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The wetlands inhabited by the southern river otter Lontra provocax in Chile are subject to anthropogenic disturbances. As a result of the modification and destruction of its habitat, caused by loss of riparian vegetation, and other threats, the species is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. We monitored the river otter and its diet during September 2020–January 2021 in a swamp forest fragment in southern Chile. We obtained evidence of river otter presence from the upper part of the wetland to the confluence with the Bueno River, suggesting inter-population connectivity of the species in an extensive hydrographic basin. Faeces and food remains showed a predominance of native macrocrustaceans, with introduced fish present at lower levels. The detection of the southern river otter in a fragment of threatened swamp forest suggests a low abundance in environmentally degraded freshwater environments. The identification of subpopulations such as the one reported here provides valuable data to support the conservation of the species in threatened wetlands.
Chapter 15 addresses economic inequality and its impact on democracy in contemporary Latin America. It illustrates the significance of inequality with discussions of Brazil and Chile, and shows that wealth and income are unequally distributed and that certain categories of citizens (rural dwellers, indigenous people, informal workers) are among the poorest Latin Americans. It stresses that it is paradoxical that several decades after Latin America achieved democracy – a political system based on the idea that citizens are political equals – social inequality remains deep and pervasive. Yet it accounts for the difficulty faced by democratic governments in reducing economic inequality through redistributive policies in terms of the structural and instrumental power of economic elites, the control of the media by economic elites, and the actions of politicians and state agents. The chapter also stresses that persistent economic inequality has negative consequences on democracy and shows how recent political developments in Chile – for decades seen as the poster child of political and economic success in the region – are a warning sign against complacency with economic inequality.
Chapter 9 focuses on transitional justice, the challenge of tackling past human rights violations, in contemporary Latin America. It shows that the record of Latin American countries varies considerably, but that, in the aggregate, the record of Latin America is largely a success story. The frequency with which past human rights violations have been addressed, and the steps taken through truth commissions and human rights trials, puts Latin America at the center of the global transitional justice movement. It also demonstrates, through a comparative analysis of six countries (Brazil and Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala, Chile and Argentina), that several factors determine the response to past human rights violations. Democracies that are strong and channel citizen preferences succeed in confronting the challenge of transitional justice. Additionally, a strong record of transitional justice is associated with strong civil society organizations, generational change and new legal thinking about human rights law in the judiciary, and progressive developments in international law.
This article examines the life and career of Alejandro Lipschütz, Chile's most accomplished indigenista, to investigate his influence on the scientific and political discourse about the role of indigenous peoples in modern American states, known as indigenismo. Trained as an experimental biologist, Lipschütz criticized prevailing views of race in the Americas, arguing for a social interpretation and analysis of racial categories that defined indigeneity. Lipschütz then promoted the creation of an indigenous institute within the Chilean state and advocated on behalf of the Mapuche people. Because indigenous leaders themselves developed a strong political movement in the mid twentieth century, transnational indigenismo failed to produce meaningful or lasting progress in Chile. That failure convinced Lipschütz that indigenous peoples should preserve and strengthen traditional communities and seek political autonomy. This analysis joins a growing body of scholarship that challenges conventional views of indigenismo, which characterize it as a repressive ideology used by paternalistic states. This study of Alejandro Lipschütz prefigures the shift toward acknowledging the greater indigenous agency that accompanied identity-based social movements emerging in the 1980s.
Neurorights are novel human rights that specify areas of protection from potential abuses of neurotechnologies. They protect mental privacy, mental freedom and fair access to neuroenhancement. We discuss neurorights research and advocacy, including the Chilean constitutional amendment and neuroprotection bill of law, which explicitly protect neurorights and adopt a medical model for the regulation of all neurotechnologies, defining them as medical devices. These Chilean bills could serve as a model for legislation elsewhere.
