Elections in Chile

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  1. "Estudiantes de ACES se toman comando de Michelle Bachelet," Terra, Nov. 17, 2013.
  2. " Presidenta anarquista de la FECH expresa apoyo a toma de comando bacheletista," TerraTV, Nov. 17, 2013.
  3. Rodrigo Durán and Nicolás Sepúlveda, "No alcanzan los quorums para las reformas de Bachelet: Nueva Mayoría obligada a negociar con la derecho," El Dínamo, Nov. 18, 2013.
  4. René Rojas, "Chile: Return of the Penguins," Against the Current, no. 157, March-April 2012.
  5. Diego Zúñiga, "Aysén: Después de la batalla," Que Pasa, Dec. 27, 2012.
  6. Alexei Barrionuevo, "Plan for Hydroelectric Dam in Patagonia Outrages Chileans," New York Times, June 16, 2011.
  7. " Chile, Cloc-Via Campesina expresses solidarity with Mapuche People," Via Campesina, Jan. 23, 2013. It is worth noting that persecution of activists and militarization of southern Mapuche territories first intensified under Concertación governments’ application of Pinochet-era anti-terrorism legislation. This approach has led to at least four activists murdered by center-left governments. For a report on the Concertación’s prosecution of the war on indigenous activists, see Human Rights Watch, Undue Process: Terrorism Trials, Military Courts, and the Mapuche in Southern Chile. The best source for ongoing coverage of incursions into communities is paismapuche.org/. For reports of the conflict’s escalation over the past year see here and here.
  8. René Rojas, "Of Movements and Mayors," Against the Current, no. 162, Jan.-Feb. 2013.
  9. A typical example was on display in coverage, with no irony intended, of two key Santiago races by one of Chile’s leading mainstream papers: “By just over two points, former RN minister Andrés Allamand beat out his list partner, former Santiago mayor, UDI’s Pablo Zalaquett, in the Westen Santiago contest. … In Nueva Mayoría, PPD senator Guido Girardi gained a 12 point advantage over former Maipú mayor, Christian Democrat Alberto Undurraga.”
  10. Hugo Guzmán R., "La otra guerra de la Derecha," El Ciudadano, Nov. 23, 2013.
  11. Educational reform requires four-sevenths of Congress for approval (69 deputies and 22 senators), while constitutional changes require an even higher two-thirds vote (80 deputies and 26 senators). Even if the entrenched Christian Democrat and Socialist oligarchs cooperated, a highly unlikely prospect, Nueva Mayoría’s platform would not prosper.
  12. Both Jackson and Vallejo obtained more votes than Bachelet in their districts.
  13. "Gabriel Boric: “La actual institucionalidad no es capaz de contener las demandas estudiantiles”," El Mostrador, Dec. 12, 2011. An excellent report from Centro de Investigación Periodísta described the unfolding of the deal between the PCCh and Concertación this way: “The massive 2011 marches … not only damned Piñera’s government. They also rocked the Concertación whose leaders and parliamentarians were unable to jump on the protest wagon since its governments were primarily responsible for the crisis. … The offer then made by the three PCCh legislators was like a glass of water in the desert. The proposal was to jointly explore, as a “broad opposition,” university reform. The PCCh was well positioned in public opinion thanks to the leadership of its student leaders, particularly Camila Vallejo, and it reached out to the Concertación to devolverle el habla [help it find its voice].”
  14. Perhaps the most glaring example of the orthogonal interests of NM’s business and popular constituents is embodied in the successful run by Iván Fuentes. Fuentes will be the Christian Democratic deputy representing Aysén, location of the 2012 rebellion that he helped lead. Yet as he tries to advance the region’s anti-corporate demands, he will run up against the multi-million dollar donations that energy giants Enesa and Colbún pumped into the Bachelet campaign to secure her approval of the massively unpopular HidroAysén mega-dam project.
  15. Reuters, Elecciones: Mercado local se muestra dividido por alcance de reformas que propone Bachelet," Nov. 15, 2011.
  16. JP Morgan graciously added, “We believe that the majority of these initiatives, particularly those most likely to be approved and implemented, are already known by the market and have been factored into current price valuations”!
  17. Chile, with one of the lowest corporate tax rates among OECD members, raises 7.5 percent of its gross domestic product through corporate and income taxes, compared with the 11.3 percent average for the OECD. Business, while acceding to raising the corporate tax rate, will take a more recalcitrant position against Bachelet’s proposal to gradually eliminate the Fondo de Utilidades Tributables (FUT), a sort of tax-exempt pool of “development” funds. It is estimated that companies currently hold US$270 billion in these funds, or the value of the whole of Chile’s economy!
  18. "Bachelet y apoyo de la CUT: “Es un respaldo al programa que representa a los trabajadores en Chile”," The Clinic, Dec. 2, 2013.
  19. As reported online by El Mostrador, changes to labor rules, which CUT had been actively pursuing, were subordinated from jump to tax reform negotiations. One NM source who participated in talks with business leaders explained that employers were willing “to accept any of Bachelet’s reforms, save labor reform.” They were “willing to give up money [i.e. higher taxes], but not power.” When the deal was settled, Andrés Santa Cruz, head of Chile’s peak employers association, declared with satisfaction that “as it stands, the labor issue does not make us nervous.”
  20. P. Cádiz and J.M.Wilson, "Reforma que posibilita cambio al binominal sufre traspié por ausencia de diputados de la Nueva Mayoría," La Tercera, Nov. 20, 2013.
  21. "Patricio Melero: “la Concertación está preocupada de que haya un mal resultado para la derecha, porque se quedarían sin contrapesos al interior del gobierno”, The Clinic, Oct. 6, 2013.
  22. The Communist Youth have interpreted NM’s constitutional reform pledge as a call for an “institutional refoundation” via a constituent assembly. Yet following in the footsteps of Venezuelan and Bolivian state refoundation, which could enable forms of political participation not dominated by partisan elites, and, more worrisome still, mandate state-guaranteed social rights which post-authoritarian orthodoxy has made the exclusive domain of the market, is clearly out of the question. While Vallejo and Jackson continue clamoring for a Constituent Assembly, Bachelet and her handlers talk only of achieving a “new” constitution through a restrictive parliamentary amendment process.
  23. Tomás Torres and Eduardo Cárcamo, "Reflexiones libertarias en torno al período en Chile," Anarkismo.net, Oct. 22, 2013.
  24. Ibid.
  25. "Este año, ¡a tomar en nuestras manos la educación que queremos!," Izquierda Autonoma, July 23, 2013.