Chile

Left-wing parties in Chile are pushing a plebiscite for a Constituent Assembly to address the main social issues affecting young people, workers and communities.

Activist Cristian Cuevas from the New Democracy Party, which forms part of the Broad Front (FA) alliance, said they are seeking a strong showing in the November 19 presidential and parliamentary elections to push forward on their proposal.

More than 2000 people demonstrated on September 26 in Chile's capital Santiago to support four Mapuche Indigenous community members who have been on hunger strike in prison for 113 days.

The four were charged under a controversial anti-terrorism bill passed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

After a long battle, women will have the right to abortion for therapeutic reasons. Chile’s Constitutional Court announced a bill allowing abortion in such circumstances had been approved on August 21, despite pressure from conservative right-wing forces.

Mining companies have benefitted over the past few years from rising global demand and prices, but workers have seen little to no benefit from the boom.

Now mine workers are flexing their muscle to demand their share of the spoils.

About 2500 workers have been on strike since February 9 at the Escondida mine in Chile’s north.

Owned by two Anglo-Australian mining giants, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Escondida is the largest producer of “red gold” in the world. The mine extracts about 900,000 tonnes a year. This represents 20% of copper production in Chile, the country with the largest copper reserves in the world.

A strike at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, entered its fifth day on February 13 with few signs of speedy resolution as workers threaten to stop production for up to two months.

Workers began a strike at the Australian-run BHP Billiton mine on February 9 to put pressure on the company after failing to reach an agreement in wage negotiations.

The union said its 2500 members are committed to action and threatened a two-month work stoppage, leading BHP to admit that it will not be able to meet its contractual obligations.

When Donald Trump is sworn in as president on January 20, he will take over the running of the US intelligence agencies — the CIA, FBI, NSA etc — that have brought charges to discredit the outcome of his election.

The Electoral College has rubberstamped Trump’s election and Congress has ratified it. The storm over allegations of Russian interference in last year’s elections will pass as The Leader takes charge and cleans house in these agencies.

But there are some things that should be noted about this brouhaha.


Santiago, July 24. Photo: EFE.

Pressured by the recent large protests rejecting the private system of pensions inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet announced on July 26 that her administration would reform the system.

In a Democratic presidential primary debate in Miami on March 10, against his rival Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders opposed US invasions, coups and interventions against Latin American nations.

The socialist Senator also strongly opposed the ongoing US embargo against Cuba while praising the island for its social gains in health and education.


Seleka militia.

European countries have been indirectly contributing to massive human rights violations and heavy environmental damage in the Central African Republic, an investigative report by Global Witness, released on July 15, revealed.

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