Chilenization of Tacna, Arica and Tarapacá

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Chilenization of Tacna. Black cross painted on a Peruvian household. In the background a Chilean flag.

Chilenization of Tacna, Arica and Tarapacá describes a process of transculturation or acculturation in the zones (Tacna, Arica and Tarapacá) which were incorporated or occupied by Chile since the War of the Pacific (1879–1883). The aim of the Chilenization was to create a dominance of Chilean traditions and culture in preference to those of Peru.

The Patriotic Leagues caused the expulsion of Peruvians with actions where violence was the principal instrument. Murder, robbery, discrimination and abuses of all kinds were everyday things. (...) It's clear that these were dramatic events in the Tarapacan lands

Lautaro Núñez, in El Dios Cautivo[1]


Starting from the Chilean silver rush in the 1830s, Atacama was prospected and populated by Chileans backed by Chilean and European (mainly British) capital.[2] Chilean and foreign enterprises in the region eventually extended their control to the Peruvian saltpeter mines. During the 1870s, Peru capitalized on the guano exploitation and nationalized all industries in the region. Peru controlled 58.8% of all saltpeter production, while Chile held 19% and Great Britain 13.5%.[3] In the Peruvian region of Tarapacá Peruvian people constituted a minority behind both Chileans and Bolivians.[4] Conflicts between Chilean and Bolivian miners were common in Peruvian saltpeterworks.[4] In some cases conflicts developed a xenophobic character, a notorious case occurred in 1870 when Chile had to evacuate its citizens from the Peruvian port of Iquique.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Núñez Atencio, Lautaro y Maldonado Prieto, Carlos (2005). «Reseña bibliográfica: El Dios Cautivo. Las Ligas Patrióticas en la chilenización compulsiva de Tarapacá (1910-1922), Sergio González Miranda, LOM Ediciones, Santiago, 2004». Chungará (Arica), Universidad de Tarapacá 37 (1). ISSN 0717-7356.
  2. ^ Bethell, Leslie. 1993. Chile Since Independence. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13-14.
  3. ^ British Influence on the Salt: The Origin, Nature and Decline, Soto Cárdenas, Alejandro. Santiago : Ed. University of Santiago de Chile, 1998. Page 50
  4. ^ a b c Vergara, Jorge Iván; Gundermann, Hans (2012). "Constitution and internal dynamics of the regional identitary in Tarapacá and Los Lagos, Chile". Chungara (in Spanish) (University of Tarapacá) 44 (1): 115–134. doi:10.4067/s0717-73562012000100009.