Lessons for Chile?

Bukele defending (in English) the system El Salvador used to recover control, and criticizing buenista solutions that don’t work outside the civilized world.

“…Take your best European government, set it to govern Afghanistan. They’ll be dead in a week!..”

Ever since the reforma procesal penal, Chile has been in thrall to the UN, the OECD and the multitude of Human Rights organizations that attempt to apply First World solutions to Third World problems. And despite all the efforts to convince the rest of the world that Chile is an “advanced” nation, it unfortunately remains in that latter category, at least culturally and morally, as evidenced by the events of the last few years.

Typically, the BBC reporter phrased his questions in English, with the cultural arrogance so often displayed when dealing with Latinos.


An inspiring leader.

I’m not a Bukele fanboy; what do they say about absolute power?

Trouble is that Latin America, including Chile, has been mismanaged for years now by corrupt self-seeking elites who dont give a hoot about building a decent society.

Chile is only country in S. America where the tap water is drinkable Guess when Chile implemented its potable water programme?

Bukele brushes aside claims that he is forming a single-party state, pointing to his landslide victory and broad support. There’s an understandable tendency to overlook rule-bending for expedience in deeply troubled nations, but if robust institutions don’t constrain El Salvador’s political majority, it could become yet another Latin American dictatorship.

Not exactly true. There are many parts of Argentina where the municipal water is completely potable – safe and decent to drink. The government claims that 80 percent of the country has access to fully potable water. That is likely a reasonable assessment and not so very different from Chile, if the truth be known.

I just spent a pleasant holiday week in Puerto Madryn and used the tap water. It tasted like tap water but I have not grown antennae or suffered from it.

On the other hand, as of 2017 – the numbers that I had – more than half of the rural residences in Chile had no domestic water treatment (a curious way to say probably not potable). In the rural area where I own two properties in Chile, only about half of the place has treated water and the nearby municipal water supplier refuses to extend service to them but did agree to serve a large hotel in the same area. That same rural enclave dumps its untreated sewage into the waters of the Pacific not far from that hotel… irony…

In 2023 one study found that some 40 percent of the rural schools in Chile lacked access to potable water. The Amulén study for 2023 showed 47 percent of the rural population of Chile lacking in “regular” access to potable water.

I’d have to say that the “Where you can drink tap water” graphic is inaccurate and essentially rubbish, and that Chile’s usual overly optimistic “public relations” representations are not to be believed.

I stand corrected! :hot_face:

But here’s a more detailed analysis. In most places it seems wise not to trust the tap water:

Tap Water in Argentina

  • Potable: Generally, yes but be careful in rural areas.
  • Okay for tooth brushing: Yes.
  • Ice: Safe to consume.

The “be careful in rural areas” is equally true in Chile.

NB: I personally find “South America Backpacker” to be unreliable, superficial, and amateurish (if not childish), too often the unschooled notions of coddled six-day tourists (at best) . Re-reading their opinions on Argentina I suspect the writers have never been to the country and are parroting the bockety nonsense of others. Their counsel for water use by visitors is sadly lacking and reveals a disturbing fundamental absence of knowledge of the rather large region and practical local measures.


Just like the BBC stringers, the same ones whose articles also appear in the Guardian, and elsewhere. Seems that any hack who can churn out the sort of rubbish acceptable to the progre West can make enough money to support their nomadic lifestyle.