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Notarizing Documents Written in English in Chile

By “law” (so they say), Chilean notaries are generally not permitted to notarize any document that is written in a language other than Spanish, unless there is a Spanish translation interspersed between the lines (or attached in some other way specified by the notary). For a foreigner, this fact can become frustrating and irritating when he needs to get something done that is usually so easy to do in their “home” country. But I suggest that you not be dismayed. Bring a bilingual friend along when you need something signed and ask the notary where the signature may be notarized (if they in fact will not do it) and they will usually tell you.

There are several places in Northeastern Santiago that will do it, and at least two places in downtown Viña del Mar. For the rest of the country I cannot be sure since I have no firsthand experience.

Notaria Raul Farren (2)

Notaria Gervasio

One thing that seems key is that the notary that will do the deed should be the notario titular (head notary, which usually bears his name on the exterior office sign) instead of the notario suplente (replacement or substitute notary), and will often be bilingual (at least for reading).

I have to say that I am not sure if any other language other than English can be notarized at these locations. Maybe there are some notaries that will function in Portuguese, too, or maybe Italian, as well as German down in the south central part of the country. I am simply unsure.

The basic problem is that in Chile a notary may not simply witness one’s signature. He must also attest to the veracity of what is being signed to some extent. 

If you need an American notary, Jim Dorchak in the 10th Region and Frank Szabo in Santiago provide such services. I recommend you send them an email and inquire about the cost of their services.

     Chile is a freer place than most countries and looks better and better all the time. You might consider investing in the country and even moving to Chile. Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Buy your “Plan B” lot in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.
Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on theOverseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).
Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, 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 $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.
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)These and other resources can be found on the Escape America Now resource page.

A Sober Discussion About Immigrating to Chile

Too many expats think that they’ll get the red carpet treatment just for arriving in Chile. Showing up with nothing and no ability with Spanish is a recipe for disaster. This is made even worse if you’re not willing to just hunker down and do whatever it takes. Pioneers rarely have it easy. And an entitlement mentality will only serve to make things harder for you.
That doesn’t mean don’t do it. It’s rewarding and wonderful. Just don’t do so in such a manner that destines you for failure.

Record Number of Americans Renounce Citizenship

Record number of Americans giving up citizenship.
Socialism doesn’t work.
Closing thoughts about expatriation.

A Press Battle with Leftist Douglas Tompkins

In a recent exchange, I exposed Douglas Tompkins’ practice of billing himself as an ecologist, when his practices amount to nothing more than gaining power, profits and status at the expense of those without the means to defend themselves. This leftist succeeds in preserving nature, but poor people get hurt in the process as he helps fellow leftists buy in and trample any landowners unfortunate enough to stand in his way.

You can read much about this in a thread with my initial letter criticizing Tompkins and the response they published today rebutting his attack on me on Saturday are linked below. I have been in a big fight with Douglas Tompkins. Check out the press:
http://www.ellanquihue.cl/impresa/2014/01/13/full/9/
http://www.ellanquihue.cl/impresa/2014/01/18/full/11/
http://www.ellanquihue.cl/impresa/2014/01/20/full/9/

This points to another reason it would be advantageous to have more libertarian minded people join us in Chile. The voice of freedom rings loud in Chile, but sometimes gets drowned out by cronyistic practices of maxists bent on self promotion at the expense of all others. This happens in all countries, to one degree or another. Chile is still much more free than any western country. And this is why I continue to ask freedom lovers to come to Chile and help make a difference.

 

 

 

Mi amigo Tompkins

Aunque sean muy distintas en sus prácticas, los izquierdistas mundiales comparten un rasgo común de intolerancia, deseando eliminar su competencia. Desde Stalin y Mao, Lincoln y Tito, hasta Castro, Mandela, Chávez, Fernández de Kirchner y Tompkins, todos abrazan la idea de remover brutalmente a los que se les oponen, cuestionando su capacidad o cargo públicamente. (Si esto no es suficiente, puede encarcelársele, exiliarlo o matarlo). En el caso de Tompkins, le alabé recientemente por tener un parque de primera calidad y por practicar su medioambientalismo de libre mercado. No obstante, saqué a la luz la realidad de Tompkins y ahora él está pidiendo guillotina para mí, atacándome personalmente en su carta al director del 18 de enero. Jamás confesará que hay ganancias personales en su proyecto Pumalín—en forma de fama, dinero y poder. Finge ser ecologista para ganar, menospreciando a vecinos como Gregorio Enrique Godoy de la Vega, dañando a gente pobre sureña, al oponerse a la construcción de un camino vital que los conecte con el resto de Chile, bajando precios y llevando servicios que hoy escasean.
Tompkins declaró en su libro «La Carretera Austral» (2012): “Desde antaño los caminos han sido la vanguardia de la civilización—el medio de expansión de los asentamientos humanos, permitiendo el transporte del comercio y facilitando el intercambio cultural” (página 25). No obstante, en los párrafos que siguen, postula las razones por las qué chilenos del extremo sur deberían estar privados de tales beneficios, basándose mayormente en mitos de sobrepoblación (“abarrotada de gente”) y su visión miope de un mundo “súperdesarrollado”—vista seguramente desde su mansión del Primer Mundo, no desde Villa O’Higgins o La Junta.
¿Cuál es el motivo que subyace la prohibición de construir la carretera entre Hornopirén y Chaitén? ¿No es maximizar las utilidades de un hipócrita izquierdista que promulga miedos basados en fantasías de demasiado desarrollo o excedente de gente? La Izquierda frecuentemente se aprovecha de la miseria de los demás y es intolerante con los que piensan distinto. Como neoliberal, tolero diferencias de opinión con mis colegas universitarios, a diferencia de mi “primo” Tompkins, que no solamente está dispuesto a aplastar a sus vecinos, sino también a cualquier humilde académico que alce una crítica.

