“The New Colors of the Chilean Society” Mónica Nanjari, DW, 9 April 2017

“The problem is that Chilean society doesn’t seem prepared to welcome the bulk of Colombians, Haitians, Venezuelans, Ecuadorians and Dominicans part of the migration changing Chile.”

This South-to-South migration has its origins in the search for work and a better standard of living. But the migrants who arrive in Chile encounter a rejection and prejudice that manifests itself in daily life. According to the doctor in Sociology María Emilia Tijoux, “what’s happening is that Chilean society has a negative reaction and builds a series of myths and falsehoods about immigration. They don’t see with the same eyes people who comes from Germany, Sweden, Argentina or China”. The problems faced by migrants in Chile are compounded by the lack of legislation to safeguard them and make them subjects of rights. Although the current administration of Michelle Bachelet had announced a preliminary project that sought to create an institution dedicated to immigrants, over time that promise was diluted and today it is very difficult for Parliament to manage to dispatch the expected law in this Government. After Santiago, the regions of the Great North of Chile concentrate the greater mass of immigrants. The reason is the job search in an eminently mining area, where there is high flow of money. Pablo Rojas, social psychologist and leader of the intercultural table in Antofagasta, explains that "in the case of Latin American migrants, they are linked to services companies related to the mining industry, an area that doesn’t report large incomes and where there is a Series of vulnerabilities and exploitation. The group of Afro-Latino people from Colombia and Ecuador have been associated with sex work, drug trafficking and delinquency, which in the long run has resulted in criminalization of poor and black migrants. There is a problem at the institutional level and at the social and cultural level this problem only increases.

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“The New Colors of the Chilean Society” Mónica Nanjari, DW, 9 April 2017


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