual responsible for the positive or negative results derived from his actions. In terms of thinking, individuals must be free to believe and choose as they deem best, even if considered absurd or ridiculous to others, noting only that one may deny reality but not the consequences of reality. Man must be allowed to err, so long as he does not force his will upon others.

11- On free association, the right to discern and self-defense:

People should be free to associate with those they deem best according to their own criteria. No one can be forced to belong to an association. The members of each intermediate body (e.g., churches, companies, families, groups of friends, foundations, clubs, etc.) have the right to express their power to discern when accepting a new member. We oppose any legislation that attempts to prevent the exercise of this right unless it is a matter of national security. We oppose state intervention or involvement in marriage, the foundational unit of family and society, which should be left to private institutions or associations to define, determine and regulate. All people have a right to defend themselves, by force of arms if necessary, against any other human being or autocratic state that seeks to deprive them of their natural rights by force.

12- On the environment and privatization of externalities:

In order to fully develop human nature, we believe that it is necessary for people to live in a clean and healthy environment. Without prejudice to the foregoing, we understand that individuals have different preferences and visions regarding the type of environment in which they want to live. Recognizing the legitimacy of these differences, we believe that the free market is the mechanism to resolve them, through an adequate definition of property rights and the prices of externalities. We believe that public policies tend to make environmental problems permanent and only slightly improved, being subjected to the perverse incentives of interest groups, and that market-based solutions to environmental, population and natural resource problems are in every way to be preferred.

13- On the right to life and the free movement of peoples related to immigration:

We believe that every human being, whose personality or personhood cannot be infringed on or separated from him by public policy, has an inalienable right to life, from the moment of conception to death. Euthanasia of the elderly or infirm, or voluntary abortion, are acts of aggression against a person that must not be allowed, excepting only self-defense abortion in cases where the position of the fetus in the fallopian tube will with certainty kill both the mother and unborn child. All persons have the right to travel and should be welcomed into Chile as a means to improve our country’s population and development. However, it may be necessary to rely on market-based regulation (e.g., privatized borders, largely-privatized civil registry services and border security guards, private medical teams to isolate infectious diseases) to define the quantity and placement of immigrants.

14- On free-market policy alternatives and the use of force internationally:

Finding and providing solutions to policy problems are an essential feature of any political party. Thus, we propose the use of market incentives, market-based regulation, private initiative and historically favored rules like allodial property rights to encourage the development of remote regions, improve the quality of life, foment business and economic growth, protect residents from infectious diseases, and promote peace. National defense is important and Chile has a right to defend its citizens and their property against aggressors, but we oppose the opportunistic, expansive use of militarism or warfare to subdue other peoples. We all oppose all international entanglements with multinational social or political bodies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of International Settlements, the International Court of Justice, and so forth. We oppose, too, the imposition of political correctness doctrines on individuals by the state, as well as state criminalization, regulation and other rules regarding what individuals choose to smoke, inhale, ingest, whether in the form of a drug, alcohol or food.

15- On the Party’s historical position:

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and Chile has not yet achieved full independence from state encroachment. The mission of the Independence Party is the unification of the Chileans in a collective process that allows the development of each individual in the country. It represents a rupture with world and national bureaucracies, at the same time being a renewed means to keep Chile open to the rest of the world. Peace with other nations includes trade and free migration that is not contradictory to our independence and sovereignty. As Chile has a strong history of receiving other peoples peacefully, we encourage migration processes that allow for healthy coexistence through market-based regulation, that ensure avoiding cultural and uncivilized clashes. From 1840 to 1930, Valparaíso was one of the economically freest places in the world, yielding a prosperity built on diversity of immigrants and free flows of capital and goods. We aim to restore this golden age of Chile, coupled with a furtherance of the social and political freedoms.

Note for the English version onlyValparaíso even enjoyed free banking from 1862 to 1879. To a lesser extent, similar freedom movements were observed in south-central Chile by European migrations (from 1860 to 1910) to the 9th (especially), 10th, and 14th regions—largely comprised of people fleeing religious (anti-Evangelical) or early-Marxist persecutions in their home countries. Punta Arenas, Santiago, Iquique and Antofagasta also flourished with the influx of immigrants, many of whom became fabulously wealthy. Such freedom is cherished by liberty-lovers today worldwide and showcased by other libertarian parties and libertarian think tanks around the world.

Only in the English version (proposed addition):
16- On financial regulation and banking: As an essential element of free enterprise, the banking, insurance and financial sectors must be freed from ties to the state, leaving their formation and regulation to market-based institutions. We support free banking and competing banknote issue, gold-based banking, and unregulated crytpo-currency activities. Financial accounts and transactions should be completely private and untaxed, both for Chileans and residents from other countries living in Chile.

We face an opportunity never before seen, where a group of Chileans is resolved, and thus decided to take the reins of history, to take Chile down the path of greater individual freedom and free markets.

Long live Chile!

Declaración de principios del Partido Independencia:

Declaración Preliminar: En conformidad con el Articulo 5 de la Ley Número 18.603, el Partido Independencia expresa su compromiso con el fortalecimiento de la democracia y el respeto, la garantía y la promoción de los derechos humanos asegurados en la Constitución, en los tratados internacionales ratificados y vigentes en Chile, y en las leyes.

1- Sobre el ser humano e individuo:

La persona es un fin en sí mismo y no un medio. Como un ente racional (al decir ente racional no decimos que sus actos enteramente lo sean si no que es su principal herramienta de supervivencia) existe por su propio esfuerzo y valentía en cooperación con otros y no para ser utilizado por otros. Siendo dotado de una conciencia volitiva (libre albedrío) las relaciones sociales deben basarse en la colaboración libre y voluntaria entre sujetos para ser consideradas justas, rechazando de esta manera cualquier tipo de imposición forzosa por parte del Estado.

2- De la nación chilena:

El Partido independencia propugna un nacionalismo cívico. Consideramos a Chile una nación occidental e hispanoamericana, cuyas principales influencias culturales provienen de varios grupos humanos: los indígenas, los conquistadores del imperio español, los colonos europeos (especialmente Alemania, Reino Unido, Italia, Croacia, Francia, Suiza, Bélgica y Holanda), Estados Unidos y del imperio turco-otomano provenientes de lo que hoy es Israel o Palestina y Siria. Chile no es fundamentalmente un país de inmigrantes (como lo podría ser Estados Unidos por ejemplo), es un país de indígenas, conquistadores y colonos, por lo que su cultura y rasgos comunes son fácilmente identificables pese a las pequeñas diferencias dadas por la larga geografía que nos aleja.

