Chile Culture

Chile Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Chile

According to COMPUTERANNALS.COM, Chile is a country located in South America. Chile has a long press history. The first newspaper was founded in 1812. The media conditions changed with the 1973 military coup, which ended more than 150 years of freedom of the press. New censorship measures came, among other things. 1981, 1984 and 1986, when several newspapers were banned. With the beginning of democratization, the opposition also gained access to the media in 1988. In 1996, the military courts were deprived of the right to investigate journalists. Most of Chile’s 32 daily newspapers are published in Santiago and Valparaíso. The largest are La Tercera (founded in Santiago in 1950, edition: 200,000 copies) and Las Últimas Noticias (founded in Santiago in 1902, 150,000 copies). The latter is owned by the El Mercurio group, Chile’s leading newspaper chain, whose main newspaper is the conservative El Mercurio (founded in 1827 in Santiago, 120,000 copies).

According to HYPERRESTAURANT.COM, the radio in Chile is privately owned, and there are approximately 450 advertising-financed radio stations, some of which are nationwide. In addition to the state television channel Televisión Nacional de Chile (Canal 7), there are three university stations. These changed after the 1975 character, from educational channels to commercial channels. In the early 1990s, private television channels were also allowed to start. The dominant channel is the Catholic University (Canal 13), which has about 35% of the market. There are 354 radio and 242 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to CALCULATORINC, 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 States.

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 Lelio.

According to NEOVIDEOGAMES.COM, 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 American countries.

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

November 18

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

October 23

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

September 23

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 History).

The ex-president is running again

1 September

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

July 5

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

July 4th

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

June 27

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

June 8

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

7 June

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

6th June

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

May 26

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

May 21

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

February 2

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

January 29th

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

January 26

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 1970s.

Chile Culture

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