Patricio Silva

On Chilean technocracy, the legacy of Salvador Allende, and the role of Corfo


Patricio Silva, a historian of Latin America at Leiden University, is one of the foremost scholars on Chilean technocracy. In our conversation on October 19, 2021, we examined the nature of Chilean technocracy, the legacy of Salvador Allende, and the history and broader significance of Corfo. We also explored various ways Chilean technocrats have experimented with planning. This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.


Evgeny: Could you please introduce yourself?

Patricio: My name is Patricio Silva, originally from Chile. I pursued political science at the University of Amsterdam, writing my PhD thesis on Pinochet's policies at Leiden University. Since 2002, I have been serving as a full professor in Latin American history at this university.


Evgeny: What were the historical origins of the Chilean PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, CORFO ?

Patricio: To trace the origins of CORFO, one must journey back to the late 19th century when positivism, particularly the concept of scientific politics proposed by Auguste Comte, began to shape the intellectual landscape of Chile. The idea was to introduce science to state governance. This thinking was furthered in the early 20th century, with influences emerging from unexpected quarters, such as the Soviet Union. The concept of a planned economy, as seen in the Soviet model, intrigued many Chilean engineers and left-leaning politicians.

By the late 1920s, military leader Ibáñez del Campo  took power, incorporating a group of talented young engineers into his government. This cadre was tasked with advising on the creation of a ministry for industrial development, setting the stage for CORFO's emergence. However, due to the economic crisis of 1931, the government faltered, and the idea was temporarily abandoned.

Despite this setback, the concept of a more significant state role in the economy persisted throughout the turbulent 1930s, fueled partly by the influence of Italian fascism. The aspiration to establish a national industry was a common theme among developing nations at the time.

It was not until the late 30s, under the Popular Front  government's coalition of left-wing and centrist parties led by President Aguirre Cerda, that the idea of CORFO took root. Cerda, who had long been studying development and the need for Chile to create its own industry, saw the devastating earthquake as an opportunity to establish CORFO. This tragedy provided the political impetus to rally even the right-wing opposition around the patriotic duty of rebuilding the country, thus paving the way for the creation of CORFO.

Evgeny: What was the original intention and role of CORFO as conceived by President Cerda?

Patricio: When Cerda proposed the creation of CORFO, it sparked substantial debate in parliament. Central to the discussion was defining the exact purview of CORFO, with the right-wing opposition expressing concern over an intent by Cerda and the Popular Front government to extend state control over economic activities.

Initially, they insisted that CORFO should focus solely on reconstruction activities, specifically those related to the aftermath of the earthquake. They firmly resisted the idea of CORFO expanding the state's role in industrial activities, proposing instead that if the state wished to foster industrial growth, CORFO should limit itself to providing credit to industrial groups and private enterprises in the country. The core activities, they argued, should be reconstruction and providing credit, not taking an active role in stimulating the country's industrial development.

This resistance stemmed primarily from a lack of trust in the government's intentions. One solution that eventually secured the support of right-wing parties and industrialists for CORFO's creation was to position CORFO outside the political fray. There were fears among these parties that members of the Communist Party, a component of the government coalition, would infiltrate CORFO and potentially implement a communist agenda.

The eventual agreement between Cerda's government and the right-wing opposition resulted in CORFO being entrusted to technocrats, highly trained and respected individuals devoid of overt political leanings. The decision to appoint non-political, technical experts in their fields was one of the main reasons CORFO adopted a technocratic orientation from the outset in its hiring and staff formation practices.

Technocracy emerged as a balance of power between the government and the right-wing opposition. The third-party technocrats, unaffiliated with either the right-wing or the governing parties, provided an acceptable compromise. Consequently, CORFO retained a technocratic orientation in the 1940s and 1950s. This structure, independent of changes in government since the late 1930s, allowed for continuity in the country's industrial development as the same individuals remained in charge of CORFO.


Evgeny: Can you elaborate on the role of economic planning in Chile's politics in the aftermath of World War II?

