ANTOFAGASTA – President Piñera paid the northern region of Antofagasta a visit, discussing government investments and a new migration law. The northern borders of Chile suffer from illegal migration. For Piñera reason for some violent language, threatening to defend the Chilean borders with “machetes if necessary”.
“This program intends to invest US$41 billion,” Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera started his speech on Thursday in front of La Portada, a tourist icon in the northern city of Antofagasta. He was talking about the Regional Development Plan for Antofagasta, even though (or because of) residents say the government forgets their region while it’s the biggest producer of copper in the area.
The president’s plan has four pillars: employment growth, territorial development, security and protection, and health and education. In addition, he announced that work will be done to improve the quality of inhabitants’ life, infrastructure, telecommunications, tourism, housing and mining.
“It never happened in the history of this region that the Chilean government invested as much as what we will invest over the next four years, and the next government should continue with this work.”
Considered the heart of copper production, the Antofagasta region has a noticeable growth of employment, especially in the cities of Antofagasta and Calama. For this reason, Piñera said that new roads to connect Carmen Alto with Calama, Antofagasta with Iquique, and Caldera with Antofagasta will be built, as well as new water networks.
The municipality of Antofagasta already started implementing new plans for new housing for thousands of residents. However, the president pointed out that his government is planning new housing solutions for more than 14,000 families and will begin closing three refugee camps in the region.
Defend the borders with “machetes”
President Piñera also mentioned some details about Chile’s new immigration law, and that the government intends to have new immigration regulations to have secure borders. He promised to close the borders and defend them with a “machete” if necessary.
“We will close our doors to stop those who come to cause damage, to commit crimes and those who come to alter public order,” he added.
In spite of that, Piñera welcomes those wanting to enter Chile for tourism or trade saying that, “our philosophy is simple; our doors are open for those who want to come and to comply with our laws and to those who want to develop Chile.”
After his trip to Antofagasta, Piñera wants to pay a visit to the Region of La Araucanía on Monday, January 28. This would be the second trip there, after the death of Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca last November. Nonetheless, sources said that an exact date for the visit has yet to be confirmed .
Mohammad Arafat, 26, is a graduate of the Islamic University of Gaza, where he studied English. He aspires to become “a voice for people, expressing their hopes and pains, helping them pursue their dreams in the face of adversity and demonstrating that every life matters.” A freelance writer, Mohammad already has self-published his own book, “Still Living There,” which he disseminates through Amazon.