Tag Archives: Chile

Current Event Cat of the Day: Chilean Earthquake & Prison Break

Current Event Cat - CHilean EarthQuake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2 struck the coast of Chile Tuesday – and what better excuse to break out of prison!

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the giant earthquake was centered 62 miles north of Iquique at a depth of 6.2 miles.  The quake, along with the dozens of aftershocks – including a 6.2 tremor – generated a tsunami with six-foot waves, prompting tsunami warnings for not only Chile, but also Peru and Ecuador.

Although only six people have reportedly died so far (not bad for 8.2-magnitude earthquake!), tens of thousands have been evacuated, power lines have been cut, fires have broken out, and landslides have been triggered.

And while the earthquake is bad news for most, it’s good news for the roughly 300 prisoners who escaped from the port city of Iquique. Following the powerful shift in the earth’s crust, the prisoners from a women’s jail saw the perfect opportunity to get out of jail free. As the prison was being evacuated following the tsunami warnings, the inmates instigated a massive jailbreak and set fire to the prison site.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wasn’t so keen on the prisoners’ plan. Bachelet declared a state of emergency in the region and sent a military plane with 100 anti-riot police to join 300 soldiers deployed to prevent looting and round up escaped prisoners. So far, 39 of the escapees have been recaptured since the quake but authorities are still frantically searching for the other missing prisoners and silently praying that the whole incident was just an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Praises 11-Year-Old Rape Victim

Chilean Pinera

While Texas Governor Rick Perry is pulling out all the stops to get his beloved restrictive abortion bill passed, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is praising his country’s even more restrictive abortion laws.

Chile’s president, Sebastian Pinera, praised a pregnant 11-year-old rape victim for her “depth and maturity” after she said in a recent TV interview that she was happy to have the child. The young girl also said in the interview that having the child would be “like having a doll” so I’m not quite sure how high her maturity level really is…

“I’m going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me… It will be like having a doll in my arms,” the 11-year-old said in the TV interview.

Maturity level aside, the 11-year-old, who was raped repeatedly over a two-year period by her mother’s boyfriend, has now become President Pinera’s poster child for Chile’s abortion laws. Chile is one of seven Latin American countries where abortion is completely banned and Pinera wants to keep it that way. 

“I’ve asked the health minister to personally look after the (girl’s) health,” Pinera said. “She’s 14 weeks pregnant, and yesterday she surprised us all with words showing depth and maturity, when she said that, despite the pain caused by the man who raped her, she wanted to have and take care of her baby.”

Pinera’s comments have caused some outrage among his critics, who say that abortion should be legalized in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger. Experts have also criticized Pinera’s comments, saying the girl would not have the mental or emotional capacity to understand her situation.

“At that age the girl doesn’t have a capacity of discernment, not even at age 14 would she have the mental and emotional capacity to discern this,” said Giorgio Agostini, a forensic psychologist, “What the president is saying doesn’t get close to the psychological truth of an 11-year-old-girl. It’s a subjective view that is not based on any scientific reasoning to support it.”

Considering it took Chile until 2004 to legalize divorce, I’d say they have a long road ahead of them in terms of abortion rights…

Via: CBC News

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