This article explores the phenomenon of the sedition trial in the early history of the Spanish American republics, focusing on sedition trials that occurred in Santiago de Chile from the late 1820s to the early 1850s. Sedition trials were governed by laws enacted in the wake of Chile's political independence to protect and regulate the freedom of the press. Because of the way press laws were written, sedition trials were conducted in front of juries composed of active citizens. As such, they constituted a dramatic break with the judicial tradition of Spanish colonial rule. The article argues that sedition trials were instrumental in the dynamics of political conflict, but only when the national government allowed them to operate without interference, which was not always the case. When sedition trials had integrity, as they did for a period in the 1840s, they became a public space in which citizen-journalists and publishers participated in establishing the boundaries of political speech. However, as one might expect, government officials also used the charge of sedition to silence their opponents. Sedition trials can thus be seen as a form of political warfare that has not been fully appreciated by scholars.
Indigenous entrepreneurial ecosystem development is not addressed in research. We define and characterise Indigenous entrepreneurial ecosystems and their evolution based on a qualitative study comparing Indigenous entrepreneurship in Chile and in Aotearoa New Zealand. We draw on interviews with 10 Mapuche entrepreneurs in Araucanía and 10 Māori entrepreneurs in the Bay of Plenty, observation, and a literature review to address the question – how does an Indigenous entrepreneurial ecosystem develop along with the social, economic, and political development of mainstream society? We find that Indigenous entrepreneurial ecosystems evolve with the economic and social environments of their countries because of an internal imperative towards cultural continuity and the resilience of culture to change. We find that mature Indigenous entrepreneurial ecosystems are associated with higher states of development and support a broader range of business models. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed.
This paper analyzes a housing project in Santiago, Chile that now lies in ruins and has become a contested memory site. The project was once an ambitious, modernist project that housed former squatters during Salvador Allende’s socialist presidency (1970–1973) and its demise has subsequently become emblematic of the violent processes of neoliberal urban restructuring that marked the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990). Yet efforts to memorialize the site also contain within them certain silences and elisions, gaps which can help to reveal the complex, embedded nature of liberal property relations in Chile. These relations underscore certain dynamics through which squatters have historically been able to gain housing rights and a foothold in the city. They also provide a key location through which to better understand the specific contours of neoliberalism’s trajectory, including its haunted forms of ruination, its points of tension, its limits, and the making of its counterpublics.
The importance of opera and operatic practices to nineteenth-century Latin American culture has been widely acknowledged; opera was central to the construction of ideas about liberalism, Europeanism, cosmopolitanism and the all-encompassing notion of 'civilisation'. The centrality of opera and of opera houses in the region, however, often obscures the ways in which opera, and Italian opera in particular, were being read. Taking account of the multiplicity and heterogeneity of operatic experiences in the region, the chapter examines the experience of Italian opera singers in the southern Andes (Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador) during the 1840s, a period of major expansion of opera throughout Latin America. Often these singers were the first to perform opera in the region. How did they live the experience of being Italian and singing Italian opera in South America? Based on newspapers, archival documents and private letters, the chapter demonstrates how, for many of these singers, producing opera in Latin America was neither marked by a direct projection of their previous Italian experiences, nor was it seen as an exotic transatlantic adventure. Instead, it was something in between: a constant process of negotiation between their private and public identities.
Democracy in America focuses mainly on the history of the United State and the prospects for Anglo-American democracy. However, it is important to remember that Tocqueville’s celebrated thoughts on the unique qualities of American democracy did not go unnoticed by Spanish American thinkers in the nineteenth century. Like Tocqueville’s France, Latin American nations struggled with similar questions of how to secure the institutional and cultural prerequisites for self-government. As José Antonio Aguilar Rivera reveals in this chapter, there is an important tradition of reading and applying the lessons of Democracy in America in the “other America.” Latin American countries sought to emulate the United States’ success with constitutionalism and representative government, and leading political thinkers turned to Tocqueville for guidance. Despite widespread interest in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile, however, these applications of Democracy in America diverged widely from one national context to another. Aguilar Rivera shows how interpreters drew on different arguments, often selectively ignoring others, depending on the unique circumstances and political debates of each country.
