Tag Archives | Chile

World Leaders Call For End of Criminalization of Drug Use

drugwarToday in New York City, the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland join with Kofi Annan and others to call for the end of drug criminalization. They are also calling for legal and regulated use of psychoactive substances. This press conference is being held at 9:45 AM by the Global Commission on Drug Policy:

Via Drug Policy Alliance:

Today, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City. The event will be live-streamed and speakers include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.

The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.

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Chilean Artist, Activist ‘Liberates’ $500 Million Dollars of Student Debt — By Burning It

PIC: Coyau (CC)

PIC: Coyau (CC)

Andrea Germanos writes at Common Dreams:

An artist and activist in Chile has “freed” university students from their student debt by burning $500 million dollars in debt notes.

The action was the work of visual artist Francisco “Papas Fritas” Tapia, who took the debt notes during a student takeover of the University del Mar, burned them to ashes, and put them on display as an exhibit.

“Authorities began shutting down” the university “last year for financial irregularities and encouraged students to seek out alternative universities,” the Santiago Times reported, but “the university is still collecting on its student loans.” It is slated to close at the end of this year.

Chile has been hit since 2011 by waves of student protests that have denounced the Pinochet-era education policies that have enabled ‘profiteering’ and privatization at the nation’s schools, and have prompted demands for education to be a public good, not a commodity.

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Cybersyn, Salvador Allende’s Socialist Internet In 1970s Chile

Red_pepperRed Pepper on Cybersyn, an ingenious proto-internet largely unknown outside of a cult following:

The pioneering cybernetic planning work of the Chilean leader, his ministers and a British left-wing operations research scientist and management consultant named Stafford Beer was an ambitious, economy-wide experiment that has since been described as the ‘socialist internet’, an effort decades ahead of its time.

In 1970, Beer was hired to advise the government, and the scheme he plunged himself into was called Project Cybersyn, a ‘nervous system’ for the economy in which workers, community members and the government were to be connected together transmitting the resources they had on offer, their desires and needs via an interactive national communications network.

Although never completed, by the time General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the young administration in a US-backed coup, the advanced prototype of the system, which had been built in four months, involved a series of 500 telex machines distributed to firms connected to two government-operated mainframe computers and stretched the length of the narrow country and covered roughly between a quarter and half of the nationalised economy.

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Winged Humanoid Creature Spotted In Chile

criatura_chile

Inexplicata has a translation of an item making the rounds in Chilean news:

On 29 September near Bustamante Park in Santiago’s downtown area, a strange flying creature was seen flying from one tree to another. Its size was estimated at around 2 meters tall and shaped like a manta ray.

Ignacio, a young man who was the witness, made his narrative available to journalist Juan Andrés Salfate on Canal La Red. Eyewitness testimony soon appeared in other places in Santiago. A witness named Sylvia confirmed the image of this human-looking “flying manta ray” in the Los Barrenchea Commune.

Incidents such as the above are recorded every so often in Santiago. In the Peñaloén Commune, over the past two years, IIEE has managed to secure similar accounts. Furthermore, we recall deceased journalist Osvaldo Murray, who wrote about the flying men who landed in the trees of the town of Juanita Aguirre in the 1980s.

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Chilean Woman Cries Tears Of Blood

Via I Love Chile, doctors are baffled by the incredibly rare, quasi-religious condition of haemolacria, or crying tears of blood:
The rare disease haemolacria is known as one of the “most alarming and unusual complaints in opthalmology.” Twenty-year old Yaritza Oliva from Purranque, who cries tears of blood, says, “Nobody knows what I need, they don’t know what I have or what to do.” At first, Chilean doctors believed Yaritza to have an infection or the like, but since then ophthalmologist Dr Alexander Lutz has clarified doubts about this strange condition. The illness has not been declared as deadly, but the different victims have to suffer the pain of their condition and cases of discrimination as well. Until today, only three other cases of haemolacria have been reported: Calvino Inman, a 16-year-old boy from the United States, Twinkle Dwivedi, living in India and 12 when the illness broke out, and Rashida Khatoon from India.
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Authorities Hunt For Leader Of Chilean Cult That Burned Baby Alive As “The Antichrist”

cult leaderBrainwashing by enlightenment drug? Authorities claim that ayahuasca was imbibed as a means of “controlling” the sect’s white-collar ranks. Via NBC News:

Chilean police on Thursday arrested four people accused of burning a baby alive in a ritual because the leader of the sect believed that the end of the world was near and that the child was the Antichrist. The 3-day-old baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay on Nov. 21 and was thrown into a bonfire. The baby’s mother had allegedly approved the sacrifice and was among those arrested.

Authorities said the sect was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large. Castillo Gaete was last seen traveling to Peru to buy ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew plant that he used to control the members of the rite.

“Everyone in this sect was a professional,” Miguel Ampuero, of the Police Investigative Units, said.

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Student Protests For A New Society In Chile

Al Jazeera's Fault Lines visits Chile to look at the student uprisings that have been going on for months. Students have taken over and occupied schools and universities -- in opposition to the prohibitively expensive, poor-quality education system and politicians who say that their main priority is to provide "certainty for investors". Does Chile's extremely privatized, class-segregated education system provide a warning of where the United States could be headed?
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Man Arrested For Stealing Chile’s Jorge Montt Glacier

a-chunk-of-stolen-glacial-008A fascinating environmental crime. A man stole a five-ton portion of the fast-vanishing glacier, a national monument — the ice was to be used to create the most rarified of illegal cocktails — a drink which will be impossible post climate-change. Via the Guardian:

Police in Chile have arrested a man on suspicion of stealing five tonnes of ice from the Jorge Montt glacier in the Patagonia region to sell as designer ice cubes in bars and restaurants.

Local media reported that last Friday police intercepted a refrigerated truck with an estimated £3,900 worth of illicit ice allegedly bound for whiskies, rums and cocktails in the capital Santiago. Authorities have accused the driver of theft and are considering adding violation of national monuments to the charge sheet.

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Chilean Students Demand Complete Transformation of Education System

Free Education Protests

Photo: Diego Grez (CC)

Who said that massive/social cultural revolutions were a thing of the ’60s? Via the Atlantic:

For the past several months, students, teachers, and their supporters in Chile have been staging chaotic demonstrations against their government.

Their goal is to transform the country’s education system. In particular, they’re seeking a referendum to significantly increase the funding and quality of public schools. Students have engaged in multiple forms of protest, from hunger strikes and sit-ins to marches and pillow fights. Smaller groups of protesters have engaged riot police directly, hurling stones and firebombs.

Chilean authorities have responded by banning demonstrations, pushing protesters back with water cannons, and offering education proposals that have been rejected. Students in the tens of thousands — with popular backing across Chile — continue to march without official permission, and public sentiment against president Sebastian Piñera continues to grow.

Collected here are some scenes from the streets of Chile over the past few months.

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Salfate: Having Fun With Conspiracy Theories

One of the problems with American conspiracy theorists is that they're mostly so damned serious that they're just not as much fun to watch as their establisment counterparts (think Fox News), unless you find humor in an Alex Jones rant. Not so in Chile, where the TV host Salfate brings a smile to some serious questions about what's going on in the world. Last week he covered the recent Bilderberg meeting in Switzerland, giving Jones a major shout out:
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