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Country Reports

Chile Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Chile has experienced unprecedented levels of civil unrest since 18 October 2019, with massive peaceful protests occurring alongside violent incidents, such as looting and arson. Although the number of violent incidents has significantly declined since December 2019, they occur almost daily, particularly in Santiago city centre and peripheral areas.Protests were triggered by a subway fare increase, but expanded to wider grievances including inequality, the cost of living, pensions, healthcare, and education. Measures announced by the government, such as changes to pension and tax reform currently in Congress, did not quell demonstrators, who demand a deep change in the economic model. On 15 November 2019, the government agreed with most political parties to launch a process for a new constitution, which includes a referendum in April 2020. Isolated incidents of arson and looting are likely to recede in the holiday months of January and February, but to restart in March after the parliamentarian recess and during the political campaign ahead of the referendum. Public transport infrastructure, mainly the Santiago subway (Metro) has been a main target of arson. Retail stores, mainly supermarkets, are main targets of looting. Bank branches, government offices, police stations, restaurants, and churches have also been vandalised.President Sebastián Piñera, although highly unpopular, is unlikely to be removed from office. An impeachment procedure against him launched by left-wing opposition parties failed to advance in Congress. However, calls for the president to step down will increase if there is strong proof of state-sponsored systematic human rights violations during protests, or if the government's social agenda fails to materialise.IHS Markit downgraded Chile’s economic growth forecast for 2019 from 2% to 1.3%, and for 2020 from 2.4% to 1.6%. The effects of the protests will be primarily on domestic demand as well as public policy priorities and government spending.
Last update: January 14, 2020

Operational Outlook

Chile’s operational environment is marked by positive attitudes towards foreign direct investment, highly developed infrastructure, low levels of corruption, and a relatively liberal labour market. Its operational outlook is underpinned by consolidated institutions and solid macroeconomic stability. However, social unrest since October 2019 is likely to lead to some changes in the economic model, including taxation and labour legislation. Increased environmental scrutiny is likely to lead to projects being challenged in courts, causing delays and raising cancellation risks, particularly for mining companies.

Last update: January 15, 2020

Terrorism

Elevated

Chile has faced unprecedented levels of property damage since October 2019, but the commercial and government buildings have been targeted (arson and vandalism) by protesters rather than terrorist groups. Anarchist groups, however, are likely to have participated in many of the violent attacks against property, though the use of IEDs has not been widespread. Mapuche indigenous extremists in the southern Araucanía region often carry out arson attacks on rural estates, cargo trucks, warehouses, and assets of forestry firms, in demand of land ownership and rights.

Last update: December 18, 2019

Crime

Public security remains one of the main concerns of the population despite Chile and its capital Santiago having one of the lowest murder rates in Latin America (3.6 victims per 100,000 inhabitants nationwide and 4.4 in Greater Santiago in 2018). Kidnapping and extortion are almost unheard of. Armed robberies, mugging, and petty crime are more common, and there are regular explosive attacks on automated cash machines (ATMs). Confidence in the police, who have generally enjoyed a good reputation for efficiency and incorruptibility, suffered in 2018 due to embezzlement investigations and allegations of proof manipulation.

Last update: September 21, 2019

War Risks

In October 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Chile did not have the obligation to negotiate with Bolivia sovereign access to the sea, lost during the War of the Pacific (1879–83), but Bolivia is unlikely to drop this demand. There is another dispute with Bolivia at the ICJ, presented by Chile in 2016 over the use of the Silala waters. However, war between both countries is very unlikely.

Last update: December 13, 2019

Social Stability

High

The most violent protests in the last 30 years began in October over high living costs and social grievances, such as low pensions and a poor healthcare system. At least 118 Santiago Metro stations were damaged, hundreds of supermarkets looted, and an estimated USD3-billion-worth of damage to infrastructure, affecting all main cities. The number of violent protests has fallen since December 2019, but they are still a frequent occurrence. Isolated violent incidents are likely to continue, although with the pattern of gradual decline, and spikes during national strikes or large demonstrations. Protests are likely to re-emerge in March when the campaign for the April referendum on a new constitution starts.

Last update: January 21, 2020

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Severe

Chile, spread along the Andes mountain range, is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.

The country is situated along the Nazca fault (north) and experiences a great deal of seismic activity. On February 27, 2010, an extremely violent earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 - one of the strongest earthquakes recorded in over 100 years - struck the country; the earthquake and subsequent tsunami left more than 700 people dead (including 350 in Constitución) and caused considerable material damage. More recently, in September 2015, an 8.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, resulting in material damages in the Coquimbo region and at least 15 deaths, as well as some 3000 aftershocks; the Chilean government received much praise for its prompt response to the earthquake and ensuing tsunami threat. Generally speaking, due to stringent building standards and earthquake-resistant construction techniques, the vast majority of earthquakes do not result in any major infrastructural damages or casualties.

Chile, located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, is also home to a number active volcanoes, e.g. the Calbuco, Guallatiri, Chaitén, Llaima , Lascar, Copahue, etc. Eruptions can lead to evacuations, flight disruptions, and health hazards due to volcanic ash in the air.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

Driving restrictions are regularly introduced in the Santiago region during periods of particularly high air pollution (see HEALTH section). This is most common during the fall and winter months (May to September).

Primary and secondary roads are generally in good condition. However, winter storms can result in hazardous driving conditions and/or closed roads, particularly in mountainous areas (e.g. at border crossings with Argentina) and in the south.

Air travel is safe.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate is arid in the north, Mediterranean in the center (Santiago, Valparaiso), and cold in the south.

In the center of the country, summers (December to February) are hot (28°C) and dry while winters are cool (10°) and rainy. Heading south, the climate becomes temperate but rainy throughout the year with the exception of summer. In the extreme south of the country (Patagonia), temperatures are cool (11°C in the summer) with regular rain and strong winds throughout the year.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +56
Ambulance: 131
Police: 133
Fire Dept.: 132

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019