John Cobin, Ph.D. (Public Policy)
Académico
Facultad de Economía y Negocios

Pumalín y el interés del pueblo

Ser izquierdista, aunque solo sea una pantalla, puede ser muy rentable. Considere a Douglas Tompkins, norteamericano izquierdista, supuestamente ecologista y filántropo, con patrimonio de 150 millones de dólares y dueño de más de 2 millones de hectáreas patagónicas. Ha establecido el Land Conservation Trust, ayudado por partidarios abogados de Santiago y Puerto Varas, para proteger sus derechos en el uso del nombre “Pumalín” y oponerse a la idea de un camino pavimentado para conectar Chaitén con Puerto Montt, vía que pasaría por Parque Pumalín, X Región.
No tengo ningún problema con el capitalismo ni tampoco con las ganancias. El lucro está bien, ya sea en educación o conservación de recursos naturales. Me agrada especialmente que izquierdistas usen su propia plata para la conservación—algo así como un medioambientalismo de libre mercado. Sin embargo, me molesta la astucia de personas que fingen ser ecologistas para ganar plata. Prefiero comerciantes honestos.
Tompkins hace todo de primera en Parque Pumalín: campings espectaculares, senderos bien diseñados, céspedes perfectos en El Amarillo, negocios de campo con precios parisinos como un café en Caleta Gonzalo y una tienda con bencinera en El Amarillo—cuyas lentejas y galletas cuestan el doble que el Jumbo La Dehesa. Con todo esto, sigue intentando acaparar propiedades pequeñas como las de Gregorio Enrique Godoy de la Vega, dueño de termas privadas y Bed and Breakfast cerca de El Amarillo. Se comenta que está ofreciendo vender grandes parcelas de su Parque, en millones de dólares. Recuperará rápidamente su inversión en “conservación”. Leí las cartas en que Godoy estuvo amenazado por los abogados. El modesto hombre, que mueve su microempresa con luz de generador aluvial, sin internet y teléfono, me dijo que Tompkins le prometió acceso de tránsito a sus termas, pero no cumplió. Él cree que el gringo es un “chanta” que solamente quiere forzarle a vender su propiedad y termas, no para preservar la naturaleza, sino para aumentar su poder monopólico y el precio de las expansivas parcelas que vende. El mismo motivo subyace la prohibición de construir la carretera desde Osorno: llenar el bolsillo de hipócritas izquierdistas que fingen apoyo al interés público. Lamentablemente, la masa es ignorante de tal artimaña. Entonces, ¿Quién defiende los intereses del pueblo?

John Cobin, Ph.D. (Public Policy)
Académico
Facultad de Economía y Negocios

Center Left Presidential Candidate Bachelet Wins by Landslide

As expected, Michelle Bachelet was elected President of Chile in the December 15, 2013 runoff election. The center-left candidate was President during 2006-2010, a period of relative stagnation in Chile’s economy. The electoral landslide (62% in her favor) was not unexpected since the candidate from the Right, Evelyn Matthei, became sickeningly populist at the end of the campaign, making alienated rightist voters stay home in large numbers. Voter turnout was the lowest in history; fewer than 50% of registered voters voted.

While some fear that her radical feminist role in the United Nations has made her worse than she was before, many believe that she will continue to be a moderate leader. Her election further shows the need for more libertarian activism in Chile. Since the general election last month, there have been some worries about a leftward swing as the Left gained a lot of seats, almost enough to make some structural changes to Chilean policy. But I think the jury is still out as to how Chile will fare. Certainly, if radical changes are made and fail, there will be a greater opportunity for the Right to come back in four years. The most likely scenario is one of favor-brokering and rent seeking with crony capitalism.

