Chilean Antarctic Territory

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Chilean Antarctic Territory
Territorio Chileno Antártico
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Country  Chile
Region  Magallanes y Antártica Chilena
Province Antártica Chilena
Commune Antártica
Foundation November 6, 1940
 • Intendant Jorge Flies Añón
 • Mayor Hugo Henriquez Matus
 • INACH Director José Retamales
 • Total 1,250,000 km2 (480,000 sq mi)
Population (2012 Census)[3]
 • Total 115
 • Density 9.2×10−5/km2 (0.00024/sq mi)
 • Urban 0
 • Rural 115
 • Men 100
 • Women 15
Time zone UTC-3
Area code(s) 56 + 61
Website Official website (Spanish)
1 As mayor of the commune of Cabo de Hornos
Night view of Villa Las Estrellas, the only civil settlement.

The Chilean Antarctic Territory (Spanish: Territorio Chileno Antártico) is the territory in Antarctica claimed by Chile. The Chilean Antarctic Territory ranges from 53°W to 90°W and from the South Pole to 60°S, partially overlapping the Argentine and British Antarctic claims. It is administered by the Cabo de Hornos municipality in the South American mainland.

The territory claimed by Chile covers the South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, called '"Tierra de O'Higgins" (O'Higgins Land) in Chile, and adjacent islands, the Alexander Island, Charcot Island, and part of the Ellsworth Land, among others. It has an area of 257.6 km² 1250. Its boundaries are defined by Decree 1747, issued on November 6, 1940 and published on June 21, 1955.

Within Chilean territorial organization Antártica is the name of the commune that administers the territory. The comune of Antártica is managed by the municipality of Cabo de Hornos with seat in Puerto Williams and belongs to Antártica Chilena Province, which is part of Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region. The commune of Antártica was created on July 11, 1961, and was dependent on the Magallanes Province until 1975, when the Antártica Chilena Province was created, making it dependent administratively on Puerto Williams, the province capital.


According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Antártica spans an area of 1,250,000 km2 (482,628 sq mi) and has 130 inhabitants (115 men and 15 women), making the commune an entirely rural area. The population fell by 11.5% (15 people) between the 2002 and 2012 censuses.[3] This does not include the staff of non-Chilean bases in the area.[citation needed]

Census districts[edit]

The commune consists of two census districts:[4]

Permanent Chilean Bases, stations and settlements[edit]

List of Chilean Antarctic Bases:

Name Country Location Type
Base General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme  Chile Antarctic Peninsula P
Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva  Chile King George Island P
Base Profesor Julio Escudero  Chile King George Island P
Base Capitán Arturo Prat  Chile Greenwich Island P
Estación Polar Científica Conjunta "Glaciar Unión"  Chile Union Glacier S
Refugio Julio Ripamonti  Chile Ardis Island S
Base Doctor Guillermo Mann  Chile Livingston Island S
Base Presidente Gabriel Gonzalez Videla  Chile Paradise Bay S
Refugio Luis Risopatrón  Chile Robert Island S
Base Yelcho  Chile Doumer Island S

(P): Permanent; Are open all the year. (S): Seasonal; Are open in the Austral Summer.

Chilean Antarctic Territory map in Spanish, Chilean names. It shows the Chilean research stations.

The largest population center is located on King George Island and consists of Frei Montalva Station, which has an airport (Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Martin Aerodrome, ICAO Code SCRM [1]), and which is connected to the communal capital, the village of Villa Las Estrellas, which has a town hall, hotel, day-care center, school, scientific equipment, hospital, post office and bank. This enclave is a center of logistical support for the other eight countries with scientific bases on King George Island.

Nearby Professor Julio Escudero Base, controlled by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), under the Ministry of Foreign Relations, is the main Chilean scientific facility in Antarctica.

Captain Arturo Prat Base is a Chilean Antarctic research base located on Greenwich Island. Opened February 6, 1947, it is the oldest Chilean Antarctic station. Until March 1, 2006, it was a base of the Chilean Navy, on which date it was handed over to the regional government of Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region. Until February, 2004, it had been a permanent base. Afterwards, it had served as a summer base of ionospheric and meteorologic research. There have been plans to reopen the station for permanent occupation starting March, 2008.

The only permanent Chilean station on the Antarctic mainland (Antarctic Peninsula), O'Higgins Station has been in operation since February 18, 1948. It is located on Puerto Covadonga and it is the official communal capital.[citation needed]

Seasonal Chilean bases[edit]

Penguins near President Gabriel González Videla Base, in 1957.
Inauguration of the "Estación Polar Científica Conjunta "Glaciar Unión"" By the President Sebastián Piñera Echenique on January 4, 2014.


Conmemorative stamp of the Chilean Arntarctic declaration of 1940.

The commune is governed from Puerto Williams in the Cabo de Hornos commune from its municipal office located at O'Higgins 165.[1] Chilean law allows a municipality to govern more than one commune, however, this is the only such case. As a commune, Antártica is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Hugo Henriquez Matus (PRSD).[2]

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Antártica is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Carolina Goic (PDC) and Miodrag Marinovic (Ind.) as part of the 60th electoral district, which includes the entire Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region. The commune is represented in the Senate by Carlos Bianchi Chelech (Ind.) and Pedro Muñoz Aburto (PS) as part of the 19th senatorial constituency (Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region).


External links[edit]