South America: Chile

About Chile

A three-year-old Marxist government was overthrown in 1973 by a dictatorial military regime led by Augusto PINOCHET, which ruled until a freely elected president was installed in 1990. Sound economic policies, first implemented by the PINOCHET dictatorship, led to unprecedented growth in 1991-97 and have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government. Growth slowed in 1998-99, but recovered strongly in 2000.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Santiago
Population: 15,328,467 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 22% (1998 est.)
Language: Spanish
Date of independence: 18 September 1810 (from Spain)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower
Environmental Issues: air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage
Agricultural Products: wheat, corn, grapes, beans, sugar beets, potatoes, fruit; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber
Imports: consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food
Exports: copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 24%, EU 23%, Argentina 11%, Brazil 6%, Japan 6%, Mexico 5% (1998)
EXPORTS: EU 27%, US 16%, Japan 14%, Brazil 6%, Argentina 5% (1998)


Chile Headlines


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