2013-12-15 Chile Vote 2

Libertarian immigrants might be interested in knowing in which places (comunas) Matthei actually won. They might want to live where people are more like-minded. She only won in a few places in six of Chile’s 15 regions: little towns Camiña and Colchane in the 1st Region (regional capital Iquique, where she got 45% of the vote); Concón, Algarrobo, Santo Domingo and Zapallar in the 5th Region, with Viña del Mar being very close. In the Metropolitan Región of Santiago Matthei won (usually by a lot), not surprisingly, Vitacura, Lo Barnechea, Las Condes, La Reina, Providencia and Colina (Calera de Tango was close); in the 8th Region she won Pinto and Pucón in the 9th Region (where Lonquimay was close). In the 12th Region she won the tiny towns of Cabo de Hornos, Timaukel and Antártica. Other than the frigid areas in the cities listed above, these places are congruent with were most well-to-do immigrants would want to be, and any immigrant that favors liberty.

I was surprised to see the farming areas go so strongly for the center left this time around. Bachelet’s victory in mining areas of the north and south of Concepción was no surprise. Matthei did best in Northeastern Santiago, the Northwestern 5th Region, and not so bad in some places in the 9th Region. The only big regional cities where Matthei had a decent showing were Viña del Mar, Iquique and Temuco. The rest were a disaster. Honorable mention goes to the 22 comunas that mustered at least 43% for Matthei. These are:

  • Iquique (1st, 45%)
  • Papudo (5th, 44%)
  • Quilpué (5th, 43%)
  • Villa Alemana (5th, 47%)
  • Ñuñoa (RM, 46%)
  • Pirque (RM, 48%)
  • El Carmen (8th, 45%)
  • Tirúa (8th, 45%)
  • Curarrehue (9th, 45%)
  • Gorbea (9th, 48%)
  • Melipeuco (9th, 45%)
  • Temuco (9th, 47%)
  • Teodoro Schmidt (9th, 47%)
  • Toltén (9th, 48%)
  • Villarrica (9th, 48%)
  • Lago Ranco (14th, 45%)
  • Cochamó (10th, 47%)
  • Puerto Varas (10th, 47%)
  • Cochrane (11th, 44%)
  • Lago Verde (11th, 48%)
  • Río Ibánez (11th, 46%)
  • Caleta Tortel (11th, 46%)
  • Río Verde (12th, 47%)

Of these, I was quite surprised to see that smaller, but overall nicer communities like Puerto Varas, Lago Ranco, Papudo, Curarrehue and Villarrica (both near Pucón), as well as cities like Gorbea and Temuco, and perhaps Quilpué and Villa Alemana, did not outright go for Matthei. It is also evident from this election that the Right has lost its once strong grip on places areas surrounding Rancagua, Talca, Valdivia, Osorno and Puerto Montt. Very troubling results overall. Now more than ever we have something to work for!

The government reported that only 41.9% of registered voters actually went to the polls. This result is partly because the Left believed that they would win big (and did) and because the Right did not at all like their candidate. Thus the result was somewhat of a protest vote. A foreigner should certainly not come away with the idea that Chile is 62% leftist from the 2013 election. There are 6 popularly elected communists in the Congress. But there are far more than that who are libertarians. We must not lose perspective. The rightist parties chose a bad candidate and then chose not to vote for her.

Help Chile be a freer place by investing in the country and even moving to Chile. Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.

Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).

Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.

Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, 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 $49.

Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Free Trade Treaty)

I have written about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Treaty in an earlier entry. Chile already has good free trade agreements with all of the Pacific countries meeting to revamp and increase participation in the present Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty. Thus, it stands to gain little or nothing by ratifying a new or revised treaty, other than some minor benefits regarding shipments of agricultural products to Japan. The original members were New Zealand, Chile and Singapore. Brunei joined a few years later. Now Australia, Mexico, the USA, Japan, Vietnam, Canada, Malaysia and Peru want to join (image source). However, all negotiations in Salt Lake City are being held in Secret and hundred of representatives from major companies are present to lobby their causes. I smell a rat. The little gains that Chile will make pale by comparison to the sacrifices in other areas.

For residents and citizens of the Land of the Free, the story might be a little different. An avid reader of this blog and listener to the Red Hot Chile internet radio show named “Jim C.” sent me the apropos text below that might be considered by those who find themselves in that beleaguered country:

The major reason the trade deal should be avoided is because it is written by the banking cartel to bring individual freedom in all countries down to the lowest common denominator.   In the case of Chile the changes required would be to make Chile more like the USA in all the things we like least about the USA.   I think that right there is why we should be against whatever the secret text of the TPP says. Interesting to note that the US Constitution was also negotiated in secret.  In the end the best things about the document were the first 10 amendments that states added as a requirement to approve the deal after they saw what had been developed in secret.  In the case of the TPP there is no option for the players to debate openly and make amendments.

When one considers that Chile, New Zealand and Singapore–all top ten countries in the Economic Freedom of the World index and the Index of of Economic Freedom–put together a free trade treaty it is hardly surprising that the pat really did make trade “freer” between those nations. Now that the USA is involved, we can expect big-pharma, Monsanto/Pfizer/Bayer, big IT and other multinationals to start pushing their agricultural, intellectual property and prescription drug agendas as a prerequisite to free trade. This danger must be avoided by Chile. It is best for Chile to leave things as they are. What concerns me is that the “big boys” will sweeten the pie and offer Chile something on the side so that they stay in the game. And the new administration might just be tempted by such goodies to sign off on the deal and weaken Chile’s position. The main cause for hope I see in Chile is that there have been newspaper articles and television interviews which criticize the modifications to TPP and explain why Chile stands to gain little from any revised accord.

