Chilean conservative casts chord in rural areas with “firm hands” and command messages.

Farmer Luis Hara and his family are candidates for Far Right Republican President José Antonio Kast while preparing to attend a campaign rally for Cast in southern Yumbel, Chile, on November 23, 2021. Take a picture next to the flag. Photo taken November 23, 2021. REUTERS / Juan Gonzalez

November 25, 2021

Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

Santiago (Reuters) – In the countryside of Chile, the message of conservative presidential candidate Jose Antonio Cust about the importance of tackling crime and illegal immigrants was touching.

Cust, often compared to Brazil’s candid President Jail Bolsonaro, found an audience that accepted his “law and order” message and drove him to victory in the first round https: / / head-polls-with-two-radically-different-visions-ballot-2021-11-21.

This is a problem for leftist candidate Gabriel Bolic, who has become prominent as a student protest leader, but more than the central support of young voters in the city to win the second round on December 19th. You need to convince the stuff.

With two very different visions of Chile’s future, Caste and Bolic face each other in the finals, and Caste is a slight favorite.

His message of law and order is the key.

Many Chileans say they are fed up with crime, illegal immigrants and anxiety. Regular protests against inequality in recent years have filled sidewalks with leaflets and graffiti, exhausting residents.

Desolate southern regions such as the northernmost region of Chile (high levels of immigration) and the desolate southern part of La Araucania, where a state of emergency has been declared due to the state and Mapuche indigenous groups demanding their return. Concerns are particularly high in the state. Of ancestral lands.

“The people there want a solid hand,” said Alberto Sevalos, 42, a voter in the forestry industry, who lives in southern Nuble. His work often takes him to La Araucania.

According to Sevalos, many voters like him have associated Bolic with widespread protests. In 2019, clashes with police and property were destroyed, burned down, and sometimes violent.

“At Nuble, people are diligent and traditional. They don’t want to lose what they have achieved at great effort and sacrifice,” he said.

In Nuble, Kast won far more than double the votes of Boric in the first round, and there was an even bigger gap in La Araucania.

Immigration camp

In the sparsely populated desert region of Bolivia and Peru, Cust also won the first round, putting Borick in third place.

“Only Cust offers a clear solution,” said Melitza Lopez, 34, a nurse in the northern port city of Iquique.

Iquique has been heading in recent months. Many struck in protests by residents over immigrants from Venezuela, setting up tents in city squares. The immigrant camp was cleared by police and the property of the immigrant family was burned.

Lopez said he was worried about going to the city center because he was afraid of street violence and crime.

“It’s not that we don’t want foreigners to come here anymore, it’s legally coming and contributing to the country,” she said. “Iquique is a small town and overflowing.”

According to police statistics, Chile had a murder in 2020, but Chile was one of the least violent countries in Latin America. Fundacion Paz Ciudadana, a non-profit organization of crime and justice in Chile, said this year the number of victims of crime has not changed significantly in the last two decades.

But that perception remains, and in the wake of the first vote, 35-year-old Boric talked about his efforts in crime and drug trafficking. This is one of the first times he turned his attention to this subject.

He had good victories in and around the capital Santiago, and narrow victories far south of his hometown of Magajanes and Antarctica in Chile. But he won only in four of Chile’s 16 regions, while Cust won ten.

Professor Miguel Angel Lopez of the University of Chile’s Institute for Public Affairs and the Institute for International Studies said the north was traditionally leaning to the left, but the south was generally conservative.

But to beat voters far from the capital, Bolic needs to take momentum from Cast’s popular law and order vortex.

“The region wants more participation and greater development,” Lopez said. “In the north, immigration is one factor, but it is one of many.”

Chile: Find Votes (Interactive Graphics)

Chile: Find Vote

Chile: Cust Fortress

Chile: Cust Fortress (interactive graphics)

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(Report by Nathalia Ramos, edited by Fabian Cambello, Adam Jordan, Rosalva O’Brien)

Chilean conservative casts chord in rural areas with “firm hands” and command messages

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