Skip to main content

Chile's Government Pledges Support for Transantiago

By Nathan Gill and Sebastian Boyd
     Sept. 2, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Chile's government pledged to fund Santiago's public transportation system after a newspaper reported that a loan made to develop the capital's transit network was unconstitutional.
     President Michelle Bachelet will ask the country's Constitutional Tribunal to clarify its decision on the $400 million loan after the verdict was apparently leaked to the press, government spokesman Francisco Vidal said today.
     Finance Minister Andres Velasco and Transport Minister Rene Cortazar may risk impeachment should the tribunal rule the loan was unconstitutional, Senator Camilo Escalona, head of Bachelet's Socialist Party, said yesterday. Opposition senators asked the tribunal in June to rule on whether a government guarantee of the Inter-American Development Bank loan to a company that runs Transantiago's finances is allowed under Chile's charter.
     ``We are going to persevere with our objective,'' Vidal said. ``The objective is to improve public transport in the whole of Chile, keep the fares in the capital region and subsidize, that is reduce, the price of bus tickets in practically all the metropolitan region.''
     The government will continue to push a bill providing money for Transantiago through the Senate, Vidal said. A law giving as much as 197 billion pesos ($383 million) in annual funding for transportation in Santiago and other regions was approved by one vote in the Congressional Chamber of Deputies last month.
     As much as $300 million of the IDB's loan may have already been spent, El Mercurio reported yesterday on its Web site.
     The court has already decided the loan was illegal, La Tercera reported in its print edition on Aug. 30, citing unnamed members of the tribunal, which has yet to officially announce its verdict.
     ``We know there was a leak; we don't know if it's true or false,'' Vidal said. ``Hopefully the decision can be announced as soon as possible.''
     Design flaws have dogged Transantiago since it was introduced in February last year. Within a month, commute times doubled because of shortages of buses and subway trains, leading Bachelet to sack the transport minister who had overseen its launch.
     There are still between 600 and 700 fewer buses than needed on Santiago's streets, Cortazar said on Aug. 30. He had earlier threatened to strip bus companies of their concessions if they don't increase the number of vehicles on the road.
     Transantiago's administrators sought the Inter-American Development Bank loan after posting an $88 million loss in the first quarter of this year.


Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

"Open" and "Closed" Regionalism Theories

(Apr. 3, 2008) The terms "Open" and "closed" regionalism refer to the degree in which regional blocks allow nonmember nations to access their markets. In this sense, an "open region" is one with few, if any, external trade restrictions while a "closed region" can be defined as one whose external trade policies seek to restrict commerce with nations outside the region.Closed regionalism as practiced in Latin America grew out of the policy suggestions made by UN ECLAC/CEPAL school of dependency theory in the early 1960s. As discussed earlier, proponents of this policy argued that states should form regional alliances with a series of trade barriers against foreign products to foment regional industrialization and assure captive local markets for these manufactured goods. The failure of this system of integration to meet Latin America's economic goals became apparent during the 1980s and was further highlighted by the strong economic performanc…

Greetings From Gringolandia

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 28 — April 3, 2016
Susan Lamy and her husband, Jean Pierre, owned a successful interior design business in Westport, Conn., but they still worried about how they would make ends meet in retirement. “Just paying for the basic necessities was killing us, and we could see that there was no way that we would ever be able to stop working,” says Lamy. 
The search for an affordable retirement spot led the couple to Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site in Ecuador’s southern Andes. They settled there in 2013 and now live in a spacious apartment with a terrace overlooking the Yanuncay River. Lamy says she and her husband enjoy a high standard of living in Cuenca for around $2,500 a month, paid for by their Social Security checks: “This seemed to be the best possibility for having a really terrific life on a fixed income.” 
The combination of a subtropical climate, well-preserved colonial architecture, and low cost of living has made Cuenca a magnet for North Ameri…