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The Chile Portal

The flag of Chile

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in western South America. It is the southernmost country in the world and the closest to Antarctica, stretching along a narrow strip of land between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Chile had a population of 17.5 million as of the latest census in 2017 and has a territorial area of 756,102 square kilometers (291,933 sq mi), sharing borders with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. The country also controls several Pacific islands, including Juan Fernández, Isla Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island, and claims about 1,250,000 square kilometers (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica as the Chilean Antarctic Territory. The capital and largest city of Chile is Santiago, and the national language is Spanish.

Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule, but failed to conquer the independent Mapuche people who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. Chile emerged as a relatively stable authoritarian republic in the 1830s after their 1818 declaration of independence from Spain. During the 19th century, Chile experienced significant economic and territorial growth, putting an end to Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific (1879–83) by defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 20th century, up until the 1970s, Chile underwent a process of democratization and experienced rapid population growth and urbanization, while relying increasingly on exports from copper mining to support its economy. During the 1960s and 1970s, the country was marked by severe left-right political polarization and turmoil, which culminated in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government. This was followed by a 16-year right-wing military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, which resulted in more than 3,000 deaths or disappearances. The regime ended in 1990, following a referendum in 1988, and was succeeded by a center-left coalition, which ruled until 2010.

Chile has a high-income economy and is one of the most economically and socially stable nations in South America, leading Latin America in competitiveness, per capita income, globalization, peace, and economic freedom. Chile also performs well in the region in terms of sustainability of the state and democratic development, and boasts the second lowest homicide rate in the Americas, following only Canada. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Pacific Alliance, and joined the OECD in 2010. ( Full article...)

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Above: House damaged by the Pichilemu earthquakes, in the epicentre town, as seen on 16 April 2011. Below: Shakemap for the first of the Pichilemu earthquakes produced by the United States Geological Survey

The 2010 Pichilemu earthquakes (Spanish: Terremoto de Pichilemu de 2010), also known as the Libertador O'Higgins earthquakes, were a pair of intraplate earthquakes measuring 6.9 and 7.0 Mw that struck Chile's O'Higgins Region on 11 March 2010 about 16 minutes apart. The earthquakes were centred 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northwest of the city of Pichilemu.

The earthquakes were caused by increased regional stress arising from an earthquake on 27 February, centered offshore Maule Region, which was felt throughout central Chile. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center pointed out the possibility of local tsunamis within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the epicentre, although small, but violent waves were seen in the Pichilemu and Bucalemu area. One person was reported dead. At least eleven aftershocks immediately followed, causing panic throughout coastal towns between the Coquimbo and Los Lagos regions. ( Full article...)

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Official portrait, c. 1974

Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006) was a Chilean army officer and military dictator who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. He was the leader of the military junta from 1973 to 1981, and was declared President of the Republic by the junta in 1974 and thus became the dictator of Chile, and from 1981 to 1990 as de jure president after a new constitution which confirmed him in the office was approved by a referendum in 1980. His time in office remains the longest of any Chilean ruler.

Augusto Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean Army to become General Chief of Staff in early 1972 before being appointed its Commander-in-Chief on 23 August 1973 by President Salvador Allende. On 11 September 1973,

Pinochet seized power in Chile in a military coup, with the support of the United States, that toppled Allende's democratically elected left-wing Unidad Popular government and ended civilian rule. In December 1974, the ruling military junta appointed Pinochet Supreme Head of the nation by joint decree, although without the support of one of the coup's instigators, Air Force General Gustavo Leigh. After his rise to power, Pinochet persecuted leftists, socialists, and political critics, resulting in the executions of 1,200 to 3,200 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 people, and the torture of tens of thousands. According to the Chilean government, the number of executions and forced disappearances was at least 3,095. Operation Condor, a U.S.-supported terror operation focusing on South America, was founded at the behest of the Pinochet regime in late November 1975, his 60th birthday. ( Full article...)

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Carménère grapes

The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot.

A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson colour of the autumn foliage before leaf-fall. The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym, although current European Union regulations prohibit imports under this name into the European Union. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère is considered one of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux. ( Full article...)
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