Patricio: After World War II, economics began to take a more prominent role in Latin American politics, particularly in Chile. This was influenced significantly by the creation of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA ) in 1948. This organization, which was established by the United Nations and headquartered in Santiago, Chile, was devoted to planning and enhancing the industrial production in the region. The ECLA had a profound impact on both intellectuals and the government in Chile.

ECLA became a breeding ground for government officials, supplying not only personnel but also ideas on tackling issues such as underdevelopment and increasing industrial production. This interaction became crucial during that era.

The Cuban Revolution  in 1959 also left an imprint on this climate. Until then, many professionals were not strongly politically inclined. However, this event led to a greater interest in social and political issues. This shift was particularly noticeable in the Christian Democrat Party, established in Chile in the late 1950s.

This party drew a considerable following from university circles, the middle class, and the upper-middle class, all of whom were eager to make a difference in the country. Initially filled with optimism and idealism, the party's agenda expanded after the Cuban Revolution to encompass a desire for greater social justice and the creation of a more equitable society.

Evgeny: Who were the main exponents of this agenda?

Patricio: There was a democratization of the social agenda, and several influential figures emerged during this time. Jorge Ahumada and Aníbal Pinto  are notable examples. They were economists working at ECLA and had a significant impact on intellectuals not only in Chile but also throughout Latin America. They were well-known in other countries due to their consulting work and frequent travel. Their expertise was put to good use by the Christian Democratic Party .

In the early 1960s, the Christian Democratic Party began to rapidly grow in Chile. By 1965, the Party had gained control of the government, and they were so influential that they didn't require any alliances to govern. This was made possible due to Eduardo Frei's  victory, accompanied by a large group of young professionals from universities - engineers, economists, and others with technical backgrounds. This group formed a robust apparatus around the Party. Frei's government, teeming with young and well-prepared individuals, strived to bridge the gap between their technical expertise and their commitment to creating a new Chile.

One notable figure was Ahumada, who was responsible for creating Frei's economic program. However, Ahumada fell seriously ill and passed away around the time Frei won the election, which was a significant blow to the government.

Despite this setback, there was a wealth of human capital ready to initiate what they termed a "revolution in liberty." This did not imply a revolution in the Cuban sense, but rather in the Chilean way – through democratic elections, not violence. Frei's project involved land reform, economic transformation, and the country's development, with the ultimate goal of preventing further social conflict and another Cuba in Latin America. His strategy was to improve living conditions for the poor in cities and rural areas alike.

The Frei government was highly technical, with Frei himself being technically oriented. Rather than igniting a social revolution, they aimed to prevent it by adopting a technocratic discourse. They did not intend to dismantle entrepreneurial groups but wished to utilize technical and scientific knowledge to enhance the country's prosperity.

The adoption of this technocratic discourse was also an attempt to alleviate fears among right-wing groups, entrepreneurs, and landowners who were apprehensive about potential land reforms and industry nationalizations. The U.S. also shared these concerns. However, Frei did not follow this path entirely.

He partially nationalized the copper mining industry, which was primarily controlled by U.S. companies. This nationalization was conducted in a 'civilized' manner, with compensations paid to the companies involved. It was not a radical nationalization, but it was a costly endeavor for Chile to pursue this legally and without confronting U.S. interests.

Ultimately, Frei was portrayed by the United States as an alternative to the Cuban approach to change. The U.S. ended up supporting Frei heavily as he presented a 'civilized' alternative to socialism in the region, respecting private property, international law, and all agreements signed internationally by Chile.

Evgeny: Could you describe how ODEPLAN  was formed? What were its objectives?

Patricio: ODEPLAN was an initiative launched by Frei, aiming to assemble a select cohort of technical experts with profound knowledge in economics and planning. Their mission was to boost the country's overall economic output and orchestrate the modernization of rural areas. Concurrently, Frei implemented a measured land reform, offering landowners an opportunity to enhance their production over a couple of years. This approach acted as an incentive – by improving production, they could evade state expropriation. Despite lacking strong political intentions, it inadvertently spurred radicalization among certain sectors of civil society by the end of the 1960s, particularly within the Christian Democratic Party.

