Valparaiso’s Decline Leaves Unesco World Heritage Site Graffitied, Crumbling

"The sense of decline in Echaurren Plaza, near the heart of the World Heritage site in Valparaiso, Chile, is palpable.

On a typical Sunday afternoon, the Emporio Echaurren cafe has pulled down its metal blinds to avoid attempted robberies. Around the corner from the burned out shell of the Subercaseaux palace, buildings stand abandoned, with their roofs caved in and squatters occupying the ground floors.

“It’s enough to make you cry,” said Cecilia Jimenez, an architect who helped with the bid to become a World Heritage Site in 2003. “There was an enormous energy back then, but that has died.”

Valpo has always been a bit of a mess, but it seems the 2019 chaos has somehow made it even worse. Same story as most of Chile’s major cities, the “estillado” has turned them in to lawless, violent, trash and graffiti-strewn dumps.

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It’s hard to dismiss this report as Bloomberg facho propaganda, but I bet they try.

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Obvio es culpa de Piñera, Pino y los pacos.

Claro. The estallido social and their inept mayor Sharp had nothing to do with it. It’s sad. My husband and I used to like to spend long weekends there every so often. He also got some free stays in Olmué through his Caja de Compensación and we’d always take the Metrotren to visit Valparaíso on those trips.

From that article:

“If I look back at photographs taken when I arrived, the city is beautiful and fresh with bright colors,” Shelton, 58, said. “A certain amount of decay has set in.

British understatement of the year.

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