Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Some thoughts on Egypt and Snowden

In addition to the University of Chile, I teach at the Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Academy. Here is a bit I did (in spanish) for their online magazine, Apuntes Internacionales.

Messy Right

It has been hard to keep up with events in the Chilean right. In the last few months the two parties that make up the Alianza coalition have put forward four candidates. Today, only Evelyn Matthei remains. Here, in as succinct an explanation as any, Patricio Navia explains how and why.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Source: AP / Nelson Antoine

Here is something I wrote with my colleague Francisco Javier Diaz (currently running for congress) on the protests in Brazil and they challenges they present for social democracy.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Belen III

What began as a personal tragedy for the family of a little girl and then became a discussion about abortion rights in Chile, has again turned into an issue of Piñera's leadership, after he went TV to announce that he was proud of Belen's "depth and maturity".

An expert quoted in this Washington Post piece, is scathing: “So what the president is saying doesn’t get close to the psychological truth of an 11-year-old-girl. It’s a subjective view that is not based on any scientific reasoning to support it.”

Belen II

I mean, really. Is this a serious country?

Sunday, 7 July 2013


It is the kind of story that used to appear on US daytime talk shows in the 1990s. An 11 year old girl is pregnant as a result of being abused by her stepfather. Her mother defends the stepfather, saying that the girl encouraged the rape and that it was consensual. The only thing that's missing is Ricky Lake and flying chairs.

But even though the lives of the girl, Belen, and the baby are at risk, no abortion is possible because a law imposed by Pinochet in 1989 (not 1973, as this New York Times article suggests) prohibits any kind of termination. 

So now there is a debate in Chile, which will last maybe 10 days. Then we'll forget about it and things will remain the same. Hopefully, Bachelet's high levels of popular support provide some political cover to do something about these outdated laws once she's elected at the end of the year.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The primaries in The Economist

I haven't posted much recently, as it has been hard to keep up with both Chilean politics and everything happening around the world. But fortunately, we have The Economist. Here is a post they just published on the recent primaries in Chile. Given the electoral system, it is hard, although not impossible, to foresee a majority for Bachelet in Congress. Even with a majority, Bachelet 2.0 will not be easy. The social movements will not go away, the price of copper is going down, the economy is cooling, and the coalition she represents is exhausted. Should be fun.