Chile Country Report
President Sebastián Piñera took office in March 2018 and aims to review tax and labour regulations (simplifying the tax system and increasing flexibility in working conditions), and pass pension reform to raise contributions. His coalition lacks a majority in Congress and the opposition is likely to block or dilute his agenda. Disruption in Santiago is likely during protests by students and civil society organisations demanding equal rights and pension reform. Some fringe Mapuche indigenous groups carry arson attacks in southern Chile against agriculture, forestry, and cargo companies over land issues. Anarchist groups sometimes mount sporadic, small, improvised explosive device attacks, mostly in Santiago against banks, cash machines, government buildings, stores, andpublic transportation. Rising copper prices are likely to contribute to economic growth, projected at 3.4% in 2018.
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. The economy is robust and the country has a well-educated population. Foreign companies are treated the same as domestic companies in almost all industries. Chile's operational outlook is underpinned by consolidated institutions and solid macroeconomic stability. However, mining companies face high, although declining, energy prices, strikes and environmental scrutiny, which can lead to project delays and cancellation risks.
Terrorism risks in Chile remain low, but there is a moderate risk of anarchist groups targeting banks, public transport infrastructure, offices, and government buildings with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mostly in the capital Santiago. Two IED attacks against the Santiago metro in July and September 2014 injured at least 14 people. However, these groups consist of a handful of members and appear disorganised. 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.
Chile has two disputes with Bolivia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Bolivia presented a case in 2013 over its claim for sovereign access to the sea, lost during the War of the Pacific (1879–83). A ruling is expected for 2018–19. In 2016, Chile presented another case to the ICJ over the use of the Silala waters. However, war between both countries is very unlikely.
Demonstrations by students, teachers, workers, and civil society occur in Santiago, Valparaíso, and Concepción. Alameda Avenue and Plaza Italia in Santiago are hotspots for protests, although they spread throughout the city centre and occasionally upmarket neighbourhoods, including Providencia. Demonstrations are generally peaceful, but sometimes result in confrontations with police. Looting of stores and damage to bank branches and transport infrastructure can occur. There is a risk of indigenous Mapuche unrest in Araucanía region over land issues; roadblocks and arson attacks on forestry firms' property are likely.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz