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Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile covers an area of 756,096 square kilometres (291,930 sq mi), with a population of 17.5 million as of 2017. Chile is the southernmost country in the world, the closest to Antarctica, and borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chile also controls the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Isla Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. It also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica under the Chilean Antarctic Territory. The country's capital and largest city is Santiago, and its national language is Spanish.

Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. In 1818, after declaring independence from Spain, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific (1879–83) after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 20th century up to the 1970s Chile saw a process of democratization, rapid population growth and urbanization and increasing reliance on exports from copper mining for its economy. During the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil. This development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year right-wing military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime ended in 1990 after a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled until 2010.

Chile is a developing country with a high-income economy and ranks 43rd in the Human Development Index. It is among the most economically and socially stable nations in South America, leading Latin America in rankings of competitiveness, per capita income, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. Chile also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, democratic development, and has the lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada. It is a founding member of the United Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Pacific Alliance, and joined the OECD in 2010. (Full article...)

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El Laco is a volcanic complex in the Antofagasta Region of Chile. It is directly south of the Cordón de Puntas Negras volcanic chain. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, it is a group of seven stratovolcanoes and a caldera. It is about two million years old. The main summit of the volcano is a lava dome called Pico Laco, which is variously reported to be 5,325 metres (17,470 ft) or 5,472 metres (17,953 ft) high. The edifice has been affected by glaciation, and some reports indicate that it is still fumarolically active.

The volcano is known for its magnetite-containing lava flows of enigmatic origin. In total, there are four lava flows and two dykes, as well as a formation of uncertain nature. In addition to lava flow structures, pyroclastics containing iron oxide are also found within the complex. The magmas formed within a magma chamber with a volume of about 30 cubic kilometres (7.2 cu mi); whether the iron-rich lavas are native magnetite lavas or were formed by hydrothermal processes acting on regular rock is under debate. After their discovery in 1958, these iron deposits have been mined. Similar deposits of volcanic iron oxide exist in Australia, Chile, and Iran. (Full article...)
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Bust of Lautaro
Bust of Lautaro

Lautaro (Englished as 'Levtaru') (Mapudungun: Lef-Traru "swift hawk") (Spanish pronunciation: [lawˈtaɾo]; 1534? – April 29, 1557) was a young Mapuche toqui known for leading the indigenous resistance against Spanish conquest in Chile and developing the tactics that would continue to be employed by the Mapuche during the long-running Arauco War. Levtaru was captured by Spanish forces in his early youth, and he spent his teenage years as a personal servant of chief conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, but escaped in 1551. Back among his people he was declared toqui and led Mapuche warriors into a series of victories against the Spanish, culminating in the Battle of Tucapel in December 1553, where Pedro of Valdivia was killed. The outbreak of a typhus plague, a drought and a famine prevented the Mapuche from taking further actions to expel the Spanish in 1554 and 1555. Between 1556 and 1557, a small group of Mapuche commanded by Levtaru attempted to reach Santiago to liberate the whole of Central Chile from Spanish rule. Levtaru's attempts ended in 1557 when he was killed in an ambush by the Spanish.

Today, Levtaru is revered among Mapuche and non-Mapuche Chileans for his resistance against foreign conquest, servitude and cruelty. (Full article...)
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Problems related to human rights in Chile include discrimination against indigenous populations; societal violence and discrimination against women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people; child labor; and harsh prison conditions and treatment. Additional human rights concerns in the country include use of excessive force and abuse by security forces, isolated reports of government corruption, and anti-Semitism. Authorities generally maintain effective control over the security forces. However, security forces occasionally commit human rights abuses. The government generally takes steps to prosecute officials who commit abuses. Nevertheless, many human rights organizations contend that security officials accused of committing abuses have impunity.

Human rights violations by the military and security forces in Chile were widespread during the rule of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Estimates of the number killed and "disappeared" during the Pinochet regime range as high as 17,000. (Full article...)
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    A 360 degree panorama of a unique cloudscape over La Silla
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    Culpeo MC
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    Laguna Miñiques, Chile, 2016-02-08, DD 33-38 PAN
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    Laser Towards Milky Ways Centre
  • Miscanti Lagoon near San Pedro de Atacama Chile Luca Galuzzi 2006
    Miscanti Lagoon near San Pedro de Atacama Chile Luca Galuzzi 2006
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