Jump to content

El Mercurio

Coordinates: 33°22′58″S 70°35′36″W / 33.38278°S 70.59333°W / -33.38278; -70.59333
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
El Mercurio
Front page of the main body of the newspaper's 11 September 2013 edition
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Cristián Edwards del Río
EditorCarlos Schaerer
FoundedSeptember 12, 1827 (Valparaíso ed.)
June 1, 1900 (Santiago ed.)
Political alignmentRight-wing, conservative, liberal conservative, economic liberalism
HeadquartersAvda. Santa María 5542
Vitacura, Chile

El Mercurio (known online as El Mercurio On-Line, EMOL) is a Chilean newspaper with editions in Valparaíso and Santiago. Its Santiago edition is considered the country's newspaper of record and it is considered the oldest daily in the Spanish language currently in circulation.[citation needed] El Mercurio is owned by El Mercurio S.A.P. (Sociedad Anónima Periodística 'joint stock news company'), which operates a network of 19 regional dailies and 32 radio stations across the country.


Main page of El Mercurio's 28 May 1908 edition (number 24,878)

The Valparaíso edition of El Mercurio was founded by Pedro Félix Vicuña (Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna's father) on September 12, 1827, and was later acquired by Agustín Edwards Ross in 1880. The Santiago edition was founded by Agustín Edwards Mac Clure, son of Edwards Ross, on June 1, 1900. In 1942 Edwards Mac Clure died and his son Agustín Edwards Budge took over as president. When Edwards Budge died in 1956, his son, Agustín Edwards Eastman, took control of the company. Edwards Eastman died in 2017, leaving the company in hands of his son Cristián Edwards del Río.

El Mercurio SAP owns the Chilean afternoon daily newspaper La Segunda, which published news with sensationalist and confrontational language that was considered inappropriate for El Mercurio.[citation needed]

CIA funding[edit]

El Mercurio received funds from the CIA in the early 1970s to undermine the Socialist government of Salvador Allende, acting as a mouthpiece for anti-Allende propaganda.[1]

Declassified documents that detail US interventions in Chile revealed the paper's role,[2] and the extent of the paper's cooperation with the CIA:

"Throughout the 1960s, the CIA poured funds into Chile's largest—and staunchly right-wing—newspaper, El Mercurio, putting reporters and editors on the payroll, writing articles and columns for placement and providing additional funds for operating expenses. After the paper's owner, Agustín Edwards came to Washington in September 1970 to lobby Nixon for action against Allende, the CIA used El Mercurio as a key outlet for a massive propaganda campaign as part of Track I and Track II. Throughout Allende's aborted tenure, the paper continued an unyielding campaign, running countless virulent, inflammatory articles and editorials exhorting opposition against—and at times even calling for the overthrow of—the Popular Unity government. " [3] (p. 91-92)

Support reached to the highest levels of the US government. When the paper requested significant funds for covert support in September 1971, "...in a rare example of presidential micromanagement of a covert operation, Nixon personally authorized the $700,000—and more if necessary—in covert funds to El Mercurio."[3] (p. 93)

Role in 1973 coup d'état[edit]

The paper played "a significant role in setting the stage for the military coup" which took place on 11 September 1973, bringing General Augusto Pinochet to power. It mobilised opponents of President Salvador Allende and the gremialismo movement to be active in destabilisation from the street, while also advocating the neoliberal policies of the yet-to-come Chicago Boys.[4]

1988 to the present[edit]

Former journalists of El Mercurio have been crucial in the creation of various new newspapers in Chile including Diario Financiero in 1988,[5] El Líbero in 2014,[6][7][8] and Ex-Ante in 2020.[9][10]

El Mercurio's building in Valparaíso was set on fire by protesters in October 2019 during the 2019 Chilean protests sparked by rise in transportation cost.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Kornbluh, 2003)
  2. ^ Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973. Archived 2009-09-11 at the Wayback Machine, released by the U.S. Department of State; printed version: United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Staff Report, Covert Action in Chile (1963-1973) (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975).
  3. ^ a b Kornbluh, Peter (2003). The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability. New York: The New Press. ISBN 1-56584-936-1.
  4. ^ O'Brien, Phil and Jackie Roddick. Chile: The Pinochet Decade: The Rise and Fall of the Chicago Boys. London: Latin American Bureau (Research and Action) Ltd, 1983.
  5. ^ Meza Antognoni, Roberto (2012). History of El Diario Financiero de Chile. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Radio Universidad de Chile. ISBN 978-956-351-576-3
  6. ^ "Eduardo Sepúlveda, director de "El Líbero": "No somos defensores de ningún partido"". Puro Periodismo. 30 October 2014. Archived from the original on 7 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Eduardo Sepúlveda, director de El Líbero: "Hay una situación muy anómala en Chile: los medios se ignoran entre sí"". Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. 2 October 2014. Archived from the original on 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  8. ^ "El desarrollo profesional del periodista Eduardo Sepúlveda". Canal 13. 26 November 2019. Archived from the original on 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  9. ^ Navas, Mateo (2020-10-07). "Ex-ante, el nuevo medio de Cristián Bofill que verá luz en los próximos días". Diario Financiero (in Spanish).
  10. ^ January 22, 2021. ¿Quiénes están detrás del medio digital Ex-Ante? ilustrado.cl
  11. ^ "Chile orders Santiago curfew for third day in row". TRT World. Retrieved 5 December 2019.

External links[edit]

33°22′58″S 70°35′36″W / 33.38278°S 70.59333°W / -33.38278; -70.59333