Help Chile be a freer place by investing in the country and even moving to Chile. Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.
Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).
Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, 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 $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Leftist Romp in Chilean Elections 2013

A Setback for the Right

The 2013 general election results were harrowing for the Right and libertarians. The center-left presidential frontrunner, Socialist Party candidate Michelle Bachelet, is sure to win the runoff election next month. And she will enjoy huge gains in Congress to help her implement a nefarious leftist agenda. The Left is really close to being able to do so at least, as many Chilean newspapers have reported (see seats by party graphic in the links). Some earlier reports of the Right’s losses turned out to be underestimated since the vote tallies were so close that some races came down the the wire.

To make major structural changes the Left has to have at least 4/7ths of the seats in each house of Parliament (57%) along with a leftist President. After this election, they achieved 68 seats (56.7%) in the House (Cámara de Diputados) and 21 seats (55.2%) in the Senate (Senado). The Cámara has 120 seats and the Senado has 38. Independents have four seats in the Cámara and one in the Senado. That means that by swinging just one independent their way in each house the leftist coalition will have the required 57% minimum to start their nefarious programs. 

Obviously, the Left will be offering that independent a bundle of benefits, which will be a temptation hard to resist unless the Right can somehow compensate him better. The major governance changes require 57%, 60% and 66.7% (the latter being required for a new Constitution). Obviously, some structural changes are off limits; the Left will not get over 60% legislative support. But the lower echelon of changes are within reach. Another noteworthy item is that the Communist Party boosted its presence and influence in the Cámara to six seats, up from three, showing a disturbing trend (stemming mainly from the northern part of the country). One of the seats went by landslide to young “free university education” communist activist Camila Vallejo.

Largest Leftward Swing in Two Decades

The romp would have been worse had it not been for Chilean binomialism in congressional elections, which tends to protect minority interests. Nonetheless, this election is the biggest leftward swing that I can remember in Chile during the last two decades. Liberty-lovers should be concerned. Even if the Left fails to achieve its structural goals, we can now feel the ever-present danger before us. I should note, however, that voter turnout was only 56%, mainly because many people on the Right were disgusted with the populist Matthei campaign and chose to stay home instead of voting. That means that Chilean society is not quite as leftist as the election results might lead one to believe.

Chile is Not Down for the Count

There are new congressional elections in two years. We have a lot of work to do before that election. We have a lot to write about and educate. We need more libertarians in Chile than ever before, and thus we need Freedom Orchard to succeed. The Left will not rest until Chile, too, has been conquered by their evil ideology. But Chile is not down for the count. Sure, there has been a wake-up call issued and a big scare on account of this election’s results.

The Right has to learn not to run populist candidates. A bit more than one-half the country is clearly left-leaning and the Right can hardly endear itself to unprincipled median voters with populism. Programs must be adopted which are composed of more than just lowering taxes and reducing the size of government. Alternatives like homeschooling to get middle class kids out of public schooling, and tax-free living granted for pioneers living in remote areas, need to be placed on the Right’s platform. More paved roads need to be established , especially in remote parts of the country. Foreign investment and immigration need to be encouraged. Market-based regulation needs to be promoted, too. 

In short, the Right has to become the alliance of parties with new and creative ideas to improve the quality of life. And the Right needs to continue remind people just how much better life is now for nearly everyone on account of freer market policies. These things are the only course by which Evelyn Matthei can attract more rightist voters to vote in the runoff election on December 15, 2013 and boost her overall total from 25% to 50.1%, a daunting task when the leftist opponent Bachelet already garnered 46.7% in the first round.

I fear that Chile may have a couple of challenging years ahead. Still, there is no other country in the world that can beat it, other than enclaves like Singapore and Liechtenstein. Like many near-death experiences, Chile can recover.

 

Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.

Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).

Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.

Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, 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 $49.

Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Voting and Elections in Chile

November 17, 2013 was Election Day 2013 in Chile. People voted for President, Senators, Representatives (diputados) and consejeros regionales (COREs), which are elected to force the regional governors (intendentes) to allocate federal money within each province. Note that Chile does not have regionalism or federalism but instead has much stronger centralism than places like the United States, where governors control money funded through state taxes rather than simply distribute money allocated to them by the central government. For that reason, Santiago is always favored over the regions in terms of economic benefits and, in addition, there are independent “regional” members of Congress and presidential candidate.