There were even select Christian Democrats who pivoted their allegiance towards Salvador Allende's future government of the Popular Unity . Frei's government attempted to enhance the economy, striving to circumvent confrontation with right-wing and conservative groups. Unfortunately, he was unable to curb the growing distrust among the country's affluent who began to perceive him as a traitor. They accused him of masquerading as a modern reformer while carrying out actions that aligned with communist ideologies.

This led to a lack of support from the right wing during the 1970 Presidential election, a marked contrast from 1964 when they backed Frei to prevent Allende from winning. However, their support back then was primarily strategic and not due to a full endorsement of Frei's policies. By the end of the 1960s, a widening chasm between the Christian Democrats and right-wing factions became apparent.

In contrast to the 50s, when emphasis was placed on larger corporations and infrastructure projects, Frei's administration witnessed a significant shift in CORFO's approach. They began providing support to smaller producers, not only in terms of credit and economic aid but also technical support. This strategic shift aimed to foster social results by including marginalized groups, such as small peasants and productive units, and creating a solid foundation for them. This can be seen as a manifestation of the Christian Democratic government's pursuit of social justice in the country, beyond simply improving the economy.

Evgeny: What were the external factors shaping Chile's economic situation in the 1950s?

Patricio: At the dawn of the 1950s, the Chilean economy grappled with a series of challenges originating from both domestic and international domains. Domestically, the nation was wrestling with an alarmingly high rate of inflation. On the international front, especially in the aftermath of the Korean War, we witnessed a contraction of Chile's export expansion, notably in the minerals sector.

At this juncture, there emerged a prevailing belief among some economists and politicians, both of the right-wing persuasion, that the panacea for these issues might lie in liberalizing the economy. The idea was to foster foreign investment while simultaneously promoting the growth of local industrial groups, effectively diminishing the role of the state, a sentiment that started to gain traction in the early 50s.

A key proponent of this direction was the government of Ibanez, who had also led the country in the 1920s. Ibanez, now older, reassumed the presidency in 1952, and from that point on, endeavored to catalyze this economic opening.

One significant action he undertook was to commission a consultation from the Klein-Sachs  Group, an American consultancy comprising economists and financial advisors. They were tasked with advising the Chilean government on strategies to combat inflation. The report that the Klein-Sachs group submitted at the conclusion of their visit espoused a range of recommendations, including liberalizing the economy, reducing state interventionism, and abstaining from price manipulation.

These suggestions bore a striking resemblance to the future program implemented by the Chicago Boys  under Pinochet in the early 70s. Indeed, even at this early stage, there was an emerging vision for an economy that would be more open and market-oriented.

Evgeny: What changes once Jorge Alessandri , a favorite of chile's capitalist class, becomes presidency?

Patricio: In 1958, Alessandri assumed the presidency. He was a right-leaning leader, self-proclaimed apolitical, and a professional engineer. He was not affiliated with any political party and was a quintessential technocrat who rose to the presidency. His primary objective was to decisively liberalize the economy, a mission more ambitious than that of his predecessor, Ibanez. However, he faced significant opposition from the robust left-wing parties in parliament.

Ultimately, he did not succeed in his goal to open the economy as he initially planned. Interestingly, many of Alessandri's early collaborators returned post-coup d'état in 1973 to work with Pinochet.

The Chicago Boys, a group of influential economists, regarded Alessandri's presidency as evidence that opening the economy under democratic governance was not feasible in Chile. This perspective arose due to the stance of the left-wing parties in parliament, coupled with the unions, strikes, and other events during Alessandri's tenure, which made economic liberalization unachievable. This outcome served as a lesson derived from Alessandri's failed attempt to execute his economic program.

During this period in the 1950s, the United States was deeply concerned about the considerable influence of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) across Latin America, including Chile. The ECLA advocated for state-led industrialization in Latin America and opposed a significant presence of foreign capital and industries, which some may interpret as a form of nationalism.

Evgeny: how did the us react to the rise of structuralist economics at ecla?

