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Quick Reads + Chile

Media archive · 474 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Chile

Is Valparaíso's Wildfire Result of Neglect by Municipal Government?

incendio valparaiso

Photo of wildfire in Valparaíso by Flickr user Leonardo Maldonado, under license to CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

A report [es] from Chile's Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIPER) has stirred up a story of neglect and corruption about how, since 2012, local authorities have been aware of the danger posed by the extensive growth of underbrush in the hills and ravines around Valparaíso as well as the proliferation of garbage dumps in these same areas —all of which contribute to a situation ripe for wildfires. But not even the blazes that ignited in 2013 provoked a reaction from local government. So now, the search for those responsible has begun. 

In the midst of the ravages left by the massive wildfire in Valparaiso, a new inquiry commission will be appointed by the Chamber of Deputies in the coming week. The goal: to determine the amounts and those responsible for this latest corruption scandal in the city's administration [...]. The investigation of this new regional scandal, which has once again focused its attention on another million dollars allegedly diverted to political campaigns, may turn out to be the one that paints the clearest picture of the extent to which corruption is entrenched in regional government and from which not a single party has escaped. 

16 Women Rocking Chile

A photo essay in the website Sentidos Comunes [es] highlights 16 outstanding Chilean women who “are the protagonists of the public agenda in the next five or ten years.”

The list includes photographer Paloma Palomino, politician Karol Cariola, journalist Isabel Plant, filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor, and illustrator Fran Meneses.

VIDEO: Toward a Fair and Inclusive Education System in Chile

In the video above by Open Society Foundations, Giorgio Jackson, former student leader and newly elected parliamentarian in Chile, discusses the education system in his country and what it means to have an “open society.”

Trine Petersen writes:

A fair and inclusive system that makes education available to all is a powerful lever for a fair and open society. It enhances social cohesion and trust. Chileans want an education system that promotes education as public good and enables all citizens to engage in critical thinking and free expression.

Aymara Children and their Mental Health

The website Indigenous News analizes a report carried out by BMC Psychiatry which studied 748 children, whose ages range between 9 and 15, from nine different schools attended by low socioeconomic classes in the city of Arica, in northern Chile. Out of the total number of children that took part of the study, 37% were Aymara.

Aymara families live a traditional lifestyle. Elders advise the youth, mothers take care of household tasks and educate the children, while fathers are the bread-winners and often make family decisions.

The study concludes:

Although Aymara children have migrated from the high Andean plateau to the city, this migration has not resulted in a greater presence of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Greater involvement with the Aymara culture may be a protective factor against anxiety and depressive symptoms in Aymara children. This point to an additional benefit of maintaining cultural traditions within this population.

10 Documentaries on South American Music to Watch Online

Nick MacWilliam from the blog Sounds and Colours has compiled a list of 10 documentaries, “looking at all manner of musical styles and movements from the region, with films focused on Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Venezuela.”

This list makes no attempt to rank the films, nor does it purport that these films are any better or worse than other music documentaries related to South America. The idea is to provide a sample of some of the films out there so that, firstly, they are enjoyed and, secondly, we hope they will open a few doors for our readers into new areas of regional identity.

The films are available online, for free.

Latin America's Black Metal Fans, Punks and Otakus

Santiago, Lima, Mexico City and Oaxaca have been some of the cities in which photographer Carla Mc-Kay has photographed punks, thrashers, transvestites, black metal fans, new waves and otakus, recording their everyday lives in their habitat.

Sentidos Comunes has published Carla Mc-Kay's photographs in a photo essay titled “Street Youth” [es].

Spanish Television Show Does Not Represent Reality of Expats in Santiago

Madrid native David Sigüenza [es] watched a recent episode [es] of Spanish program “Madrileños por el Mundo,” focusing on Chilean capital Santiago, “hoping to see a representation of the reality of this city, where many young Spanish people have found themselves living due to the crisis faced by our country.”

“Madrileños por el Mundo” shows the lives of Madrileños (people from Madrid) living in other countries. However, David says that the stories about life in Santiago portrayed by the program were unrepresentative of the reality of “the exiled Madrileños in Santiago.”

For example, the program included the story of a Spanish woman married to a lawyer; “Her life consisted of going to the golf club, then to the shops, afterwards to the gym and to look after her children – a typical day for anyone, right?” writes David.

The reality here is much more difficult than [this story], the reality is about people who earn a little more than 1000 Euros a month [a low salary earned by countless Spaniards] but who are better off here in Santiago than filling up unemployment lists in Spain. It's about people who fight to live with dignity and get ahead with the hope of one day returning to their country. It's about people who save month after month to be able to afford a plane ticket that will take them to see their loved ones who are more than 10,000 km and a month's wage away.

The complete entry can be found in his blog [es].

Book Highlights Women's Plight to Find the Disappeared in Chile's Desert

We dug in the desert and sometimes came across strange bones. We were so frightened during those years that we would bury them again.

With this quote Ramona Wadi starts her review of the book titled “Flowers in the desert – the search for Chile’s disappeared”, by author Paula Allen.

With a bilingual narration, the book “disseminates the tenacity of the women of Calama,” where 26 men were executed, accused of conspiring to blow up a local factory

16 Books on Latin American Street Art

In Latin America, street art is of major cultural relevance. The region’s traditions of social movements and revolution have allowed the form to give voice to otherwise unheard sectors of the population. Of course, not all street art is politically or socially-oriented in content, but it does often provide insight into specific objectives and ideals.

Nick MacWilliam from Sounds and Colours browsed the online store Amazon “to see what’s readily available for those who are interested in the subject of street art in Latin America.” He recommends 16 books on the subject, covering Haiti, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and more.

Vote Like a Chilean Legislator with Populus

On the new online platform Populus.cl [es] citizens can learn about laws, vote on them and compare their choice with decisions made by members of Congress.

Citizens can answer questions on issues like health, internet and copyright, labor, culture, the environment, and more. The site provides background information to help users learn more about the law or citizen initiative. After they cast their vote, Populus shows users which legislators support or reject that particular issue.

"Do you support or reject Chileans voting from abroad?"

“Do you support or reject Chileans voting from abroad?”

Sentidos Comunes [es] adds that the platform works “like a citizen thermometer so legislators can learn what people really think.”

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