La preservación y mejora de nuestra nación no es un asunto racial ni biológico, ni militar ni expansionista. El nacionalismo cívico busca la conservación y el desarrollo de lo que hoy entendemos por “Chile”. Rechazamos de plano cualquier forma de racismo o nacionalismo étnico.

3- Ciudadanía y Estado:

Los ciudadanos deben ser libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos. Vivimos en una sociedad mixta, con un Estado que explota las relaciones productivas privadas de las personas a través de altos impuestos. Es por esto que deben reducirse las tasas impositivas y los órganos administrativos deben acercarse a niveles óptimos de eficacia y eficiencia con tal de servir a las personas de la mejor manera posible en materias que no pueden ser resueltas por el mercado.

4- La propiedad privada como Derecho Natural:

La vida, la libertad y la propiedad privada son derechos naturales anteriores al Estado. La defensa de la propiedad privada es la base de una sociedad civil bien conformada, permite la creación de riqueza, el desarrollo personal y potencia la iniciativa individual.

Un individuo libre debe hacerse responsable de las consecuencias positivas y negativas de sus actos, incluyendo de los frutos de su trabajo.

5- Justicia:

Entendemos que la justicia implica que las personas y la naturaleza no pueden ser cambiadas o interpretadas de manera diferente y según el arbitrio de algunos. La justicia significa el respeto por la verdad de una manera incorruptible, siendo el ser humano juzgado por lo que es y tratado en consecuencia.

6- Estado protector y subsidiario:

El Estado debe propender a defender los derechos de propiedad de las personas, que son una expresión de la naturaleza humana, debe promover la solidaridad privada voluntaria y soluciones de mercado y en última instancia cumplir un rol subsidiario focalizado en la población más necesitada garantizando las prestaciones mínimas.

7- Sobre la ley:

La ley es una declaración de la voluntad soberana de los individuos que conforman la comunidad nacional, ya sea ésta en el ámbito general del país o en cada unidad territorial y de la correspondiente jurisdicción.

Sin perjuicio de lo anterior, Chile es una República, y por ello los derechos naturales y fundamentales tales como los derechos a la vida, a la libertad y a la búsqueda de la felicidad no pueden ser coartados por leyes de la mayoría.

8- De la soberanía nacional:

La soberanía de Chile radica en su gente y se aplica en su territorio, debido a lo anterior nos parece importante revisar y someter al control democrático los tratados internacionales, pactos y acuerdos que Chile suscribe.

9- Descentralización y cantonización:

Con el fin de aumentar los grados de libertad y de responsabilidad de los individuos, nos parece importante la delegación de poder de decisión a la unidad organizacional y territorial más pequeña; creemos que la gran mayoría de los asuntos administrativos, valóricos y tributarios corresponden a competencias propias de la comunidad local, es por esto que proponemos la cantonización como estructura administrativa de cada territorio. Las actuales provincias pasarán a ser organismos políticos con autonomía para tomar decisiones en temas de relevancia económica, social y regulatoria. Proponemos con esto un Chile confederado y cantonal.

10- La confianza en la familia y la comunidad:

Siendo el ser humano un animal eminentemente social y empático, creemos en la familia y en la comunidad (grupo religioso, barrio, club deportivo, etc…) como instancias de participación y solidaridad en los que los individuos pueden encontrar contención, ayuda y apoyo. Creemos que recae en ellos el peso de la “acción social” en lugar del Estado burocrático e impersonal.

Creemos además que esto responsabiliza al individuo de los posibles resultados positivos y negativos de sus acciones. En términos de pensamiento, los individuos deben tener la libertad de creer y elegir lo que ellos consideren mejor, aunque esto sea considerado absurdo o ridículo para otros, considerando que uno puede negar la realidad pero no las consecuencias de la realidad. El ser humano debe estar permitido de errar siempre y cuando no imponga su voluntad sobre otros.

11- De la libre asociación y el derecho a discernir:

Las personas deben ser libres de asociarse con quienes estimen mejor según su propio criterio. Nadie puede ser obligado, forzado o inducido a pertenecer a una asociación. Los miembros de cada cuerpo intermedio (empresas, familias, grupos de amigos, fundaciones, clubes, etc…) tienen derecho a expresar su potestad de discernir al momento de aceptar a un nuevo miembro. Nos oponemos a cualquier legislación que intente impedir el ejercicio de este derecho a menos que se trate de un asunto de seguridad nacional. Nos oponemos a la intervención del Estado en el matrimonio, la unidad fundacional de la familia y de la sociedad, cuya determinación y regulación debería dejarse en manos de instituciones privadas o asociaciones.

Todos los seres humanos tienen el derecho a defenderse, por las armas si es necesario, contra otros seres humanos o contra un Estado autocrático que busque quitarle sus derechos naturales por la fuerza.

12- Medio ambiente y privatización de externalidades:

Con el fin de desarrollar plenamente la naturaleza humana, consideramos que es necesario que las personas puedan vivir en un ambiente limpio y sano Sin perjuicio de lo anterior entendemos que los individuos tienen distintas preferencias y visiones respecto del tipo de ambiente en el que quieren vivir. Reconociendo la legitimidad de esas diferencias creemos que el mecanismo para resolverlas es el mercado mediante una adecuada definición de los derechos de propiedad y de los precios de las externalidades.

Creemos que las políticas medioambientales del Estado son soluciones marginales que tienden a hacer que estos problemas medioambientales sean permanentes ya que generan incentivos perversos en ciertos grupos de intereses. Por lo mismo, creemos en soluciones de mercado a problemas, medioambientales y de asignación de recursos naturales.

13- Sobre el derecho a la vida y la libertad de movimiento con respecto a la inmigración

Creemos que todo ser humano, cuya personalidad o persona no puede ser transgredida o separada por políticas públicas, tiene derecho a la vida, desde el momento de la concepción a la muerte. La eutanasia de los mayores y enfermos o el aborto voluntario, son actos de agresión contra personas y no pueden ser permitidos salvo en casos de defensa propia cuando la posición del feto en las trompas de falopa provocará con seguridad la muerte de la madre y del niño que está por nacer.

Creemos en el derecho que de las personas a migrar y creemos que estas deberían ser bienvenidas a Chile como una forma de mejorar la cultura y el desarrollo del país. Sin embargo, para definir la cantidad y la distribución de los inmigrantes, promovemos soluciones de mercado tales como la privatización de las fronteras, la privatización del registro civil y de los guardias y personal médico en las fronteras y siempre en conformidad con la decisión soberana del pueblo chileno.

14- Sobre el libre mercado y el uso internacional de la fuerza

La búsqueda y la promoción de soluciones a problemas políticos es la función principal de cualquier partido político.