Patricio: The US faced a dilemma. Many conservative and liberal economists, as well as professionals working in the US and universities during the mid-Cold War era, sought to convince Latin American universities to consider free enterprise and the free market, in addition to Keynesian economics and state interventionism.

Around this time, a delegation from the University of Chicago visited Chile. They offered assistance and opportunities for Chilean graduate students to further their academic studies in the United States at the University of Chicago.

Interestingly, the first university they approached for an agreement was not the Catholic University , but the University of Chile, a largely progressive institution controlled by left-wing groups at the time. The University of Chile declined the offer due to ideological issues. Only afterwards did the visiting professors establish an agreement with the Catholic University of Chile, allowing Chileans to study in the US for a master's or PhD degree. This marked the inception of the Chicago Boys—Chilean economists who received their education in the US and embraced the free market and neoliberal ideologies taught by their professors.

It's also worth noting that one of the reasons Alessandri failed to implement a free market economy was not solely due to parliamentary opposition or labor unions and strikes. Many industrial groups within Chile also didn't provide sufficient support. According to numerous scholars, they had grown accustomed to subsidies, protection, and support from the state-led economy, beginning with the CORFO.

These groups feared the potential ramifications of a free market economy. As a result, Alessandri's call for economic liberalization was met with an inadequate response from Chilean entrepreneurial groups who were reluctant to relinquish state support and compete in an open economy against industrialized nations such as Europe, Japan, and the United States. The response was largely negative.

However, after the tumultuous experience of the Allende government, the right-wing and entrepreneurial groups displayed a complete change in attitude. Following the traumatic ordeal of the Popular Unity Government, they decided to fully support the military government's economic plans. This shift was primarily due to gratitude towards the military for assuming control and fear of the return of left-wing forces in the near future. They became convinced that a profound transformation of the economy was the only means to prevent the resurgence of socialist and communist forces in the country's near future.


Evgeny: How did CORFO's objectives and operations evolve under Salvador Allende's leadership?

Patricio: Even during the Frei administration in the 60s, CORFO started to pivot from its technical orientation to a more socially inclined one. It focused on supporting small producers in rural and urban areas, marking a noticeable shift. But, the significant transformation came with the election of Allende in 1970.

From 1970 onwards, Allende's left-wing government set out to lay the foundations for a socialist society in Chile. The government's program explicitly stated this intention. To achieve it, confiscation and expropriation of firms, industries, and banks became the primary objective from the start.

Hundreds of enterprises, irrespective of their size, along with banks and other assets, were expropriated. The state assumed control and CORFO, under Allende's government, was tasked with administering most of these state-owned enterprises.

This was a new role for CORFO. Until then, it was accustomed to establishing its own enterprises, having created many state, large-scale enterprises during the 40s and 50s. Now, it had to manage enterprises expropriated from the private sector. This presented a substantial shift in orientation and a major challenge. Almost overnight, CORFO had to handle hundreds of expropriated enterprises during a significant economic crisis.

In addition to dealing with shortages and high inflation, for the first time since its inception in 1938, CORFO became heavily politicized. The government not only introduced experts and technicians, but also individuals linked to political parties. Often these individuals were appointed based on political credentials rather than qualifications, creating significant internal divisions within CORFO.

This politicization resulted in tensions between the long-standing technical staff unaccustomed to such political involvement and the new members who aimed to instil revolutionary ideas within CORFO. Many of the original team members left, uncomfortable with CORFO's transformation.

The three years of the Popular Unity Government were challenging for those working in CORFO. Many believe that this shift in CORFO's role was misguided. By introducing politically inclined individuals, CORFO lost much of the prestige and legitimacy it had built over decades. Although the government may have seen this as a necessary step in consolidating socialism in the economic sector, the staff at CORFO were ill-prepared and uncomfortable with this new role. Many of them were neither left nor right-wing oriented, they were technical experts, and this situation resulted in significant tensions within CORFO and between CORFO and the Allende government.


