Weekly Report - 19 May 2022 (WR-22-20)

Boric’s torrid start gets even worse

The well-meaning but improvised attempt by the government led by President Gabriel Boric to resolve a longstanding conflict with the indigenous Mapuche came to an abrupt end on 16 May when the interior minister, Izkia Siches, decreed a state of exception in two regions in southern Chile. Barely two months after taking office and ending the state of exception decreed by his predecessor Sebastián Piñera (2018-2022), which he had publicly excoriated, Boric has now emulated him. Returning to the status quo ante is a humiliating climbdown for Boric whose authority is being eroded as swiftly as his popularity is fading. As if this were not enough to reckon with, Chile joined what was previously an exclusive club, with somewhat fast-and-loose members, by edging into double-digit inflation.

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