National and international lawyers are ubiquitous in transitional political negotiations. However, their role in advancing or stalling negotiations, or in advocating or resisting progressive change, is generally carried out behind closed doors. This chapter explores when and how lawyers living and working within repressive, conflicted, and transitional states influence the content of transitional political agreements. It draws on twenty-five interviews with lawyers who participated directly in negotiations and other informed commentators in our case study sites. Combining this empirical data with literature on lawyers as negotiators, the sociology of the legal profession, and critical international legal theory, the chapter explores the factors that shape relationships between lawyers and the political leadership in negotiations. The chapter further critically analyses the extent to which lawyers’ negotiating styles and legal skills can advance or inhibit the reaching of an agreement. The final section explores the discretion and capacity of lawyer-negotiators for legal imagination in crafting transitional futures. We find that lawyer-negotiations often have to grapple with reconciling their role as legal technicians with the ethical and political challenges of advising on law’s content at times when the law itself is indeterminate or subject to negotiation.
This chapter illustrates the major claims of the countershelf through its most frequent occupant, Pablo Neruda. Yet his appearance is different than later Latin American authors, who act primarily as stylistic models. Instead, it is Neruda himself who lives on, reincarnated as a “transmigrant,” who acts as a site of internal contestation between projects that are stylistically, even generically, quite distinct. After Neruda’s Nobel Prize and untimely death in the early 1970s, the painter Vivan Sundaram, poets including Agha Shahid Ali, Marie Cruz Gabriel, and Sirsir Kumar Das, and prose writers like Mohsin Hamid and Ravish Kumar all reincarnate Neruda’s persona as a way of thinking about the contest between aesthetic and political commitment through which their own creative endeavors might become global. Their perception of Neruda’s conflictual commitments emerges out of the real arc of his poetic career. These prompt a reconsideration of one of the most discordant – and yet essential – moments of Neruda’s oeuvre: his reincarnation-themed poetry of the first volume of Residencia en la tierra – written while Neruda worked as a consular functionary in British India from 1927 to 1929.
Childhood obesity is considered one of the most important public health problems around the world. Chile is currently one of the Latin American countries with a high prevalence of childhood obesity. Given that parents’ food parenting practices shape their children’s lifelong eating habits, addressing those practices is key to curbing later problems of obesity. However, studies of the influences on Chilean parents’ food parenting practices are scarce. Hence, this study explores factors that influence food parenting practices of preschool-aged children in Chile.
Qualitative research, using interviews with the photo-elicitation technique.
Metropolitan Region, Chile
Twenty-five parents from families recruited from public childcare centres.
Through a thematic analysis with an inductive approach, we identified five themes that influence food parenting practices: (1) parents’ previous experiences and how they determine their current goals and beliefs; (2) responses to the child’s characteristics; (3) the influences of other family members, especially grandparents; (4) parents’ nutritional knowledge; and (5) living contexts, especially limited budgets and lack of time.
The study reveals multilevel influences, which converge at the family level, on food parenting practices. A family-centrerd approach that addresses the mentioned influences is necessary to improve the management of the childhood obesity problem in Chile.
We analyze the evolution of homicide rates in Chile, as a proxy of interpersonal violence, from the 1880s to the 2010s. Homicides rates are the best measure of a country’s personal security, and a key variable of well-being. We found that the homicides rates were high during the late nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century. From the 1930s homicide rates started to decline initially gradually, but then sharply during the 1950s–1960s. During the 1960s–1990s, the country’s homicide rates were low by international standards. However, they have increased during the last two decades. Our regression suggests that increased social spending in the past is associated with reduced homicides in the present, that past and concurrent economic growth also correlates with a reduction in the rate of homicides, and that increased police presence is correlated with a reduction in the rate of homicides. The 1930s–1960s are a key period in the evolution of interpersonal violence. It coincides with the emergence of a welfare state (and increasing social expenditure), declining poverty rates, improvements in health and education, and an increase in suffrage.