Patricio: During the Allende years, a few expert technocrats like the young Fernando Flores  endeavored to enhance the state's capability. They aimed to effectively plan the economy and to provide clear solutions to specific production problems, both in the industry and in the countryside. Flores, in particular, introduced a sophisticated, state-of-the-art method to organize the economy. I believe he was ahead of his time; Chile was not prepared to incorporate these types of technologies at that point.

Unfortunately, the situation was very dire, both economically and politically. Attempting to organize production technically was met with difficulties as the Allende government was on the brink of political collapse. Furthermore, it occurred too late and lacked the necessary critical mass in the country. While Fernando Flores wasn't alone in his initiatives, there weren't enough like-minded individuals to lend body to this attempt. We required a larger group to empower such an initiative.

This all transpired very late, between 1972 and 1973. By that time, the impending coup was already looming, providing insufficient time and political stability to implement these managerial and technical improvements. This was all aimed at optimizing the economy and resolving the numerous issues that the Allende government was facing at the time.

Many technocrats participating in the Allende government had varying motivations. Some were ideologically oriented, while others simply sought to solve the prevailing problems, particularly the issue of production shortages. It was a pressing matter at that time. They saw the use of technology, computer science, and similar tools as a modern solution.

However, the country lacked the necessary human resources. The financial resources to expand the use of computers were not available, and the political situation was chaotic. This provided unstable grounds for further development of these types of solutions.



Patricio: The period from the Frei to the Allende years witnessed an ongoing confrontation between technocrats on one side, and social science intellectuals on the other. This friction stemmed from the differing discourses each group constructed for the government. Technocrats, armed with their technical expertise, projected a vision of economic development and increased wealth, positing that this would result in greater happiness for the populace. On the other hand, intellectuals—particularly sociologists and political scientists—tended to advocate for notions of equality, social justice, and even pathways towards socialism.

This ideological clash was amplified during the 1960s, a decade influenced by the ripple effect of the Cuban revolution. There was a widespread thirst for social change and many Latin American countries were embracing socialism. Within this political environment, sociologists and political scientists seemingly held a stronger hand than the technocrats.

This dynamic became more pronounced during Allende's government, which positioned itself as a popular, anti-elite, and anti-aristocratic force. However, it had to walk a fine line due to the presence of higher middle-class individuals, even those from bourgeois families, within its ranks. During this revolutionary period, professionals with technical backgrounds, such as engineers and economists, often sparked distrust among political leaders. Yet, these technocrats were integral to Allende's administration, albeit in less visible roles. The public face of the government endorsed socialism as the ideal solution for the country, a narrative best supported by left-wing sociologists and political scientists.

In essence, the perennial struggle between technocrats and social scientists, or economists versus intellectuals, was a battle for influence over policy makers, embodying two different perspectives on Chile's path forward. Technocrats and economists believed that the most effective way to implement socialism was to demonstrate its efficiency and ability to generate wealth for redistribution. Conversely, intellectuals and sociologists argued that the struggle was political, irrespective of the economic situation. Their focus was on persuading the majority of the population that the Chilean road to socialism was the superior path, aiming to solidify socialism and eliminate any possibility of reverting to the previous political system. These contrasting viewpoints underpin the persistent tension between economists and sociologists or between technocrats and intellectuals.

A historical review of public ethics in Chile.


Patricio: During the Allende years, there was a concerted effort to enhance the participation of organized labor, particularly within nationalized industries and the agricultural sector, specifically on former estates within the hacienda system. A significant shift occurred during this time, one which technocrats and technicians were unaccustomed to. They found it challenging to negotiate with those who lacked academic training and technical understanding of optimal solutions. It was an unfamiliar and often frustrating experience for them when decisions in the nationalized industries were taken based on majority votes rather than grounded on technical arguments.


Patricio: This tension between the technically proficient and the labor force was heightened during the Allende administration due to their different backgrounds and discourses. Technicians were not used to yielding to decisions simply because the majority voted for options A, B, or C. It was quite demoralizing for the technocrats, as illustrated by Sergio Bitar, a former minister, who noted in one of his books the frustration of seeing their specific skills and expertise undervalued in the decision-making process.