In Chilean elections, should no presidential candidate garner at least 50% of the votes in his respective race, the top two vote getters will face each other in a runoff election on December 15, 2013. Senatorial and representative races are, however, run very differently. There is no second round for them. Instead, there is an election by coalition rather than scores wins based on party coalitions rather than individual candidates’ results–a brilliant binominal system devised by rightist Jaime Guzmán under the Pinochet government to protect the minority interest from being overrun by the majority. In each congressional or senatorial race, two candidates will be elected per district. However, the two seats will not necessarily go to the top two vote getters. They go to the top vote getters in the two parties that receive the most votes. In addition, there is another exception that makes the races even more interesting. If the combined percentages for all candidates in any one coalition end up being at least double the combined total of the second place party, then the first place party gets two seats, creating what is called in Chilean Spanish a doblaje. Note that congressional elections are staggered, even though members of both houses serve for four years, so that one-half of the members of Congress are elected every two years. The staggered schedule is similar to the American system.

This special coalition rule means that if the third place vote getter is in the same coalition (for instance, if the first place goes to an UDI candidate, second place to a Communist Party candidate and third place goes to an RN candidate), then the third place candidate will win over the second place candidate by virtue of the rule of coalitions. However, in the vast majority of races, the second place party, the minority, is guaranteed a voice in Congress. Moreover, this rule effectively allows dominant ideologies to prevail in regions of Chile and also encourages smaller parties to compromise and join coalitions since they have a much better chance of a third place finish than anything else. Imagine that the Socialist Party candidate takes 40% and the runner-up is a libertarian from the UDI party with 35%, If the Communist or Ecologist party candidate comes in third with only 3% of the vote he will not be elected elected to office by virtue of his coalition because the total vote percentage for his coalition is only 38%, which is not at least double the 35%. But in some locales it is possible to see those party candidates getting 40%, 30% and 27%, respectively, with the other second place party candidate only getting 3%, clearing the way for the winning party to gain two seats by virtue of coalition, supplanting the second-place vote getter by more than doubling their votes.

In the November 17, 2013 election, scored one doblaje in the cámara de diputados in northeastern Santiago (three if one counts a couple victories along with an independent rather than the official Right party), but the Left garnered eleven doblajes: three in the traditionally leftist 8th Region (Coronel, Bulnes, Alto Bio-bio near Concepción), one in the 6th Region (Codegua), two in Santiago (El Bosque and La Granja/San Joaquín), two in the 4th Region (Coquimbo and Illapel), two in the 3rd Región (Copiapó) and one in the 15th Region (Arica area). In the Senate, the Left gained doblajes in Antofagasta and the inland 5th Region (Los Andes/San Felipe). The northern part of Chile is dominated by leftists. Thus, when one votes for Congressmen in Chile, regardless of his particular party preference, he is really voting for coalition party candidates to which his party belongs. the election was widely considered disastrous for the Right, since the balance of power in the House switched to 64 leftists to 50 rightists, although independents dropped from six to three. Still, there was a net gain for the Left of at least 4 seats, and probably in reality 7 seats. The Senate losses were far less. The worst part for Chile is that now the Left will have a easier time passing difficult bills that require more than a simple majority.

Aside from the absence of an electoral college, the nuances of presidential and congressional elections are quite different from those in North America or Europe and should be somewhat fascinating for foreign onlooker or prospective immigrants to Chile. If you think about this binominal system strategically, it probably rarely makes sense to run candidates from the largest parties of single coalition in the same district since they will risk losing being the first place vote getter to the opposing coalition. This will be true everywhere except in cases where the vast majority of voters in the district are from either the Right (like northeastern Santiago) or the Left (like Antofagasta). Note that in this latter case, it makes sense for strong libertarians to run and be in coalition with the dominant party, because with even a few votes (e.g., 6%) resulting in third (or lower) place he can still take office if the dominant part candidate in his coalition has a landslide victory (e.g., 60%). Hence, libertarians and constitutionalists are far more likely to be represented in the Chilean Congress than in legislative bodies in the United States.

Both citizens and permanent residents of more than five years are eligible to vote and are registered automatically at their address of record. A person must vote in the comuna where he is registered and he must go to a particular table (mesa) that has been assigned to him. There is no absentee voting in Chile and Chilean citizens and permanent residents living outside of the country cannot vote unless they come back to Chile and vote in the comuna where they are registered. The whole voting process, held on Sunday, from the time one leaves his home, drives to the polling place, fights heavy traffic, finds a distant parking place, walks to the event, waits in line for ten minutes at his mesa, votes, places his votes in the ballot box (urna), signs out and drives back home, takes about an hour. All around northeastern Santiago, one could see considerable traffic congestion at 11am. The polls open at 8:30am and close at 6:00pm.

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Once at the polling place, one must find his mesa. Each mesa has four or five helpers (vocales de mesa) and, at times, there will also be observers sent by one or more political parties (apoderados), cops (carabineros) and military men dressed in fatigues (but without weapons). Clearly, the majority of people waiting in line to vote were women. Elderly people have the right to go immediately to the front of the line. In order to vote, one must present his carné (ID card) at the mesa and the vocal will find his name on a list. The vocal then notes on the list next to one’s name the serial numbers of each of four different ballots of distinct paper colors. At each mesa, there are four urnas (the gray boxes in the image below): one for Presidente, another for Senador, another for Diputado and another for Consejero Regional. Each mesa has two side-by-side voting booths behind it with a blue curtain to ensure privacy.

