Chile. According to Countryaah.com, Chile population in 2020 is estimated at 19,116,212. President Michelle Bachelet faced several challenges during the year. Already in March, just over a week after it was installed for a second term, a protest march (the “March of March”) was conducted with tens of thousands of participants in the capital Santiago. Forty organizations were behind the protest march, which focused on a variety of issues but above all required constitutional changes.
In September, the tax authority also launched an investigation into illegal funding during the 2013 presidential campaign in which the president should have been involved, something Bachelet himself categorically denied. “Pentagate”, to which the scandal was renamed after the name of the investment bank that was subject to scrutiny, led to promises from the government on new legislation on the funding of election campaigns, but mistrust of Bachelet remained.
After 100 days of his new term, however, Bachelet was able to formally ascertain that most promises from the election campaign were fulfilled. Among other things, a new state pension fund was started, while legislative proposals on educational reforms were criticized for being insufficient. One area where Bachelet could not record any success was questions about the indigenous people mapuche. Admittedly, on June 24, the Indigenous People promised to work for three measures: Native American representation in Congress, a special Native American ministry, and state guarantees for land ownership. But in the Arauco province in the south, the land conflicts intensified.
Provincial Governor Humberto Toro accused “terrorists” of Native American activists of backing an armed attack Oct. 4 against police officers who were in the process of breaking a roadblock in protest of the death of a leading activist a few days earlier. During the attack, 14 policemen were injured. Toro, who belongs to President Bachelet’s Socialist Party (PS), was careful to point out specific, occasional “anarchist” elements in the Native American movement and not make a political number of the land issue per se.
Political violence also reached Santiago in September when a bomb exploded in a restaurant, injuring 14 people. The suspicion that it was a politically conditioned attack was reinforced by the fact that the incident occurred near the Military College in the affluent district of Las Condes just days before the 41st anniversary of the 1973 military coup.
In the foreign policy area, too, Bachelet noted a hardship. At the end of January, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled in favor of Peru in the conflict over the drawing of the territorial waters boundary that characterized the two countries’ relations for six years.