Respecto del desarrollo de regiones remotas, de su calidad de vida, de su economía y de su seguridad, proponemos el uso de incentivos de mercado, de la iniciativa privada y de los derechos alodiales.

La defensa nacional es importante y Chile tiene el derecho de defender a sus ciudadanos y su propiedad contra agresores. Sin embargo nos oponemos al uso oportunista y expansionista de la fuerza militar para someter a otras personas.

Nos oponemos al involucramiento con entidades políticas o sociales internacionales que limiten la soberanía de Chile, tales como las Organización de las Naciones Unidas, el Fondo Monetario Internacional y la Corte Internacional de Justicia entre otros.

Nos oponemos a la imposición de doctrinas de lo políticamente correcto, que no son otra cosa que formas de autocensura.

Nos oponemos a la criminalización y la regulación de substancias que los individuos elijan fumar, aspirar o ingerir. Sin embargo entendemos las repercusiones sociales que esto conlleva y por lo tanto entregamos parte importante de la toma de estas decisiones a las comunidades expresadas en sus cantones.

15- Posición Histórica:

El precio de la libertad es la eterna vigilancia y Chile no ha logrado una independencia plena del Estado y de organismos y entidades foráneas. La misión del Partido Independencia es la unificación de los chilenos en un proceso colectivo que permita el desarrollo de cada una de las individualidades que lo componen.

Representa una ruptura contra las burocracias mundiales y nacionales, al mismo tiempo que una fuerza renovadora y abierta al mundo. La paz con otras naciones incluye el comercio libre y la inmigración lo cual no debe estar en contradicción con nuestra independencia y soberanía.

Chile tiene una larga tradición de recibir a otros pueblos de forma pacífica. Creemos y promovemos procesos migratorios regulados que permitan una coexistencia sana mediante soluciones de mercado que eviten choques culturales y civilizatorios.

Entre 1840 y 1930, Valparaíso fue uno de los lugares económicamente más libres del mundo y su prosperidad se construyó sobre la inmigración y la libre circulación de bienes y capitales. Buscamos restaurar la era dorada de Chile y avanzar las libertades sociales y políticas queridas por amantes de la libertad en todo el mundo.

Estamos ante una oportunidad nunca antes vista, donde un grupo de chilenos resueltos ha decidido tomar las riendas de la historia para llevar a Chile por la senda de la libertad.

¡Viva Chile!

Este artículo está escrito en inglés y español. La idea es (1) informar a los hablantes de inglés de un importante movimiento político nuevo en Chile y también (2) ayudar a atraer a personas en Chile para que participen. Si usted es ciudadano o residente permanente de Chile, y está de acuerdo con la plataforma del Partido Independencia, firme el formulario en línea del Partido para unirse a nosotros y mostrar su apoyo.

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

The Free Market: Our Future Friend at the Chilean Border

The discussion on the new Chilean immigration law has been accompanied by images of long lines outside consulates abroad, as well as long wait times for immigration services in Chile. These irksome troubles have been exacerbated by the startling discovery of immigrant trafficking networks, along with worrisome potential private pension (AFP) problems that will almost certainly be generated by the ingress of hundreds of thousands of people. Those workers—if for no other reason than their age or lack of steady employment at first—will have gaps in their AFP contributions as they find it necessary to undertake precarious or informal jobs.

Many of these failures could be remedied by privatizing border services.

Border services basically consist of (1) ensuring national and health security—for human beings, animals and crops, (2) helping to ensure a growing population currently threatened by a low birth rate—1.8 children per couple in Chile, (3) providing local labor markets with resources where shortages exists, and (4) managing the issuance of visas, passports and travel documents.

All these services could be provided by a well-designed system of concessions linked with economic incentives. The concessionaires would lose part of their annual income or bonuses for failing to fulfill their mandates and not taking care of their reputation. Through a competitive bidding process, each concessionaire could be assigned a certain number of kilometers of border or coastline, others would watch over airports and ports, and still others take charge of offices that issue passports, a much wider variety of visas, and travel documents.

The market-regulatory framework of private border services must comprise at least the following elements: (1) promotion of competition among concessionaires, (2) adequate power to catch, punish and expel those who fail to comply with Chilean immigration regulations, and (3) issuance and approval of visas and passports, encompassing all aspects of their duration, type, status, prices and discounts.

The lion’s share of the price of visas and passports would form part of the concessionaire’s income and, with competition, the prices would vary between different points of entry, issuing offices, and would depend on the required options and delivery times (speed) specified by a client. The other part of the concessionaire’s income would come from the government, which pays each one a base plus bonus for good behavior and results.

There is no doubt that the current situation beleaguers both prospective immigrants—who wait hours or even days to obtain their visas—and Chileans who are exposed to state-driven, artificial Civil Registry strikes, high passport prices and, above all, the ineffectiveness state institutions that for years now have let in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, often assisted by quasi-mafias that specialize in human trafficking.

By privatizing of border services Chile would once again take the lead as a world pioneer in market solutions to government failure, improving border services and better regulating immigration, improving the country’s security, reducing its fiscal spending requirements, and generate better, greater and newer technologies and industrial capacity. If successful, other countries would do well to follow suit, just like they followed Chile in privatizing pension services.

Versión en español

John Cobin, Ph.D. (George Mason University) Twitter
Alejandro Rogers, MBA (MIT Sloan)
Co-Founders Independence Party (Chile)
www.libertarios.cl
Escape America Now

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Chilean Ethnicity and Ancestry: A Somewhat Surprising Mixture

A lot of things are surprising about Chile, especially its natural beauty. Relatively few people seem to be aware of just how stunning the coastal and mountain/lake landscapes can be. The same is true about Chile’s ethnicity, ancestry and culture, which is decidedly European and certainly not Mexican or Central American (e.g., the tacos and burritos in Chile might disappoint you!). Indeed, along with the other two “southern cone” countries, Argentina and Uruguay, Chile is racially far “whiter” and culturally far more European than any other place in Latin America.

That aspect of Chile is due to the fact that between 15% and 29% of its people are direct descendants of Europeans. Note that while those percentages are far higher in Argentina, and even in Uruguay, they still have had quite a significant impact on Chile. And the diversity of Europeans that have come to Chile is somewhat surprising, too. Mostly, one hears about the British and Germans who came. But there were many other sizable, important immigrant groups from places like Switzerland, Austria, Palestine, Armenia, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Holland, Belgium and Croatia.