One vocal folds each of the four ballots as indicated and another vocal gives the assigned ballots to each voter along with a pencil and four stamps that the vote must use to seal each vote before leaving the voting booth. One of the vocales will answer questions (the one in Las Condes spoke in English to me) like “How do I mark my ballot?” The answer to that question is to draw one vertical line that intersects the horizontal line before the name of the candidate of one’s choice.

The images below show evidence of my voting on each ballot given to me, marked and then sealed.

The vote for two COREs in the image below is invalidated because two candidates were chosen from the UDI party. Apparently, only one was supposed to be chosen but this fact was not explained well by the vocales. So the vote will not be counted on this ballot.

Economists argue that for most people voting is a waste of time since (i.e., a utility-minimizing activity) the costs of doing so exceed the expected benefits (unless one is, say, gathering information to write a blog entry on voting in Chile, for instance). There is effectively zero possibility the on person’s vote will change the outcome of an election. The Chilean Right has been particularly apathetic over the years and somewhat rationally lackadaisical about voting, especially because the current “right-wing” Piñera regime is really center-left. The true Right is tired of hearing populism, especially from the present presidential candidate Matthei (along with he soft stance on abortion), and it is sick of having innocent military officers not be released by the presidential power which were hurled into prison by leftist activist judges. This apathy is somewhat unfortunate since the present election will have such a strong effect on Chile’s future, and not wanting to vote for Matthei as President will thus harm the Right important senatorial and congressional races where the candidates tend to be more truly right-wing. In November 2013, only 6.6 million of the 13 million eligible registered voters (56%) actually voted. That fact might have really hurt the Right.

Five of the presidential candidates are from the Left, two are from the center (Christian Democrat and the Regional party) and one is from the Right. That is good news for the Right since the squabbling and infighting on the Left ensures that none of their presidential candidates will win more than 50% in the initial election (la primera vuelta), forcing a runoff next month  (la segunda vuelta) between the top leftist presidential vote getter (Bachelet, who got about 47% in the primera vuelta 2013) and (normally) the candidate on the Right, in this case Matthei, who got 25% in the primera vuelta 2013. Independent presidential candidate, Keynesian economist Franco Parisi made a strong run for the second-place finish, but ended up, getting less than 11% in the primera vuelta 2013. Thus Bachelet and Matthei will have to square off in December to see who will be president, which at this point seems likely to be Bachelet.

The greater problem in Chile for the Right and people who love liberty, including those who are considering immigrating to Chile, are the congressional races. All signs indicate that Socialist Party candidate Michelle Bachelet will win in the segunda vuelta. Her ideology is scary but not nearly as bad as those from other leftist parties in Chile. But in order to institute her radical policies she needs to have as much as 2/3rds approval of both houses of Congress to do things like change the constitution. The new coalitions will make things easier for her to do some things, but hardly all that she desires. There is little risk of throwing out the Pinochet-era constitution, or adding a bunch of positive rights (e.g., free university education and welfare benefits), while the Left has much less than the 2/3rds majority. In either house the Right is vulnerable and change is more possible now than it has been for some time, at least for some policy matters. There are still not enough votes for a constitutional change but the Left closer. There are also important policy changes to things like central bank policy, congressional or judicial rule changes, copper and water rights nationalization, or immigration policy reform, political party reforms and public education reforms that only require 60% or 57% (4/7ths) to pass. The Left is close to attaining its nefarious ends in such votes. Thus, the November 2013 seat loses might be damaging to freedom in Chile. Consequently, those that love liberty today should not only be hoping for a miraculous Matthei victory in the second round but also that senadores and diputados regain seats in two years.

Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.

Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).

Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.

Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, 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 $49.

Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Evangelicals (“Canutos”) in 19th Century Chile

Like most Western countries, Chile was far different in terms of religious culture and tolerance during the 19th Century. As an officially Roman Catholic country (as derived from the Chilean Constitution of 1833), and especially before 1865, “heresy” was officially prohibited: either in terms of holding Protestant and Evangelical services or in terms of permitting adherents of such faith to immigrate to Chile.

Until the early 20th Century, believers were not even allowed to “officially” bury their dead in major cities like Valparaíso, Quillota or Santiago. Protestant services for many years had to be held at night and hidden in order for leaders and adherents to avoid persecution.

Remember that the late 19th Century witnessed a lot of turmoil in Chile, too, as seen in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) against Perú and Bolivia, and the Chilean Civil War (1891) that pitted Army versus Navy, President versus Congress. The surge of Evangelical and Protestantism of the era, guided by libertarian principles, added to the mix.

Dr. David Trumbull

American Presbyterian Dr. David Trumbull had arrived in Valparaíso on Christmas Day 1845 and started preaching, becoming the pastor of the Union Church in Valparaíso. See the image above of the church building erected in 1869, which is now a national monument and has been the subject of an academic study. Accordingly, the Presbyterian Church in Chile was founded in Santiago in 1868 and currently has 36 churches.

