Anti-Chilean sentiment

An example of expressions of Bolivian irredentism over territorial losses in the War of the Pacific (1879–1884). In the mural it is written; "What once was ours, will be ours once again", and "Hold fast rotos (Chileans), for here come the Colorados of Bolivia"

Anti-Chilean sentiment or Chilenophobia refers to the historical and current resentment towards Chile, Chileans, or Chilean culture. Anti-Chilean sentiment is most prevalent among Chile's neighbors Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

One of the historic causes of anti-Chilean sentiment is the Chilean expansionism that took place during the 19th century.


Despite no war erupting between the two nations, there have been elements of anti-Chilean sentiment in Argentina in the past and present.[citation needed] Anti-Chilean sentiment in Argentina can be blamed on the historical and ongoing border disputes in the Patagonia region.[citation needed] In addition, the events that occurred during the Beagle conflict in 1978 resulted in many Anti-Chilean speeches and rhetoric in the Argentine media.[citation needed] Argentine General Luciano Benjamin Menendez was a leading advocate for war during the conflict and was known[by whom?] for his aggressive and vulgar discourse against Chileans.[1][original research?]

Another source of resentment are the substantiated accounts that Chile aided Britain during their Falklands War victory over Argentina.[citation needed] During the 1990s Chile's involvement in the Falklands war was only a source of speculation; however, it was highlighted in the Argentine tabloids when Margaret Thatcher visited Augusto Pinochet during his home detention in London in the late 1990s. Chile's involvement in the war unraveled when Thatcher acknowledged Pinochet for helping Britain win the war.[2]

In Bolivia anti-Chilean sentiment is fueled by Bolivian claims for territory in the Pacific coast.[citation needed] A common political discourse attributes[citation needed] Bolivia's underdevelopment to its loss of seaports in the War of the Pacific becoming thus a landlocked country.

In Peru, a strong anti-Chilean sentiment exists due to losing "a large chunk of its southern territory to Chile" in the War of the Pacific.[3]

Citizens of all three countries also believe they have been economically exploited by Chilean businesses over the last decade, which have taken over large market shares of various consumer businesses, especially retail (Cencosud, Falabella, D&S) and banking.[citation needed]

Outside of South America, and during the California Gold Rush Chileans experienced a high degree of Anti-Chilean sentiment by American miners. Chilean businesses and mine workers would usually be harassed and at times violently attacked.[4][5]