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The Chile Portal

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Chile (, ; Spanish: ['t?ile]), officially the Republic of Chile (RepChile.ogg), is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica under the Chilean Antarctic Territory., The arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper and lithium. The relatively small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, and is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands.

Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule in the north and centre, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific (1879-83) after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil. This development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year-long right-wing military dictatorship that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010.

The modern sovereign state of Chile is among South America's most economically and socially stable and prosperous nations, with a high-income economy and high living standards. It leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, and democratic development. Currently it also has the lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Pacific Alliance, and joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2010.

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Sairecabur and Saciel

Sairecabur (Spanish pronunciation: [sai?.?e.ka'?u?]) is a volcano located on the frontier between Bolivia and Chile. It is part of the Andean Central Volcanic Zone. Sairecabur proper is 5,971 metres (19,590 ft) high; other mountains in the range are 5,722 metres (18,773 ft) high Curiquinca, 5,819 metres (19,091 ft) high Escalante and 5,748 metres (18,858 ft) high Cerro Colorado, all of which have erupted a number of lava flows. Also in close proximity to Sairecabur lie the volcanic centres Licancabur, Putana and Juriques.

Sairecabur proper is accompanied by a 4.5-kilometre (2.8 mi) wide caldera. Before the formation of this caldera the volcano may have been 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) high and thus one of the highest volcanoes on Earth. After the formation of this caldera lava effusion occurred during the Pleistocene and Holocene; there is no reported historical activity, however. Eruption products on Escalante and Sairecabur include andesite and dacite. The climate is dry, cold and very sunny. Read more...

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Cape Horn island (Dutch: Kaap Hoorn; Spanish: Cabo de Hornos; named after the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands) is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile.

It is widely considered to be the southern tip of South America. Cape Horn is the most southerly of the great capes, and marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage; for many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world. However, the waters around the cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors' graveyard.

The need for ships to round the horn was greatly reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. However, sailing around the Horn is widely regarded as one of the major challenges in yachting, and a few recreational sailors continue to sail this route, sometimes as part of a circumnavigation of the globe, almost all of these choosing routes through the canals to the north of the actual Cape, though many take a detour through the islands and anchor to wait for fair weather to actually visit Horn Island or even sail around it to replicate a rounding of this historic point. Several prominent ocean yacht races, notably the Vendée Globe, sail around the world via the Horn, and speed records for round-the-world sailing follow the same route.

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Ramón Freire Serrano (November 29, 1787 – December 9, 1851) was a Chilean military and political figure.

Freire was born in Santiago in 1787 but moved to Concepción where he in 1811 joined the independist struggle by entering the army as a cadet. After the collapse of the independent Patria Vieja following a Spanish invasion he and many other Chilean took refuge in independent Argentina.

Freire returned to Chile together with the José de San Martín's Army of the Andes in 1817. Once in Chile Freire was sent with a hundred men to liberate Talca. Later, he fought in the decisive Battle of Maipú.

After the royalist collapse, Freire was named intendant of Concepción, Chile. From that city, he led operations against a mix of outlaws and royalist and Mapuche guerrillas in what has come to been known as the Guerra a muerte ("War to the Death") phase of the Chilean war for independence.

In 1823, Freire rose against the authoritarian government of Bernardo O'Higgins, forcing him to renounce his position as supreme director. The successful insurrection catapulted Freire into becoming head of state himself; in that office, he exiled O'Higgins and abolished slavery.

The following year, 1824, Freire organized an expedition to expel the royalist Spanish from the Chiloé Archipelago, their last stronghold. The expedition failed after republican Jorge Beauchef lost the Battle of Mocopulli. In 1826, Freire tried again to conquer Chiloé, this time leading an army of 2,500 men himself; the governor of Chiloé, Antonio de Quintanilla, surrendered to the superior force.

Freire was again elected head of state in 1827, this time with the title of president; but he resigned the office later the same year. In 1829, José Joaquín Prieto led a successful insurrection that created a junta (a congress of notables), which Freire did not recognise and which he opposed in the Battle of Lircay. After being defeated, he went into exile in Peru. From Peru, he managed to hire two ships with which he planned to capture Chiloé and from there overthrow the new regime. After a secret shipboard mutiny, however, he was handed over to Chilean officials.

Freire then was sent to the prison island of Robinson Crusoe by direct orders from Diego Portales. He returned to mainland Chile only in 1842 and retired from public life. He died in 1851.

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