Trumbull was an intellectual and a member of then classical liberal (now centrist) political party El Partido Radical, along with many other academics and thinkers of his day. Valparaíso was then, arguably, Chile’s most important city and strong trade between Britain and Chile led to greater tolerance of Protestantism. Like Punta Arenas, Valparaíso was a busy pre-Panama Canal port full of foreigners. Moreover, historians argue that Valparaíso was the most important port in the Pacific until at least 1860, if not until the building of the Panama Canal.

The first national newspaper, El Mercurio, was founded there, and Chile’s stock exchange started in the city as well. The city’s rich culture is still reflected in its English, French and Italian architecture (albeit nowadays mostly run-down and covered with graffiti), British fire station (with coat of arms still in English seen as one passes-by), trains and funicular elevators that run “on the wrong side,” the “Sporting Club” (horse racing track) and soccer teams with English names, etc.

Trumbull’s efforts generated tremendous conflict between the Roman Catholic Church in Chile and the State of Chile. As noted earlier, congregants had to meet in secret, more or less, and certainly were not allowed to publish meeting times or have a church sign in public view. After twenty years, legislation was enacted which permitted Protestants and Evangelicals to conduct services, with public signage, but with the restriction that the proclamation had to be in the language of the immigrants: in particular, English for Anglicans and Presbyterians, German for Lutherans.

Protestant Immigration in the Face of Persecution

Note that there are still English services in Providencia (Anglican) and Las Condes (Presbyterian), and German services in Vitacura (Lutheran). There used to be an English service in Viña del Mar (Anglican) that I think ended in 2000, and I have heard that the Union Church in Valparaíso still does (unconfirmed since I could not find any links to live services on the internet) along with German services in some Lutheran churches in south central Chile. The Lutherans had their own interesting history, with the first Evangelical Lutheran Church being formed in 1863 in Osorno by Karl Schmidt, with its first official Evangelical in a church building service in 1865 (just ahead of Union Church in Valparaíso).

Many Germans, like Dr. Friedrich Geisse and Karl Manns, had fled from persecution under growing centralist, interventionist and Marxist doctrines in Germany and Prussia. Rudolph Phillippi established a congregational council in 1863, just after another Lutheran church was formed in Puerto Montt. Lutheranism in Valdivia became more important after the turn of the 20th Century, as was true of the Lutheran congregation in Concepción (1904).

Germans led by pharmacist Karl Anwandter began arriving in Valdivia after the 1848 anti-monarchial unrest in Europe, specifically the German Revolution 1848-1849 that put smaller cantons of Germany under Prussian rule. The initial German immigrants (1850s) to Valdivia and Osorno tended to be classical liberals (Chilean Right) and that tradition still remains today. A smaller group had arrived already in 1846 and settled near La Unión after going through Valdivia. A bigger group of settlers arrived in Corral (near Valdivia) in 1852.

Most of the Germans who later came to Chile under President Manual Montt’s 1845 program (Ley de terrenos baldíos and Ley de inmigración selectiva) to populate and cultivate wilderness areas in the south, led by Vincente Pérez Rosales, were Lutherans. Apparently, Rosales brought 6,000 families to Chile, starting in 1853 but mainly after 1860 when his program really got going, under pretext of being “good Christians” and not accurately specifying their faith.

All of the immigrants were asked upon arrival if they were willing to abandon the faith of their fathers. Most would not. Evidently, Rosales had initially gone to Spain and then to the Catholic cantons of Germany, but as the story goes he found the inhabitants to be rather lazy and thus turned to Lutheran cantons to recruit settlers. When the government of Chile found out their true nature as Protestants, the few Catholics among them were allowed to stay near Puerto Montt (which eventually pushed up to Puerto Varas and the south side of Lago Llanquihue), while the mainly Austro-hungarian Lutherans were pushed into wilderness areas of the lakes region (mainly Puerto Varas–now predominantly Catholic, Llanquihue, Frutillar, Puerto Octay and Puerto Fonck), heavily wooded, thinking that survival would be difficult.

Many of these Lutherans had a somewhat Calvinist-pietistic flavor. The Lutheran church in Frutillar is pictured below. Santiago Lutheranism did not take hold until 1885 under the direction of Wilhelm Sluyter, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church did not erect its main building there until 1911.

Juan Bautista Canut de Bon

Another very important Evangelical in Chilean history is Juan Bautista Canut de Bon from Spain, who went to Argentina as a Jesuit missionary first and then made his way to Chile, arriving on April 30, 1871. He withdrew from the Jesuit order shortly thereafter so that he could devote himself to further study. He settled in the town of Los Andes in 1872, married and had three children. While in the train station in Quillota in 1876, he found a New Testament in Spanish and as he read it, he confessed that he heard the gospel for “the first time.” Note that all Roman Catholic services were in Latin, largely unintelligible, and the few Protestant services in Chile at the time were conducted in English or German, languages that he did not know.

