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Example of recent expressions of Bolivian irredentism over territorial losses in the War of the Pacific (1879-1884). In the mural it is written; "What once was ours, will be ours once again", and "Hold fast rotos (Chileans), for here come the Colorados of Bolivia"

Anti-Chilean sentiment refers to a diverse spectrum of prejudices, dislikes or fears of Chile, Chileans, or Chilean culture. Anti-Chilean sentiment is most prevalent in the neighbors of Chile; Argentina, Bolivia and Peru particularly in the later two that lost the War of the Pacific in the 19th century to Chile.

Hostile rethoric toward Chile and Chileans have historically emanated from the political elite of neighboring countries. In the case of Argentina anti-Chilean sentment rose high around 1900 due to border disputes with Chile, and Chiles rise to a regional power after the War of the Pacific. During the Beagle conflict in the 1970s anti-Chilean discourses were common as Argentina prepared for a war of aggression towards Chile. Anti-Chilean speeches in Argentina are common.

In Bolivia anti-Chilean sentment is fueled by Bolivian claims for territory in the Pacific coast. A common political discourse attributes, at least partly, Bolivias underdevelopment to its loss of seaports in the War of the Pacific becoming thus a landlocked country.

In Peru and Bolivia the word roto (literally "tattered") is used to refer disdainfully to Chileans. In Argentina the word Chilote is the degrading term for Chileans, instead of Chileno which is the correct word for Chilean. Normally a Chilote is an inhabitant of the Archipelago of Chiloé but in Argentina the word have been picked up to describe any Chilean. It is used to label his "coastal condition", which include stereotypes of laziness and poverty that are associated with Chiloé.

Examples of anti-Chilean discourses

Argentina, 1978

Argentine General Luciano Benjamin Menendez was a leading advocate for war during the 1978 Beagle conflict, and was known for of his aggressive and vulgar discourse against Chileans: «Si nos dejan atacar a los chilotes, los corremos hasta la isla de Pascua, el brindis de fin de año lo hacemos en el Palacio La Moneda y después iremos a mear el champagne en el Pacífico»[1](Translation: «If they let us attack the Chileans, we'll chase them to Easter Island, we'll drink the New Year's Eve toast in the Palacio de La Moneda, and then we'll piss the champagne into the Pacific»).

Peru, 2006-2007

Peruvian General Edwin Donayre became the center of an international controversy on November 24, 2008, when Peruvian media showed a YouTube video in which the general said "We are not going to let Chileans pass by (...) [A] Chilean who enters will not leave. Or will leave in a coffin. And if there aren't sufficient coffins, there will be plastic bags". The video, dated to 2006 or 2007, was recorded during a private party at a friend's house attended by army officials and civilians. The comments made reference to a possible invasion of Peru by Chile, and what would happen to Chilean troops if they entered Peru. These comments caused widespread indignation in Chile, making headlines in the El Mercurio newspaper. The Peruvian president, Alan García, called his Chilean counterpart, Michelle Bachelet, to explain that these remarks did not reflect official Peruvian policy. Bachelet declared herself satisfied with the explanations.[2]

On November 28, in response to this incident, a Chilean government spokesman stated that a scheduled visit to Chile by the Peruvian defense minister, Antero Flores Aráoz, might be inopportune given the circumstances. The following day, Flores Aráoz announced his decision to postpone his trip after conferring with the Foreign Affairs Minister, José García Belaúnde. Several members of the Peruvian government commented on the spokesman's remarks including president García who said the country "did not accept pressure or orders from anybody outside of Peru".[3] Donayre defended the video, declaring that Peruvian citizens have a right to say whatever they want at private gatherings and that even though he is scheduled to retire on December 5 he will not be forced to resign early under external pressure. As a consequence of these exchanges, tensions between Peru and Chile rose again; president Bachelet met with top aides on December 1 to discuss the matter and possible courses of action. Meanwhile, in Lima, Congressman Gustavo Espinoza became the center of attention as the main suspect of leaking the video to Chilean press and politicians.[4] Donayre ended his tenure as Commanding General of the Army on December 5, 2008, as expected; president Alan García appointed General Otto Guibovich as his replacement.[5]


  1. See Diario El Centro, Chile, also in Diario Página12
  2. CNN, Peru leader rejects top general's remarks on Chile, November 26, 2008. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  3. Reuters, Peru leader rejects top general's remarks on Chile, November 29, 2008. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  4. CNN, Chileans angry over Peru general's 'body bag' remark, December 1, 2008. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  5. Living in Peru, Peru appoints new army chief, replaces Donayre, December 5, 2008. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.


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