Chile’s New World story is not entirely different than America’s: people escaping oppression or looking for better economic opportunities. That fact is most certainly true of the vast majority of Latin American immigrants that have arrived since the 1990s, but it was also true from 1850-1950 for Eastern European Jews, Palestinian refugees, Armenian and Greek genocide refugees, German libertarians, anti-communist eastern Europeans fleeing the Soviets, Russian Molokans (non-Trinitarian Pentecostals) looking for religious liberty, persecuted Baptists seeking relief, and myriad poor central European farmers, miners or fishermen that fled their aristocratic homelands in search of peace and prosperity. Many thousands of them found a new home in Chile. The same is true for well-to-do European and Asian merchants and professional that settled in Chile, hoping to find fortune and opportunity in a new land full of natural resources.

The table below summarizes Chilean ethnicity and ancestry information. The sources of information were articles encountered on the internet, as well as Wikipedia. I found rather large differences in figures between sources, so I have reported the findings as ranges. Please do not take this article as either good history or good science. It is neither thing. The objective is to provide those interested in Chile with a general idea of the topic, based on presumably reliable and easily accessible sources. There are also cultural elements today which collaborate the figures: ethnic clubs, ethnic firemen in Valparaíso and Santiago, ethnic schools, tombstones in Valparaíso and Punta Arenas cemeteries written in various European languages, and a variety of European last names. The impact of Far Eastern immigration has been far less, but there are still notable traces, especially seen in Chinese “malls” and restaurants.

As I have said repeatedly, those who plan to come to Chile as a freer, saner alternative to Northern Hemispheric empires and vassal states would do well to learn something about Chile’s culture and history. That history has been changing in the 21st Century with hundreds of thousands of black immigrants from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, as well as hundreds of thousands more from other parts of South America, especially Peru and Venezuela. In just two years, 2016-2017, 150,901 (net) Venezuelans and 144,589 (net) Haitians immigrated to Chile. Those migrations will change Chile’s national skin color a little more, making it less “white” and more diverse. Chile is changing, mostly for the best, and newcomers should be apprised of where Chile has been and where it is going. I hope that this article has helped facilitate that quest at least a little.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Historical Immigration to Chile: Overview of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Like the United States, Brazil and Argentina, and many other countries in the New World, Chile is a country deeply indebted to immigration. In the last few decades, the great majority of immigrants have come from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia, and, to a lesser extent, Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico. However, in the last five years especially, these countries have been nearly eclipsed by the combined influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Maduro’s Venezuela, along with hundreds of thousands of poor people from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They are all coming to Chile to try to find a better life (joining the ranks of poorer Peruvians, Bolivian and Colombians that have continued their influx). Chile’s 21st Century has been marked by massive inflows of immigrants. Not all of these folks stay, of course. Perhaps a third of them leave, after having worked in Chile for a year or two.

Source: Samuel Vial M., 1998, Historia y Geografía de Chile, page 115, 5th ed. Ediciones Universidad Católica.

Just as the reach of Chilean territory has changed over the past two centuries, mainly due to wars with the combined forces of Bolivia and Peru in the 19th Century, and treachery or squabbles with Argentina (in the image above notice how Chile reached to the Atlantic for the first seventy years of its existence), so has the mixture of its people. A lot has happened since Pedro de Valdivia arrived as a Spanish conquistador (from southwestern Spain), along with 150 men, and founded the cities of Santiago, La Serena, Valparaíso, Concepción and Valdivia during the 1540s.

There is a lot of questionable history, if not popular mythology, that states that many of Valdivia’s men were prisoners in Spain who were given a shot a freedom by fighting under the conquistador. Unlike imperial penal colonies like Australia that received 160,000 prisoners, there is little evidence to corroborate the apparently fictitious claim that Chile’s founders were criminals and, by extension, a genetic reason exists for why so many Chileans are liars, thieves, adulterers and cheaters. If the story were true, it seems that there would be significant historical evidence to be found. There is not.

What is clear is that these men from southern Spain (regions of Andalusia and Extremadura mainly) mixed with the native American (female, obviously) population with whom they constantly fought and attempted to subdue. While many more Spaniards would eventually make their way to Chile, especially from the Basque country, but also from Catalonia, Valencia, Galicia and elsewhere, the Spanish race was hardly left “pure” during the centuries of Chile’s imperial subjugation (1540-1810). From the time of Chile’s complete independence from Spain, it was comprised of a largely mestizo race. Sure, a few Portuguese, Italians, English, Croatians, French and other Europeans had also been added to the mix during the colonial period, but their influence was hardly significant.

However, after independence, the new Chilean government made a smart policy move. Like New York during the same period, several ports were made free ports, starting in 1820, attracting many Europeans (along with a few Chinese Coolies in the north) who sought their fortunes in saltpeter, iodine, gold, silver, wines, retailing and sheep ranching. Valparaíso became especially important, and large businesses grew up in that port to warehouse goods for transient foreign ships securely, making sea voyages more profitable and keeping goods safer on land rather than in a ship’s hull. Valparaíso blossomed and quickly became the most important port on the Pacific Ocean. It was a tax haven, with secure property rights and a wonderful climate.

In 1845, the government also instituted a program to recruit Europeans to settle areas of the south central part of the country. It mainly took off a decade later, placing settlers from Lebu-Angol-Victoria (north of Temuco) down to Puerto Montt and the island of Chiloé, what are today the lower 8th, 9th, 14th and 10th regions of Chile. This brought in several important waves of German immigration, but also poorer Czech, Austrian and Swiss settlers. Meanwhile, Valparaíso swelled with British, Irish, Italians, Swiss, Germans, French, Croatians, Americans and Spaniards, along with a smattering of other nationalities, from the mid-19th Century through the time that the Panama Canal opened and World War 1 commenced in 1914. Significant immigration did not stop until the 1930s, when the saltpeter crisis occurred.

Smaller towns like Punta Arenas swelled with Croats, British and some Portuguese looking for gold and eventually doing well with massive sheep ranches in the late 19th Century, while Iquique and Antofagasta (after Chile won those territories in the War of the Pacific, ending in 1883) became a saltpeter mining magnet for Croats, British and some Italians, Swiss and Chinese.

I am no historian, and the table below is simply a summary of what I read in sources that came from internet searching and Wikipedia. But I hope one can get an idea about the significant immigrant groups that made their way to Chile. This country is hardly Brazil, Uruguay or especially Argentina, whose European immigration numbers completely dwarf Chile’s. Still, European, and to a lesser extent Middle Eastern (Mediterranean, largely non-Muslim, mostly Orthodox or Jewish), immigration significantly impacted Chile’s ethnic and racial makeup. Please note, too, that I leave out many minute details in this sort of presentation. For instance, I do not mention the Danish engineers that came to Valparaíso and Antofagasta, or the first Baptists to settle in Chile, in the lower 8th and 9th regions from 1892 to 1896 (Contulmo, Victoria, Quillén station, etc.), having come from Germany. One other thing: when considering the figures in the table, note that Chile’s population was only 3.2 million in 1907.

