Cañete, Chile

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City and Commune
Clava symbol
Clava symbol
Coat of arms of Cañete
Coat of arms
Location of the Cañete commune in Biobío Region
Location of the Cañete commune in Biobío Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Coordinates: 37°47′58″S 73°23′43″W / 37.79944°S 73.39528°W / -37.79944; -73.39528Coordinates: 37°47′58″S 73°23′43″W / 37.79944°S 73.39528°W / -37.79944; -73.39528
Country Chile
Region Biobío
Province Arauco
Founded as Cañete de la Frontera
Founded January, 1558
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Jorge Radonich Barra (ILE)
 • Total 760.4 km2 (293.6 sq mi)
Elevation 80 m (260 ft)
Population (2012 Census)[3]
 • Total 31,805
 • Density 42/km2 (110/sq mi)
 • Urban 19,839
 • Rural 11,431
Demonym(s) Cañetino
 • Men 15,625
 • Women 15,645
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Area code(s) 56 + 41
Website Official website (Spanish)

Cañete is a city and commune in Chile in Arauco Province, Biobío Region. It's located 135 km to the south of Concepción.[4]


In 1552, Pedro de Valdivia founded the Tucapel Fort, near the present city of Cañete. In 1553, after destroying the fort, the native Mapuche defeated the Spanish army here in the Battle of Tucapel, and killed Pedro de Valdivia. The city of Cañete was later founded between December of 1557 and January of 1558 by the Governor García Hurtado de Mendoza with the name of Cañete de la Frontera three kilometers to the west of the present location of the city. Cañete was named after Mendoza's father, Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, 3rd Marquis of Cañete, Viceroy of Peru.

Disastrous military defeats forced governor Francisco de Villagra to order the city to be abandoned in January 1563. A new foundation of the city, ordered by Rodrigo de Quiroga in 1566 did not prosper either due to the constant attacks by the Mapuche. The present city was founded on 12 November 1868 by colonel Cornelio Saavedra Rodriguez as part of the pacification of Araucanía. In 1960, Cañete came to prominence for being the town closest to the epi-center of the 1960 Valdivia earthquake, the strongest earthquake recorded.


According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Cañete spans an area of 760.4 km2 (294 sq mi) and has 31,270 inhabitants (15,625 men and 15,645 women). Of these, 19,839 (63.4%) lived in urban areas and 11,431 (36.6%) in rural areas. The population grew by 6.6% (1,947 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[3]

Projections indicated that the population in 2009 was 33,535 inhabitants.[2]


As a commune, Cañete 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 Jorge Radonich Barra (ILE),[1] and the council has formed by the following members: Luis Viveros Gajardo (PRSD), Flor Weisse Novoa (UDI), Pilar Fica Gallardo (PDC), Daniel Jana Torres (PS), Verónica Sandoval Ruiz (RN) and Oscar Leal Aravena (PRSD).[2][5]

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Cañete is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Manuel Monsalve (PS) and Iván Norambuena (UDI) as part of the 46th electoral district, (together with Lota, Lebu, Arauco, Curanilahue, Los Álamos, Contulmo and Tirúa). The commune is represented in the Senate by Victor Pérez Varela (UDI) and Mariano Ruiz -Esquide Jara (PDC) as part of the 13th senatorial constituency (Biobío-Coast).


The Museo Mapuche de Cañete has been located in the southern part of the city since 1968.

Notable citizens[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Asociación Chilena de Municipalidades" (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Municipality of Cañete" (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "National Statistics Institute" (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Mapas de Chile - Distances between cities
  5. ^ "Municipal elections 2008 - Concejales" (PDF) (in Spanish). Servel. 

External links[edit]