Chile has always been considered one of the
most culturally advanced and developed countries in
Latin America. Even during the military dictatorship,
cultural life was dynamic.
Colonial literature depicted the Spanish conquest war
and the beauty of the country. During the 20th century a
number of great poets appeared. Two of these became
Nobel Laureates: Gabriela Mistral (1945) and Pablo
Neruda (1971). Many writers left the country after the
1973 military coup, but by the end of the 1980s, most
had returned to Chile.
One of the Spanish-speaking world's most successful
contemporary writer Isabel Allende, a relative of
President Allende, who was overthrown in 1973. Her most
famous novel A ndarnas house was written in
1982 in exile. Isabel Allende now lives in the United
Latest population statistics of Chile, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Roberto Bolaño (1953–2003) has been hailed as one of
the greatest names of the Latin American prose, not
least for his great work 2666, which was
published after his death. Several other of his works
are also translated into Swedish, including the novel
The Wild Detectives of 1998. Bolaño lived
almost his entire adult life in Mexico and Spain.
In the late 1960s, several innovative and socially
engaged Chilean film directors appeared. After the 1973
coup, most of them left Chile but were very productive
in exile instead. In recent years, however, the film
industry has expanded. In 2018, a Chilean film was
awarded for the first time an Oscar for best foreign
film: An amazing woman, directed by Sebastián
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Chile. Artists and albums are also included.
The culture of the indigenous people has been of
great importance to Chile's music life. Violeta Parra
sang traditional songs during the 1950s and was followed
in the 1960s by her children Isabel and Ángel as well as
singers such as Víctor Jara, Sergio Ortega and Patricio
Manns. Together with music groups such as Quilapayún and
Inti-Illimani, they spread awareness of the Native
American music tradition around the world but also
supported Nueva canción (The New Song), songs
with a radical political and ideological content
originating in the poor neighborhood and among students.
With the takeover of the military, these were banned and
the culture of the people went underground. Nueva
canción disappeared from Chile but spread to other Latin
The poet Víctor Jara, who was murdered at a football
stadium in Santiago after the 1973 military coup and
never received a proper burial, was honored in December
2009 with a reburial under extensive honors, which also
included the then President Michele Bachelet.
The president re-furnishes the government
President Michelle Bachelet completes its sixth refurbishment in just under
three years, following the defeat in the municipal elections and when one year
remains for the next general election. However, the changes made are less
drastic than expected. Among other things, the criticized Interior Minister
retains his post.
Great setback for the government in municipal elections
The opposition alliance Chile Vamos takes part in the municipal elections,
taking back control of Santiago, among other things, which the Right lost in
2012. Parties in the ruling New Majority Alliance back because of the corruption
scandals and what is perceived as delaying the promise of electoral reform, and
the continued sluggish economic situation. In total, in voting numbers and the
number of mayoral positions, it is fairly evenly weighted between the electoral
blocks after the municipal election, which represents a kind of informal start
to the electoral movement ahead of the 2017 presidential election.
Document proves Pinochet's murder order
President Bachelet receives previously secretly stamped documents from US
authorities showing that Pinochet personally ordered the assassination in
Washington of opposition leader Orlando Letelier. The handover takes place at
the place where the murder occurred in the American capital in 1976 (see Modern
The ex-president is running again
Ricardo Lagos (President 2000–2006) announces that he is a candidate in the
primary election of the Party of Democracy (PPD), which is part of the ruling
left-wing Alliance New Majority.
Giant protest against the pension system
21th of August
Hundreds of thousands of Chileans participate in large demonstrations in
several parts of the country, in protest of low pensions. The majority of
pensioners are reported to receive significantly less than the 70 percent of the
final salary originally intended. Bachelet has recently proposed that the
employer should contribute more to the system and that the remuneration of the
fund managers be reduced. But the protesters demand that the entire privatized
fund system be scrapped (see also Social conditions). Similar large
demonstrations were also held at the end of July.
Protest against educational reform
Hundreds of university students have been demonstrating since the government
presented the final bill in the comprehensive education reform. The proposal
includes free tuition in the long term, but the students object to the proposal
being vaguely designed and assuming growth levels in the economy that it is
uncertain when and if the country can achieve.
Low popularity figures for Bachelet
Only 21 to 22 percent of voters think the president is doing a good job,
according to a couple of different opinion polls.
Ex-officer convicted in the US of murder
A Chilean former army officer is found guilty in a US civil trial for the
murder of singer Víctor Jara in 1973 (see Culture). The Florida court jury
awards Víctor Jara's family $ 28 million in damages. Chile wants to bring the
former officer to trial, but the United States has not responded to a request to
extradite him. The man, who moved to the United States when the Pinochet regime
fell in 1989, is one of nine former officers charged in Chile for the murder.
The Minister of the Interior resigns
Interior Minister Jorge Burgos leaves his post, officially for health
reasons, and is replaced by former Uruguayan ambassador Mario Fernández Baeza.
Burgos, who was previously Minister of Defense but received the domestic post in
connection with a major refurnishment in the government (see May 2015).
However, he is said to have been isolated in the government.
Married ex-president is re-buried
The remains of Eduardo Frei (President 1964-1970) are unearthed for the
second time, in an attempt to determine what poison it was that killed him. The
remains were also excavated in 2004 and an investigation then determined that he
had been murdered in connection with his being hospitalized in 1982. The reason
would have been his opposition to the Pinochet regime.
Dispute with Bolivia on water flow
Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz announces that the government has requested
that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) state that the Silala watercourse
is an international watercourse and that Chile is thus entitled to use its
water. Bolivia claims that Silala is a Bolivian watercourse and that Chile has
drained the water into its territory through the construction of a canal.
Students in new protests
It becomes violent again when students demonstrate once again with demands
that the promises of free college education be fulfilled. Over 100 people are
arrested and some 30 police officers are reported to have been injured. The
students have protested for several days against the slowness of the reforms.
Violent protests against the government
When President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual speech on the state of the
nation, protesters set up barricades and throw water bombs in Valparaíso. Police
respond with tear gas and water cannons. A security guard dies due to smoke
damage since protesters set fire to stores. The anger is directed at the
economic downturn and the corruption scandal within the president's family.
Adjustment of tax reform
The president signs a law that is intended to simplify elements of the big
tax reform in 2014, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
The president's daughter-in-law is being prosecuted
President Michelle Bachelet's daughter-in-law Natalia Compagnon is formally
accused of tax fraud (see February 2015). A court in Rancagua
bans her from leaving the country and she is also required to stand with the
police once a month while the charges are being investigated. Compagnon's
business partner is sentenced to house arrest for one year.
Compensation for lost relatives
The Supreme Court orders the state to pay the equivalent of $ 1.3 million in
damages to relatives of four men who disappeared during the dictatorship of the