In October 2008, Chile's trade commission, "ProChile," hired Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for a multi-year contract to "position the Chilean country brand in eight countries" and "provide Chile with messaging, media relations, digital communications and digital influence, support and counsel for events, trade shows, partnerships and sponsorships." Ogilvy offices in Chicago, Santiago, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Madrid, Mexico City and Dusseldorf will work on the Chile contract. 
One of Chile's "last true wildernesses," a forest valley along the Pascua River in Patagonia, is "threatened by a vast hydroelectric project planned by corporations from Chile, Italy, Spain and Canada," reported the San Francisco Chroncile in April 2008. "Known as HidroAysen, the $4 billion project involves the construction of five large dams, some topping 330 feet in height, designed to produce 2,750 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to three midsize nuclear power stations and enough to boost energy-hungry Chile's power supply by 20 percent." 
The Chilean government says the project is necessary, especially since Argentina is decreasing natural gas exports. Environmentalists argue that it will harm 14 national parks and natural reserves, and may lead to more "hydroelectric and industrial projects throughout Patagonia." To overcome the opposition, the HidroAysen consortium hired the major U.S. public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. At the PR firm's urging, HidroAysen "funded a celebrity-studded media blitz, printing giveaway items lavishly illustrated with images" of the area, "despite the fact that most of the locations shown would likely be flooded or visually marred by 150-foot pylons and high-tension cables if the dams were built." 
Isla Riesco Project
In August 2011, a specially appointed government commission of Chile gave the green light for work to begin on the first of five mines on the Isla Riesco, near scenic Patagonia, despite accusations of President Sebastian Pinera's vested interests and an opposition campaign. The country's chief national oversight body, the Comptroller General, cleared Pinera of any conflict of interest in the deal but couldn't silence critics. Local residents fear pollution will harm residents' health, while campaigner Chile Sustenable, a non-government organization, said the mines would increase carbon emissions by 360 percent. Opponents of the project plan to appeal to the Supreme Court. 
Up to 59 percent of planned new power generation capacity in Chile is set to be coal-based. National Energy Commission data indicated Chile is already the third largest CO2 emissions polluter in South America.
On December 11, 2005, "Chile held presidential and parliamentary elections. As expected by analysts and predicted by pre-election opinion polls, Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate of the Concertacion coalition that has governed the country since the fall of the military dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1990, received a large plurality of the votes, nearly doubling the totals of her two conservative rivals." --PINR
Chile had a long tradition of political stability and civil liberty until 1973, when the elected Marxist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown. General Augusto Pinochet maintained dictatorial rule for 16 years until democracy was restored in 1989. 
Articles and resources
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- Chile, National Geographic, accessed November 2007.
- "Chilean Trade Organization Selects Ogilvy," Holmes Report (sub req'd), October 19, 2008.
- Colin Barraclough, "Chile plans to dam Patagonia wilderness," San Francisco Chronicle, April 7, 2008.
- Benjamin Schneider "Ministers approve massive coal mine in southern Chile" The Santiago Times, Aug. 15, 2011.
- "Chile goes ahead with coal mine project" UPI, Aug. 17, 2011.
- Country profile: Chile BBC, accessed November 2007.
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