If one plans to live in Chile, it pays to know at least something about the country’s history. I hope this article helps facilitate that objective.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Recent Trends in Chilean Immigration

Chile is a great country to live in; just ask its nearly 500,000 immigrants (3% of its population). That figure is likely to double by 2025 as even more immigrants pour into the new El Dorado on account of its economic prosperity. According to La Migración en Chile: Breve Reporte y Caracterización, or report on the characteristics of Chilean migration, since 2001, Chile has become the leading migrant destination in Latin America. This trend has also held true for First World immigrants this century, with significant increases in South Koreans, French, Germans, Dutch, Austrians, Czechs and Americans, with honorable mention going to British, Italian and Japanese immigrants.

Although the percentage of First World (OECD) immigrants from places like the U.S.A. and Spain sharply declined during the now outgoing Bachelet administration, it should reverse itself now that the leftist threat has subsided and President Piñera will be back in office, and Latin American and Caribbean immigration has not stopped soaring—and that trend continues. No country in Latin America has experienced a higher boom in immigration recently than Chile. Although the lion’s share of immigrants are workers in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they are not entirely uneducated. In fact, the Chilean government states that the average education level of an immigrant is higher than that of a Chilean citizen—a fact which bodes well for Chile’s economic future.

Furthermore, many immigrants will take any job. I personally have met Venezuelans fleeing the horrors of life under Maduro in once-prosperous Venezuela. Many of them are now working as maids, auto mechanics and electricians in Chile, having earned university degrees from their homeland in education, construction engineering, and industrial engineering, respectively. They are also earning wages that are perhaps 10% lower than Chileans earn.

Such is the cost of being a refugee and one reason I have always advocated getting a second passport (besides the Chilean one). One never knows when things can turn bad and it becomes necessary to leave. How much better is it to arrive in a new place as a citizen rather than a refugee?

According to Población Migrante en Chile, roughly translated as “immigration yearbook,” published by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peruvians still comprise the largest immigration group, making up 27.5%/21.2% of total initial visa applications approved/applied for in 2016. They are followed by Colombians (17.8%/17.7%). The Colombian case is interesting since I would say, along with many others, that Colombia may be the second most desirable place to go to in Latin America, neck-and-neck with Panama. Yet the “market” indicates that large numbers of Colombians would rather live in Chile, a figure which has continued to increase dramatically in recent years—even surpassing Bolivian immigrants—implying that Chile is a far more attractive place.

Bolivia comes next (17.1%/13.3%), which, along with Peru, has easy connectivity with the far north of Chile. Indeed, while the Santiago area attracts 61.6% of new, legal immigrants, the far north (Antofagasta, Calama, Iquique and Arica) attracts an impressive 23.3%, especially remarkable when compared to only 4.0% for Valparaíso/Viña del Mar (Chile’s second largest metropolitan area). They are followed by Haitians (5.8%/16.0%), Venezuelans (5.7%/14.7%), Argentines (4.8%/3.7%), many from the latter two countries being professionals, then Ecuador (3.1%/3.0%), Spain (2.6%/1.4%), the U.S.A. (2.5%/1.4%) and Brazil (1.7%/1.2%). Some of the Spaniards and Americans are freedom-seekers, but most are either retirees or working professionals coming down to work for a few years and then return to their home countries.

Note the figures (percentages) represent requests for initial, temporary visas. The country rankings are somewhat similar when considering applications for permanent residency, with Bolivians leapfrogging Colombians, and Haitians falling below everyone (2.0%, just ahead of Brazil), followed by strong rises in applications made by Argentines, Spaniards and Ecuadorans. The U.S.A. dropping out of the top ten at that stage (reflecting that most Americans in Chile come for short-term assignments with their firms then go back), being eclipsed by other nations, even the Chinese (2.3%) which are on the rise at this stage—along with people from the Dominican Republic. About 10% to 12% of new immigrants settle in wealthier sections like Las Condes or Providencia; most of the rest live in poorer or lower-middle-class sections of Santiago and cities in northern Chile, indicating that the great majority of immigrants are not wealthy, nor qualify as upper-middle class.

I remember how unusual it was to see a black person in Chile during the 1990s. Nearly everyone stared at Negro visitors on the Metro out of curiosity. In 2008, I mentioned in an Escape America Now blog entry that Chile has very few black people. That has totally changed since 2015—especially in the last year. Blacks from Haiti and Colombia are now seen everywhere. There is no institutionalized welfare state in Chile, so these people come to work, even though Colombian women often end up being prostitutes. They are seen doing menial cleanup jobs, heavy lifting and loading, house cleaning, and selling candy at intersections with longer-wait stoplights. The Haitians hardly speak Spanish.

From 2015 to 2016, the number of Colombians applying for visas increased by 40.7% (28,361), Haitians by a whopping 419.0% (35,277), and Venezuelans by a remarkable 323.7% (30,751). Working as much as we do with immigration services for our clients, we have every reason to believe that these large increases skyrocketed even further during 2017. At immigration offices in downtown Santiago, the line to enter (since 2017) now stretches around the block, largely full of immigrants from these three countries. Note that the figures cited do not include illegal or undocumented immigrants, whose number is surely significant, especially from Peru and Bolivia.

In the same way that Chile discriminates against 51% of the world’s countries by making it much harder for them to come to Chile, the ease of getting a visa once in country also varies according to Chile’s revealed preference for First World or professional immigrants. For instance, the average wait time for the initial temporary visa for Venezuelans is 63.2 days, with Americans slightly behind at 65.2 days, followed by Argentines (66.9), Spaniards (70.3), and Brazilians (74.2). However, the wait times are much longer for people from countries that send poorer people: Peruvians (152.7), Colombians (133.9), Ecuadorians (119.3), and Haitians (99.4).

Chile needs immigrants. Nowadays, Chilean women produce only 1.9 children on average, which is not enough to replace the country’s population. And immigrants, especially educated ones, tend to be a boon to the economy (Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, 1996). Moreover, Chile’s demographic makeup is changing racially and politically. Skin color is not quite a white as it was a few years ago. And people from Venezuela and Argentina, and possibly Argentina and Brazil, are likely to support anti-left, anti-communist candidates, given the fact that they fled countries that have been beleaguered and damaged by them. That fact bodes well for libertarians and constitutional conservatives in Chile, since we may expect a rightward or freedom-minded political shift over the coming decade. (Remember that one may vote in Chile after achieving five years of permanent residency.)