There was a palpable clash between the technocratic mode of operation and the principle of majority rule, a change that wasn't merely a governmental decision but was also pressed for by the workers themselves to amplify their voices within their respective industries. This clash served as a reminder that technocracy, both in Chile and globally, is often associated with an elitist decision-making process, wherein a group of experts make decisions without adequately considering the majority's input or role in a country.

Technocrats often harbor a certain disdain and distrust for democratic decision-making, as they believe that informed opinions about complex issues should be grounded in specific expertise and sophisticated understanding. Historically, technocracy has been employed, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China, in cooperation with authoritarian governments. However, in the specific case of Chile, I am convinced that, even though it might not have been intentional or recognized, Chilean technocrats played a pivotal role in stabilizing the democratic system from the late 1930s onwards.


Patricio: The explanation for the arguably positive political role played by technocrats in Chile is linked to the balance of power between the right-wing and left-wing forces in the country. For many years, the left-wing was unable to assert its power and ideologies over the population through electoral means, due to the substantial political influence held by the right, which persists even today.

Conversely, right-wing forces could not fully impose their ideologies on the left-wing factions in the country. This created a gridlock situation where technocracy emerged as a solution, providing both the right-wing and left-wing forces with sufficient assurance that the management of key economic and industrial institutions was in the hands of individuals perceived as politically neutral.

Primarily focused on efficiency and professional recognition, these technocrats sought to be acknowledged as competent economists or engineers, and as effective administrators of the nation. By managing crucial state organizations and institutions, they offered a measure of stability and equilibrium between the right and left political forces. An example of this is that both factions, including the Communist Party, which was generally critical of capitalism, never criticized the role played by the CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción).

In my view, these technocrats, by performing their roles effectively and achieving relative success compared to other Latin American countries, contributed to preserving democracy in Chile. This was largely because there were no conflicts over control of these organizations between the right and left-wing groups. These organizations were seen as zones managed by technocrats who were acceptable to both parties engaged in political competition in the country.

Evgeny: how would you describe the differences between the three main political forces in the country: the left, the right, and the center? did they agree on more than meets the eye? 

Patricio: From the onset of the 1960s, it became a prevailing notion amongst all political factions in Chile that the country required comprehensive transformation, affecting every aspect of society.

Take the Christian Democrats, for example, who proposed an ambitious program at the start of the 60s. This plan intended to bring about societal change on all fronts - from modernizing the education system and countryside through land reforms to enhancing productivity in the Chilean industry and improving the bureaucratic machinery of the state, facilitating these changes. The idea was to have a global plan, where every aspect of societal improvement was carefully considered and incorporated into the larger picture. This was the position held by the political center in Chile.

Even when we scrutinize the Chilean left during the 60s, we observe a similar pattern, albeit a tad more radical. They advocated for ideas parallel to those defended by the Christian Democrats, differing primarily in degree rather than content. For instance, the debate over land expropriation in the countryside was more about the percentage of properties to be confiscated rather than a fundamental disagreement on the principle itself.

The conceptual similarity between the political center and the left perhaps originates from the influence of the Economic Commission for Latin America. Both the Christian Democrats and the more radical planners, whose roots can be traced back to ECLA, shared a belief in the need for comprehensive solutions for the country.

This global perspective was also embraced by the Chicago Boys, who argued that Chile required a complete overhaul. They even used the term "revolution," emphasizing the need for total societal transformation, beyond the economic realm. Their vision was to foster a free market society and introduce free-market principles into the education system, labor system, and every facet of societal life.

What we see is a universally hegemonic project, advocated by the center, the left wing, and ultimately, the right wing. Each faction was intent on instigating significant transformation. They aspired, in their unique ways, to incite a revolution - an ambitious endeavor indeed. All three actors - the right, the center, and the left - believed in their capacity to enact a radical and profound transformation of the country. This shared commitment to global planning, is why historian Mario Gogura [UNCLEAR 92:22] defined this period as such. The commitment to planning was evident during both the Frei and Allende governments.