This chapter describes the Chilean Partido por la Democracia (Party for Democracy, PPD) as a group of independents. Since its inception during the transition to democracy, the PPD has achieved meaningful electoral support. However, its electoral stability contrasts with its lack of organizational structure, its difficulties executing horizontal coordination during elections, in Congress, and between local and national levels. Regarding vertical interest aggregation, the PPD builds upon personalistic linkages with particular interest groups in the different electoral districts. The PPD is thus no more than a group of politicians with personal electoral capital in their districts who achieve a minimum level of coordination during elections and in Congress.
In this chapter, I reconceptualize the twin concepts of “comparison” and “case,” by rethinking what political scientists often call a “single-case study.” I propose that much of the disciplinary ambivalence about so-called single-case studies is a product of a misconception regarding their nature, and that this methodological label is a misnomer for such studies. Drawing on my own research, I propose the term “site” rather than “case.” A site is a conjunctural intersection of various and heterogeneous processes, relations, and scales of political activity, some relatively enduring and some relatively ephemeral. The constitutive multiplicity of a site and the detailed empirical engagement it enables offer both inspiration and leverage for analytical claims. Conceptualizing the objects of our research as sites mitigates against the social scientific tendency to regard ongoing social processes in reified, monolithic, and static terms. In-depth empirical engagement with research sites draws our analytic attention to the social processes that provisionally result in spatial boundedness, enduring institutionalization, and individual and group identity formation – or, on the contrary, the events and processes that disrupt, modify, innovate, and transform them.
Land-use change is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Large-scale disturbances such as habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation are known to have negative consequences for native biota, but the effects of small-scale disturbances such as selective logging are less well known. We compared three sites with different regimes of selective logging performed by Indigenous communities in the South American temperate rainforest, to assess effects on the density and habitat selection patterns of the Near Threatened endemic arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides. We used structured interviews to identify patterns of wood extraction, which was 0.22–2.55 m3 per ha per year. In the less disturbed site only two tree species were logged, in the intermediately disturbed sites eight species were logged at low intensity, and in the most disturbed site seven species were logged intensively. The site with intermediate disturbance had the highest fleshy-fruited plant diversity and fruit biomass values as a result of the proliferation of shade-intolerant plants. This site also had the highest density of D. gliroides. These findings are consistent with Connell's intermediate disturbance hypothesis, suggesting that coexistence of people with nature is possible if wood extraction volumes are moderate, increasing plant diversity. Indigenous communities have sustainably used natural resources for centuries, but current rates of land-use change are becoming a significant threat to both them and their natural resources.
Water rights and water market mechanisms are key characteristics to describe water management and allocation in the Limarí Basin in Chile. The 1981 Water Code strengthens private water use rights and declares them freely tradable. Engineering infrastructure, climatic conditions, and institutional capacities in terms of tradable water rights and private water user associations allowed economic development in the Limarí Valley. However, the lack of governmental regulation has led to overexploitation of water resources threatening water security, such as environmental and agricultural sustainability. In the face of climate change and decreasing water availability, the current infrastructural and management system requires reforms.
Funerary art has the body as its main material component, expresses responses to death and offers insight into relationships between the living and the dead. Chinchorro hunter-gatherer-fisher societies along the Atacama Desert coast provide a key example of such connections, having developed one of the world's oldest-known systems of post-mortem body transformation (c. 7000–3250 BP). A study of 162 modified Chinchorro bodies identifies diachronic changes in these practices, including a decrease in internal stuffing—adding invisible contents that created corporeal volume—and an increase in external body treatment that created visible features. The authors propose that such manipulation was a meaningful form of social embodiment designed to construct a collective identity.