Overall, therefore, we should welcome the recent demographic changes caused by immigration to Chile. Even the government, employers and even huge labor unions agree. Chile has passed the “market test,” as growing thousands pour into the territory seeking a better life. Is not that a good indicator for you? While you ponder the grave situation you face in the Northern Hemisphere, now is as good a time as any to consider setting down roots (or at least a “Plan B” residence with visa) in Chile. Visit Escape America Now to find out more about or residency and consultancy services. You will be welcomed and well-liked in this country situated at the end of the world.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Presidential Election 2017: Chile Turns Right

About seven million Chileans and permanent residents voted in today’s runoff election (December 17, 2017), about 700,000 more than a month ago in the November 2017 general election. Still, voter turnout was remarkably low (48.7%), probably meaning that the disgusted hard Left largely stayed home; contrary to those folks, early indications are that the Right went to the polls in force. The candidate from the Right, Sebastián Piñera, won handily 54.5% to 45.5%, keeping pace with the general rightward political shift in all of Latin America. The nine-point spread is significant given that Chile has often been considered to be a leftist nation. Exuberant celebrations shut down major arteries in Santiago, Viña del Mar and elsewhere.

Piñera beat Alejandro Guillier (despite the journalist’s strong gestures to communist party members and a promise to soak the rich) in the Santiago metro area and 12 of the 14 regions of the country (his two regional losses were in the deep south: Punta Arenas and Coyhaique; he also lost in leftist hotspots like Castro on Chiloé, Valdivia and San Antonio). Piñera simply killed it in Northeastern Santiago, Concón/Viña del Mar, Concepción/Talcahuano, Iquique, Puerto Varas, Santa Bárbara, Los Angeles and Temuco, and did well in the farm belt of the Central Valley (Rancagua, Curicó, Talca, Chillán, etc.).

He surprisingly won in traditionally hard-Left mining areas in the north and southcentral part of the country (La Serena/Coquimbo, Antofagasta, Calama, Copiapó, Coronel, Arauco). He lost as expected in leftist Valparaíso (44.5%-55.5%) but dominated in Concepción/Talcahuano (56.5%-43.5%, surprisingly) and the entire 8th region (58.5%-41.5%), Viña del Mar (57%-43%) and Concón (64%-36%), as well as the inland central 5th Region areas of Quilpué and Villa Alemana, Olmué, Limache, Quillota, La Calera, San Felipe and Los Andes. Even lackluster Osorno and Puerto Montt went for Piñera.

All of Northeastern Santiago was dominated by votes in his favor, with the three largest comunas handing Piñera 81% to 88% of the vote in a lopsided victory (no surprise other than the margin). He won the other four Northeastern Santiago comunas handily, too, and also downtown Santiago. His only surprising Santiago metro area losses were in Estación Central, Puente Alto and La Florida.

Two-thirds of the effectively-irrelevant worldwide votes cast in Chilean consulates (15,766) went for Guillier, most of them coming from families exiled under Pinochet. The Left’s hope that votes from Chileans living abroad would be a significant boon turned out to be unfounded.

Libertarians, Christian ones or otherwise, should be cautiously happy with the outcome for several reasons. First, although the Chilean Congress is sharply divided, there is a chance that the three exceptions for legal abortion might be overturned with the (now puny) Christian Democrats crossing over and voting with the Right. Second, there is also a possibility that taxes will be reduced, participation in politically-correct left-wing groups like the United Nations will be diminished, as well as radical environmentalist policies cooled, and that immigration will be encouraged. Third, there is now a greater chance that regions (including areas like Viña del Mar, Concón, Concepción and La Serena) will get more infrastructure funding. Fourth, there is now a chance to cut down Chile’s external debt—which has risen under recent leftist rule—and to take the heat off of private universities’ profits. Fifth, Chile should now take a slightly harder stand against criminals, especially thieves, with the police given a freer hand. Finally, there should be a huge uptick in the economy as the world returns to invest in Chile’s production of natural resources. Look for the next four years to feature an economic boom in Chile, as the country returns to being the clear “go-to” place of choice for freedom-loving North Americans and Europeans.

The Chilean Left is rather insipid, ignorant, calloused and even silly, and libertarians should be happy to not have to deal with them for the time being. We need to hope that presidential candidate José Antonio Kast, the closest man to a libertarian in the 2017 race, receives a prominent post in the Piñera cabinet, setting him up for another presidential run in 2021. Minister of Public Works would be a logical choice. Remember that Kast garnered 7.9% of the vote in the 8-way presidential race last month, running as an independent. Compare that to Ron Paul or Libertarian Party and Constitution Party candidates in the U.S.A. in national elections (that might get 1% to 3% in a 4-way or 5-way race) and one can immediately sense that there is a much stronger constitutionalist/libertarian tendency, percentage-wise, in Chile than in other parts of the world (even America).

We also need to take advantage of the new congressional election rules that allowed candidates with as little as 2.8% to win a seat in Congress last month, putting truly libertarian candidates forward in the larger places where Piñera won big (that have 7 or 8 seats up for grabs) and let them get dragged in on the coattails of the victorious right-wing (Chile Vamos) candidates in 2021. The congressional vote of a 7th place vote-getter counts just as much as that of the one who came in 1st place! Now is the time to select our candidates (six or eight of them if possible), running as libertarians or independents but coalitioned with the Right’s parties, and raise money for their campaigns.  We might actually have a shot at winning a few seats across the country in Northeastern Santiago, Concón/Viña del Mar, Concepción, Los Angeles, Temuco, Rancagua, and perhaps Talca. Remember that, in Chile, a congressman does not have to live in his district. Having a post-Pinochet era presidential candidate from the Right win twice has now set up a whole new political landscape for Chile that is thus generally favorable for libertarians. This 2017 victory was absolutely good for Chile.

However, let’s be careful not to get too excited. Piñera is a very rich centrist at best, even though he is supposedly representing the Right. The median voter theory indicates that national election winners need to be centrists and pragmatists in two-way run-off races, and Piñera fits that mold. Piñera is not going to promote liberty and free markets. He is not going to fully champion personal liberties. He favored corporate tax rate hike during his last term, the “morning after pill,” egregious gender-based labor laws, small handouts to the poor, and gay civil unions (instead of getting government out of the marriage business altogether). He is not going to legalize drugs, nor reduce taxes and regulation to nearly zero.

The only libertarian-leaning policies we can expect might be seen in more liberal immigration, less state-control of enterprises, the salvation of existing private medical insurance and private social security plans, slightly lower taxes and maybe slightly less-Draconian labor laws than his predecessor championed. In short, Piñera is not our man. His own past is hardly spotless, and many have doubts about his character and vainglorious motivations, as he carves out his spot in Chilean history. Some outright say that he is disingenuous or even evil and a former embezzler (from a bank Talca long ago).

