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Yearbook 2018

Chile. Five months after taking office for a second term, Sebastián Piñera completed a government reform in early August. Among other things, Minister of Education Gerardo Varela, who has been the target of violent protests from students who demand free higher education, was replaced by Marcela Cubillos, previously Minister of the Environment. Most noteworthy was the election of Minister of Culture by Mauricio Rojas, who has been living and worked for many years in Sweden as an economist historian and member of parliament. He was forced to leave after only four days in the post after making controversial statements about the History and Human Rights Museum in the capital Santiago. In his first interview after the appointment, he said, among other things, that the museum was a "left-wing museum" and a shameless and false use of a national tragedy.

2018 Chile

According to, the protracted conflict between the authorities and the indigenous population mapuches in southern Chile, which mainly affect land issues but which have become increasingly infected, escalated in November. A young man was shot dead by members of the military police (carabineros) as they entered a village in the southern province of La Araucania. The police action was triggered by a car theft and appeared to be excessively violent. In addition, the incident had been filmed by one of the policemen, who, however, claimed that the pictures were removed. Two officers from the carabineros force and the region's governor Luís Mayol, who accused the innocent youngster of being involved in the car theft, were forced to resign, and Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick was called for questioning in the House of Representatives about the incident. The opposition accused President Piñera of diluting the upset feelings by asserting police authority. Following the incident, another 101 violent and arbitrary attacks were reported in La Araucania and the neighboring province of Biobio. Everything happens within the framework of President Piñera's Regional Plan Araucania, which also contains the controversial Operación Huracán, aimed at militant mapuches but questioned by the State Prosecutor's Office for violations of their powers by the carabineros forces. On November 21, a large demonstration was held in Santiago against the police violence.

In November, the military carried out the major transformation of the supreme command since the transition to democracy in 1990 by appointing people who were not in active service during the Pinochet dictatorship in the 1970s. Some of the reasons for the reform were that a former army chief, Juan Emilio Cheyre, shortly before being sentenced to three years' house arrest for human rights violations during the dictatorship, and a three-year-old corruption survivor known as Milicogate. In July, nine retired officers were also sentenced for participation in the kidnapping and murder of the well-known protest singer and activist Victor Jara in 1973.

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