When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Chile And Peru Need To Start Sharing The Wealth

Op-Ed: South American neighbors Chile and Peru have both failed to equitably distribute their new-found wealth. Leaders must offer more than hollow promises, or unrest like the protests over Chilean education and Peruvian mining is bound to intensify.

Violence erupts during a student protest in Chile (Dave_B_)
Violence erupts during a student protest in Chile (Dave_B_)

SANTIAGOChile and Peru have many differences, but they share the same primary sources of wealth: land, as in the minerals it contains, and sea. Over the past couple of years both countries have been able to reach high levels of growth and stability thanks to good public policy and rising costs for their raw materials. But as has historically been the case, both countries continue to come up short when it comes to equitably distributing their earnings. Concentration of wealth is in fact increasing – proof of just how little attention Chile and Peru have paid to this legacy of inequality.

This mix of growth, on the one hand, and increasing concentration of wealth on the other, has given rise to escalating frustrations among Chile and Peru's poor and even middle-class citizens. Of particular concern are the blatant inequalities that exist between rich and poor when it comes to accessing quality education and health services. The recent student movement in Chile and uproar in certain Andean communities over mining projects in Peru are unequivocal signs of this unease.

In earlier times, political promises to resolve the problems would have been enough to ease tensions. But that is no longer the case. In Chile, and even more so in Peru, the political party system is weak and politics focus too much on the personal characteristics of party leaders rather than good policy.

As some political leaders start to resemble reality television stars, it grows ever clearer that leadership needs to be about more than just flashy images and sound bites.

That is particularly important because we are living in an age in which a number of new sources of tension are being added to the usual political debate. The recent discovery of a gold vein just outside of Santiago, underneath a glacier that provides a large amount of the Chilean capital's water, is only one example. The major hydraulic engineering project that is supposed to channel water from the Amazon to Lima is another.

Finding a way to align the interests of businesses, citizens, the economy and the environment requires not only great technical capacity, but also the ability to find a common vision for the long-term. Chile and Peru desperately need leaders with a political vision that goes well beyond a daily popularity contest.

Read more from AméricaEconomía in Spanish

Photo - Dave_B_

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