Such is the nature of the state and its key leaders, at least for libertarians. Consequently, libertarians should be delighted to have gotten rid of the leftist threat and the expected improvements on account of Piñera’s victory, but should hardly get their hopes up for a significantly more libertarian Chile via his policies. Our most exciting horizon has to do with winning some congressional seats in 2021 and that should be our focus. Come on down and join the party!

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Important New (Mostly Bad) Legislation in Chile

Besides the imminent opening of the new Metro Line 6 in central Santiago, and the fabulous season-end flop of the Chilean national soccer team, along with the upcoming presidential and congressional elections on November 19, 2017, hardly anything has been more polemical than the controversial, new legislation that has passed, which has been recently affirmed and is now being implemented by the Chilean Left. Indeed, the Left is making its mark before losing power, and the resulting tattoo is bad for Chile.

First, the least-pernicious change: as of September 2018, Chile will have a 16th region. The new region of Ñuble will be split off the north end of the 8th Region (Concepción) and will thus be comprised of only about 440,000 inhabitants. Nearby regions have almost twice that amount. The provincial capital will be Chillán. It is still unclear how this new region will benefit the Left, other than that it creates a whole new level of bureaucracy and wastethings that leftists typically love—and this new region will have its own legislators—although it is unclear that they will be from the Left, given that the central valley farm belt towns do not tend to vote leftist.

Second, Chile is no longer a pro-life country, at least not in legal practice. The Left has successfully subverted the Constitution. The Chilean Constitution of 1980, Chapter 3, Article 19, Paragraph 1 says that, “La constitución asegura a todas las personas el derecho a la vida y la integridad física y psíquica de la persona. La ley protege la vida del que está por nacer.” That affirmation means, “The constitution ensures all persons the right to life and their physical and mental integrity. The law protects the life of the unborn.” [Emphasis added]

Yet, in spite of Chile’s constitutional provision to protect life from the point of conception, the Left rammed a bill through the Chilean Congress that permits abortion in the three cases of (1) the life of the mother being in jeopardy, (2) the baby being deformed or defective and (3) rape. The Right challenged the new legislation in constitutional court and just recently lost. (Chilean judges tend to be leftists.) As a result, just like in the United States, the Constitution simply does not matter. By extension, Americans should be put on notice that even obtaining a right to life amendment to the U.S. Constitution would have little or no effect on saving the unborn in the face of leftist meddling and manipulation.

What’s worse, the rule allows women to self-declare or self-proclaim that they were raped, without evidence, in order to obtain an abortion. They do not have to report the rape to the police, ask the fiscal (District Attorney) to prosecute the named aggressor or be certified as having been raped by a doctor (with a sample of residual semen and DNA taken). Chilean culture is full of lying and mistrust, of course, and thus this new legislation has virtually achieved the same openness toward abortion on demand as found in North America, China and Europe.

The policy is a real tragedy for Chile and liberty, as innocent unborn human beings can now be slaughtered with impunity. The fact that a child’s father is a horrible man (or even a criminal) should not lead to the unborn human being compelled to die, in order to adjudicate the crime of another. Doing so is inherently cruel and certainly anti-libertarian.

Obviously, the mother should be compensated by enslaving the perpetrator for 18 or 23 years, or more, once the legal facts are established and the accused is found guilty. But killing an innocent party for the crime of another cannot be just. The internet has many videos and articles featuring adults that were generated as a result of rape. I suggest you watch one or two of them. Nevertheless, the rape issue matters little in the Chilean case, since the “rape” exception is just a leftist ruse to permit a backdoor means of limitless abortion on demand.

There is some hope that the rule will change once the Right is back in power and once Chileans realize that the rule allows de facto abortion on demand. At least very few, if any, “doctors” are stepping up to the plate to start the murderous racket so far. Abortion is not widely approved of in Chile. Even so, one of the things I have liked most about Chile as a libertarian has been trashed: very negative news indeed.

Third, the famous binomial parliamentary election system in Chile has been replaced, both houses of Congress have been redistricted, and the number of diputado and senado seats have been increased by approximately 30%, from 120 to 155 and 38 to 50, respectively These changes will likely favor the Left by removing the binomial protection of minority interests.

Under the new system, individual parties will continue to form coalitions. The highest vote-getter in each coalition will serve as a benchmark, with the second place candidate being assigned a value of one-half of the benchmark, the third place candidate a value of one-third, the fourth place candidate a value of one-fourth and the fifth place candidate a value of one fifth of the benchmark. This method was developed by D’Hont.

After the final scoring is tabulated for all coalitions, the score sheets are merged and winners are assigned from each coalition. Since some places in Chile are dominated by the Left (mainly) or the Right, one can expect that the benchmark value for the favored party will be so high that the opposition parties will hardly be able to have their top vote-getters exceed 50%, 33%, 25% or even 20% of the favored party’s benchmark figure. Thus, in some places, it is evident that four or five seats (maybe more in some congressional districts?) will go to the dominant coalition’s candidates.

New senator counts: Smaller regions will have only two senadores: 15th (Arica), 1st (Iquique), 3rd (Copiapó), 16th (Chillán), 11th (Coyhaique) and 12th (Punta Arenas). Middle-sized ones will have three: 2nd (Antofagasta), 4th (La Serena), 6th (Rancagua), 8th (Concepción), 14th (Valdivia) and 10th (Puerto Montt). Larger regions will have five: the Santiago Metropolitan area, 5th (Valparaíso), 7th (Talca) and 9th (Temuco). One-half of all senators and all congressmen are elected during each presidential election cycle.