Interestingly, the Allende government, also known as the Popular Unity Government, managed to draw in a group of intelligent and young experts, including individuals like Fernando Flores and Carlos Matus . These individuals, who were in their early thirties and forties, were engineers and economists who rose to ministerial positions. They had prestigious degrees from universities in the United States and had strong connections with these institutions.

However, their promising careers were interrupted by the military coup, which had dramatic consequences. They were detained and sent to concentration camps in the Southern part of the country, forcing them into exile for many years. Despite these personal tragedies, they managed to thrive in the United States, Venezuela, and other countries where they spent their years of exile.

Upon their return, they aimed to support the new democracy. Their technical skills and expertise, honed during the Allende government, played a crucial role not only in the recovery of democracy post-dictatorship but also in initiating a new democratic era in the country.

The Chilean government's Production Development Corporation, founded in 1939 to promote economic growth and responsible for nationalizing and managing diverse sector enterprises during Salvador Allende’s presidency. More

A two-time President of Chile whose military and political career, especially his nationalization of industries and promotion of economic independence, influenced Chile's mid-20th-century trajectory. More

A left-leaning political coalition, formed in the late 1930s, to confront rising fascism, which advanced progressive social reforms but also ignited political polarization. More

Established in 1948 to assist Latin American governments with economic development, improving living standards, and strengthening commercial relations, both regionally and globally. Later included Caribbean countries. More

A movement (1953-1959) led by Fidel Castro to overthrow the Cuban government, starting after the 1952 Cuban coup d'état and culminating with the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista. More

Jorge Ahumada: A Chilean economist known for developing economic programs under Eduardo Frei's government, focusing on land reform, economic transformation, and the betterment of conditions for the impoverished.MORE

Aníbal Pinto: A Chilean economist known for his work on dependency theory and structuralist economics. From 1960 to 1965 he was director of CEPAL. MORE

A centrist political party in Chile, advocating for principles of social justice and progressive Christian values. More

A significant figure in Chile's political landscape, serving as president from 1964 to 1970 as a member of the Christian Democratic Party. Supported by Washington, his presidency saw sweeping social reforms and economic modernization. However, he faced criticism from the Chilean left and center due to perceived inadequacies in his policies. More

An agency founded during the presidency of Eduardo Frei Montalva to systematically organize the country's planning activities. It sought to promote and coordinate planning systems at national, sectoral, and regional levels, devising short-term programs and policies. More

A Chilean left-wing coalition formed in 1969 led by Salvador Allende, known for implementing progressive reforms including industry nationalization and land redistribution, amid political tensions. More

A commission of American economists in Chile (1955-1958), which was the first to preach neoliberal measures as a way to fix the country. More

Group of Chilean economists from the University of Chicago, influential in shaping Chile's free-market economic reforms under Augusto Pinochet. More

The 26th President of Chile who served from 1958 to 1964, and was a critical candidate in the 1970 presidential election, losing to Salvador Allende. More

Noted for its influence on Chilean society in the 1960s through student activism, the introduction of free-market economics, and its association with the gremialismo movement. More

Chilean philosopher, politician, and entrepreneur. As a high-ranking official in the Allende administration - he would eventually rise to be his minister of economy and finance - Flores was instrumental in Project Cybersyn. He is known for his work on speech acts and commitment-based management, blending philosophy, linguistics, and business. More

Chilean politician, economist, and planner who developed the 'situational planning' approach and influenced Latin American strategic planning. More


  1. Silva, Patricio. “Technocrats and Politics in Chile: From the Chicago Boys to the CIEPLAN Monks.” Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, May 1991, pp. 385–410.
  2. Silva, Patricio. “Towards Technocratic Mass Politics in Chile? The 1999-2000 Elections and the ‘Lavín Phenomenon.’European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, no. 70, 2001, pp. 25–39.
  3. Silva, Patricio. “Doing Politics in a Depoliticised Society: Social Change and Political Deactivation in Chile.” Bulletin of Latin American Research, Jan. 2004ю


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