The thieves have been crisscrossing the globe. In March 2018, police in Halton, a well-to-do municipality west of Toronto, arrested 15 Chileans for 400-plus burglaries that raked in nearly $2 million (U.S.). The group accumulated so much booty that it stashed the excess in a commercial storage locker. Meanwhile, police in England announced they had nabbed nearly 80 Chileans after a prolonged investigation.
“Defendants from Chile have posed a uniquely frustrating challenge because the Chilean government has refused to provide us with the criminal history of Chilean citizens utilizing the ESTA VISA Program to enter the United States,”
The problem will persist as as long as these criminals are able to obtain passports, partly because of corruption within the Registro Civil.
This exportation of the Chilean burglary business has been prominent ever since the inception of the visa waiver mistake, and even before that. It has been so great a problem in southern California that it’s surprising that Chilean and robbery are not formally considered synonyms, as is the case in Argentina.
Until recently the Chilean establishment (of all shades of political colour) successfully projected an image to the rest of the world of a “progressing” country, almost ready to take its place in the developed world.
They got away with this systematic deception because Chile doesn’t matter much in the global context, being geographically remote and economically unimportant. But with having direct contact, our Argentinean neighbours, no saints themselves, don’t share this rosy view of a country, which is, and I suspect always has been to some extent, a whited sepulchre.