In 1880, he sat under the preaching and discipleship of Presbyterian missionary preacher Robert MacLean (in neighboring San Felipe), and afterwards Canut de Bon became the first Evangelical preacher in Chile whose native tongue was Spanish. He used to sit and wait for masses to end and as the people were leaving he would present the Gospel to them: “You did not understand anything of the Latin Mass, now let me show you what the Bible says about salvation in your own language” and things along those lines. He was remarkably successful.

He also used the tumultuous event of the War of the Pacific to preach revival throughout Chile, having much success in Concepción (which had its own Evangelical magazine, El Republicano, from 1879). He influenced La Serena and Coquimbo in 1890 with Evangelical Methodism. Since the era of Canut de Bon, Chilean Evangelicals have been dubbed canutos (canutas) as a term of derision, a nickname which has has stuck until the present day. Some Evangelicals are offended by the term but most accept it as descriptive much as the term gringo is used to describe white foreigners.

Canut de Bon became a Methodist bishop in 1890, under the influence of missionary William Taylor. He died in Santiago on November 9, 1896, and was buried in the Patio de los Disidentes, which had been established 1854 as a despised burial grounds for Jews and Protestants (mainly British and Germans).

The Catholic leadership had buckled under international pressure to give some place for non-Catholics to bury their dead. This Patio, which had been authorized on November 30, 1819 by Liberator Bernando O’Higgins himself (who did not approve of mingling Catholic religion with the state), was separated from the rest of the Santiago cemetery by a wall seven meters high and three meters wide in order to prevent it from “contaminating” the rest of the cemetery.

O’Higgins had also brought Jame Thomson to Chile in 1821, granting him citizenship in 1822, with the goal of helping out the Chilean educational system. The fact that Thomson was a Baptist from the British and Foreign Bible Society, who was really on a mission, was kept secret. O´Higgins certainly showed himself to be a classical liberal as well as a liberator.

The Spread of Evangelicalism in Chile

According to Juan Ortiz Retamal’s (Universidad de Concepción), Historia de los Evangélicos en Chile 1810-1891, José Manuel Ibáñez Guzmán founded the first Evangelical church in Santiago in 1870. He had been born in San Felipe but was converted to Protestantism while studying in California. The six most important Chilean pastors were present at the inauguration, and they went on to found churches in places like Concepción, Talca and Copiapó. Anglicans in Valparaíso had been conducting worship services since 1825, under the guidance of Rev. Thomas Kendell. The first Anglican cathedral, St. Paul’s, was completed in 1858 in Valparaíso. The Anglicans attempted mission outreaches to Indians in the Bio-Bio region, Chiloé, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, with the most successful one being established in Araucanía en 1895.

Episcopal Methodists started in 1878 but were not fully established until 1906. In 1891 (Retamal, pp. 67-68), there were 4,500 Anglicans in Chile, 6,000 Lutherans, 900 Presbyterians (including Union Church) and 500 Methodists. According to the 1900 Census, Protestants made up between 1% and 2% of the population in 1895 in (a) the extreme northern part of Chile (Arica, Iquique and Antofagasta), (b) Valparaíso, and (c) the south central region from the provinces of Malleco (Angol and Temuco) to Llanquihue (Puerto Montt). The figure was a whopping 9.3% in (d) the sparsely-populated Magallanes region (which contains the principal Strait of Magellan port, Punta Arenas, full of foreign influence much like Valparaíso). Thus, it is clear that the early Evangelical churches had a significant impact on Chilean society and culture. Baptists and Christian and Missionary Alliance churches did not begin in Chile until the 20th Century.

Besides Santiago, one might say that Chilean Evangelical Christianity started along the Aconcagua River (a hour north of Santiago), which passes to the west through the towns of Los Andes, San Felipe, Quillota and ends in Concón (just north of the other hot spots in Valparaíso and eventually Viña del Mar). The Aconcagua River region felt the influence of Presbyterians and Anglicans, and in the south central section of Chile was affected by missions efforts of these same groups along with Lutherans.

One also cannot overlook the prominence of Evangelicals in Punta Arenas and the Magallanes region, on account of foreigner influence and missionary efforts. In the late 19th Century, Punta Arenas was an important city for both Argentina and Chile; it was the first city to be electrified, too.

Retemal notes (in chapter 4) that Protestant and Evangelical religion, especially from the second half of the 19th Century, surged along with classical liberal ideas. He says that the preachers were guided by an Anglo-Saxon classical liberal “prism,” which transformed them into socio-political modernizers in Chile. Thus, later conflicts like that of the Allende-Pinochet era, had ideological forerunners a century earlier.

And the roots of Chilean Evangelicals was clearly libertarian-leaning, and thus anti-Marxist by nature. Therefore, Chileans should not be surprised when they see a pro-Right undercurrent among Evangelicals today. It is shame to see some modern Evangelicals lose their way and support interventionist and socialist candidates and politicians.

 

 

Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.

Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).

Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.

Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, 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 $49.

Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.
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