Chileans have had a troubling history with dictatorship, corruption, and violence. Beginning in 1974, a year after General Augusto Pinochet rose to power in a coup that was backed by the United States.
Today’s headlines surrounding Latin America illustrate a continent full of raging protests in Nicaragua, political oppression in Venezuela, and economic crisis’s in countries like Brazil and Argentina. Yet, there lies one country with significant stability compared to its Latin American brethren. Chile, although it encompasses a similar history to its neighbors, including economic instability, socialism, and military dictatorships—persists as a Latin American success story.
On August 1, 2017, activist Santiago Maldonado was detained by Argentine police at an indigenous rights rally in Patagonia and has not been seen since. According to José Miguel Vivanco of the Human Rights Watch Organization (2017), Maldonado was visiting a Mapuche Indigenous community to stand in solidarity with their opposition to the extradition of an indigenous leader.