New congressmen counts: Extreme northern and southern regions will have only on district with three diputados: 15th (Arica), 1st (Iquique), 11th (Coyhaique) and 12th (Punta Arenas). Of the remaining regions, smaller-sized ones will have one district with five of them: 2nd (Antofagasta), 3rd (Copiapó), 16th (Chillán) and 14th (Valdivia). The 4th (La Serena) has one district, too, but with seven diputados. Middle-sized regions will have two districts with varying numbers of congressmen: eight in each of the two for the 5th (Valparaíso), five in one and four in the other in the 6th (Rancagua), seven in one and four in the other in the 7th (Talca), eight in one and five in the other in the 8th (Concepción), seven in one and four in the other in the 9th (Temuco) and five in one and four in the other in the 10th (Puerto Montt). The Santiago Metropolitan area has seven districts, two with eight congressmen, two with seven, two with six, and one with five.
In total, there will be 29 congressional districts across the 16 regions of Chile (as of September 2018), of which 7 (24.1%) pertain to the Santiago metropolitan area. The Santiago metropolitan area has 30.3% of all Chilean congressmen, the 5th Region (Valparaíso/Viña del Mar), 10.3%, and the 8th Region (Concepción/Talcahuano), 8.4%. Some fear that the new distribution and gerrymandering will benefit the Left, but it is still unclear how, except that they might possibly pick up extra seats in heavily-leftist areas of the country under the D’Hont system.
The system does benefit libertarian independent candidates significantly, since they can gain a seat in Congress with just 11% of the vote in the largest districts of Santiago and the 5th and 8th regions, and 25% in the smallest districts, with 13%, 15%, 17% or 20% needed in districts with sizes in between. Under the previous system, independents needed 5% more votes (e.g., 30% in smaller districts) to have a shot. It would be nice to get a true libertarian in the Chilean Congress from central or northeastern Santiago, Viña del Mar, Concón, Temuco, Villarrica, Pucón or San Pedro de la Paz!
Fourth, a stupid new gender rule has been imposed upon political parties and coalitions, requiring that all coalitions have at no more than 60% of their candidates from one gender. Noncompliance will result in all the candidates from the offending coalition being removed from the ballot. As a special incentive, the government (taxpayer) will award UF500 (US$21,400) to a party for each female candidate that it successfully gets elected. In addition, the victorious woman will get a prize from the state of UF0.01 (US$0.43) for each vote she received, which may be used to reimburse campaign expenses. This sort of blatant feminist public policy is nothing less than sickening, and bodes poorly for Chile.
Finally, here is a legal change from back in 2014 that I have not gotten around to reporting until now: personal bankruptcy is now possible in Chile. Before that year, only companies could file for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy may be declared once every five years. I view this as a positive step, especially in a country where credit card and personal/consumer loan (“signature”) debts can all now be secured eventually by real property. That’s right: there is no such thing as unsecured debt in Chile insofar as banks and credit institutions are concerned. By charging exorbitant interest rates for such products, those institutions get to have their cake and eat it, too.
On balance, other than this last bit of bankruptcy legislation, none of these new rules bodes well for Chile. Even though the country stands head and shoulders above other nations of the world in terms of possible ex-pat destinations, it appears that it should now be knocked down a bit.
Time will tell if the new 16th Region and the new parliamentary election rules will end up being negative or positive on balance. The first test will come during the November 2017 elections. We will also see if the evil or stupid abortion and feminist policy rules stand up under the expected right-leaning government to come. So, do not be so quick to cross Chile off your list of country candidates. Other places are still much worse. And some things might actually improve in Chile yet! Thankfully, the current mood is very anti-Left.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

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 vuelta.

However, this year (2017) the “Right” is having a primary election for its three top contenders on Sunday, July 2nd. Besides former president Sebastián Piñera (independent, populist, center-right), the other two candidates from the Right are Senator Miguel José Ossandón (an independent, ignorant-but-popular, centrist, pragmatic populist) and Representative (diputado) left-leaning Felipe Kast (political evolution party). The most libertarian and pro-life candidate is Representative (diputado) José Antonio Kast (independent, ex-UDI). He did not get enough signatures to be on the primary ballot but will be on the November ballot.

The hard Left is participating in the primary, too, with key contenders being radio reporter Beatriz Sánchez (supported by the Humanist Party and also many left-leaning libertarians, including the Liberal Party) and sociologist Alberto Mayol (from the “wide front” coalition). The Right and hard-left primaries will narrow the candidate field a bit in November.

Since the “moderate” Left could not come to any agreement within their coalition to have a primary, their two prominent candidates: senators Carolina Goic (Christian Democrat) and Alejandro Guillier (Radical Party, also backed by the Socialist party) will both run in November. The centrist Christian Democrats are even talking about supporting the Right instead this year in the second round (if Goic does not make the cut) should favored centrist Sebastián Piñera win the Right’s primary. Morevoer, if things look bad for Goic in November, these voters might turn to Piñera in the first round instead, which might push him over the top and preclude the necessity of having a December run-off.

If you can read Spanish, see the write-up at this link where you can learn more about each of the candidates. Remember that both citizens and permanent residents (of at least five years) can vote in Chile. Permanent residents and citizens living abroad can also vote; they should contact their local Chilean consulates to find out how to do so.

At first glance, libertarians that vote should do so for José Antonio Kast. Like Ron Paul, he will likely not win. In the end, we will probably be stuck with Piñera again. He will face Guillier, Goic, José Antonio Kast and whatever other socialist, green-leaning or communist candidates that appear. If José Antonio Kast were not running, Piñera would clearly be better, in spite of his populist support for the “morning after pill” and silly labor laws used to “buy” votes.

Since the primary ballots allow voters to select either leftist or rightist candidates, some have suggested that the hard left will go to the polls in July to vote for Felipe Kast or Ossandón in order to derail Piñera and keep the Christian Democrats in the leftist fold. The center-left candidates would have a shot at beating Felipe Kast or Ossandón but would be unlikely to beat Piñera. So, the strategy makes sense.

At the moment, the Right is far ahead. Chile has endured four long years of detrimental leftist-rule and the populace is tired of it. Whichever rightist candidate wins will undoubtedly receive the support of the backers of the other rightist pretenders–just as with the Republican Party in the USA. Once again, if Goic supporters fall in with Piñera over Guillier, then it is even possible that the Right could win in the first round (la primera vuelta) of elections in November.

Achieving that would mark an historic victory for the Right and put it firmly in the political driver’s seat. For that reason, some libertarians I know will be voting for Piñera instead of Ossandón in July. They like José Antonio Kaast better, of course, but are choosing what they consider to be the best option in the primaries. Ossandón is considered to be like Ronald Reagan by some Chilean libertarians. They also see José Antonio Kast as just warming up now so that he can take the bid in 2021. Could be the case. I am no fan of Piñera. I am a libertarian. But I am a fan of Chile and I must confess that Chile will probably fare far better under Piñera than Guillier or Goic.

The bigger races to watch are, perhaps, the congressional seats in hotly contested parts of Chile, especially Viña del Mar, Concepción, Punta Arenas and some areas of south central Chile (Temuco to Puerto Montt). Iquique and Arica might also turn right if the politics are well-played and the rightest candidate is only opposed by a hard-left one.

As always, the northeastern part of Santiago will go to the Right. However, adjacent parts like La Reina, Santiago, Puente Also, Ñuñoa and Huecheraba will be, as always, in a tug-of-war between Left and Right. The same is true for Estación Central, Maipú and La Florida. The Right needs to do well in these districts if it wants to be able to shift Chile back on the right track. The Right typically forms a tight coalition in the houses of Congress, meaning that individual ideas are less important. The balance of power needs to be shifted back and recover the ground lost in 2013.

If the Right wins big like it did in last year’s mayoral races, Chile could become even more solidly libertarian and an even better place to do business. Keep a close eye on things. 2018 could be a very good year!

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

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