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EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic representation in US:
Ambassador: Arturo FERMANDOIS
Embassy: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: [1] (202) 785-1746
FAX: [1] (202) 659-9624

Consulate(s) General are in:
Los Angeles
6100 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 1240
Los Angeles, CA 90048.
(323) 933-3697, FAX (323) 933-3842

San Francisco
870 Market St., Suite 1062,
San Francisco, CA 94102.
(415) 982-7662, FAX (415) 982-2384

Miami
800 Brickell Av., Suite 1230,
Miami, FL 33131.
(305) 371-3219, FAX (305) 374-4270

Chicago
875 N. Michigan Av., Suite 3352,
Chicago, IL 60611.
(312) 654-8780 , FAX (312) 654-8948

New York
866 United Nations Pz.,
New York, NY 10017.
(212) 355-0612, FAX (212) 688-5879

Philadelphia
Public Ledger Bldg., 446 6th & Chestnut,
Philadelphia, PA 19106.
(215) 829-9520, FAX (215) 829-0594

San Juan
American Airlines Building, 1509 Lopez Landron., Suite 800,
Santurce, Puerto Rico 00911.
(809) 725-6365

Houston
1360 Post Oak Bl., Suite 1330,
Houston, TX 77056.
(713) 963-9066, FAX (713) 961-3910

US Diplomatic Representation:
Ambassador: Alex Wolff
Embassy: 2800 Andres Bello Avenue, Las Condes
Mailing address: 2800 Andres Bello Avenue, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.
Telephone: [56] (2) 330-3000
FAX: [56] (2) 330-3710

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Chile
U.S Embassy Web Site in Chile
Embassy of Chile in Washington DC




FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since its return to democracy in 1990, Chile has been an active participant in the international political arena. Chile completed a 2-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council in January 2005. Jose Miguel Insulza, a Chilean national, was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States in 2005 and reelected in 2010. Chile served as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in 2007-2008 and was elected again for 2010-2012, and as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) president pro tempore until August 2009. Chile is the current leader of the Rio Group, a multilateral organization of Latin American and Caribbean countries. In October 2010, Chile applied for membership in the International Energy Agency. The country is an active member of the UN family of agencies and participates in UN peacekeeping activities; Chile currently has over 500 peacekeepers in Haiti. Chile hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and related meetings in 2004. It hosted the Ibero-American Summit in November 2007 and the Progressive Governance Network in March 2009. An associate member of Mercosur, a full member of APEC, a member of the Arco del Pacifico, and a member of the Pathways to Prosperity, Chile has been an important actor on international economic issues and hemispheric free trade. Chile hosted the Americas Competitiveness Forum in September 2009.

The Chilean Government has diplomatic relations with most countries. It settled its territorial disputes with Argentina during the 1990s. Chile and Bolivia severed diplomatic ties in 1978 over Bolivia's desire to reacquire territory it lost to Chile in 1879-83 War of the Pacific. The two countries maintain consular relations and are represented at the Consul General level. In January 2008, Peru submitted a case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague regarding the demarcation of its maritime border with Chile; Chile disagrees with Peru's assertion and is challenging its claim in the ICJ. Chile acceded to the International Criminal Court in June 2009.

In May 2008, then-President Bachelet announced government plans to significantly increase scholarships for Chileans to study abroad. The new Government of Chile scholarship program was launched with a goal of sending over 1,000 students/scholars overseas in 2008 and 2,500 in 2009. Program leaders estimated that approximately one-third might choose to study in the U.S.

U.S.-CHILEAN RELATIONS
Relations between the United States and Chile have reached historic highs in recent years. The U.S. Government applauded the rebirth of democratic practices in Chile in the late 1980s and early 1990s and sees the maintenance of a vibrant democracy and a healthy and sustainable economy as among the most important U.S. interests in Chile. Besides the landmark U.S.-Chile FTA, the two governments consult frequently on issues of mutual concern, including in the areas of multilateral diplomacy, security, culture, and science.

In June 2008, then-President Michelle Bachelet and then-Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the Chile-California Partnership for the 21st Century. This collaboration was reaffirmed by President Pinera during a September 2010 visit to California. The partnership fosters collaboration between individuals, government, and the private sector in areas such as agriculture, energy efficiency, environmental resource management, and education.

The U.S. Chile Equal Opportunities Scholarship Program, inaugurated in 2007, was established to sponsor English and academic studies for Chilean PhD students who come from disadvantaged and rural areas that have not traditionally had access to English language schools or study abroad opportunities. The program has been quite successful, becoming a model for other international scholarships programs with Chile.

The U.S. Government and the Government of Chile have frequent high-level interaction. President Pinera met with President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama visits Chile in March 2011. Then-President Bachelet met with President Obama at the Summit of the Americas in April 2009 and traveled to Washington for another visit in June 2009. Vice President Joseph Biden traveled to Chile in March 2009 to participate in meetings of the Progressive Governance Network and hold bilateral talks with President Bachelet. On March 2, 2010, in the wake of the February 27 earthquake, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Chile to extend the sympathy and solidarity of the American people. She also brought with her the first of the supplies and assistance sent by the U.S. Government in support of Chile’s relief efforts.

U.S. Embassy Functions
In addition to working closely with Chilean Government officials to strengthen our bilateral relationship, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago provides a wide range of services to U.S. citizens and businesses in Chile. (Please see the embassy's home page for details of these services.) The Embassy also is the locus for a number of American community activities in the Santiago area.

The Public Affairs Section cooperates with universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on a variety of programs of bilateral interest. Of special note are extensive U.S. Speaker, International Visitor, and Fulbright academic exchange programs. Themes of particular interest include energy and environmental issues, trade, intellectual property rights, international security, democratic governance in the region, educational quality, law enforcement, and the teaching of English. The Public Affairs Section works daily with Chilean media, which has a keen interest in bilateral and regional relations. It also assists visiting foreign media, including U.S. journalists, and is regularly involved in press events for high-level visitors. The Public Affairs Section, largely through the Information Resource Center, disseminates information about U.S. policies, society, and culture.

Attaches at the Embassy from the Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) work closely with the hundreds of U.S. companies who export to or maintain offices in Chile. These officers provide information on Chilean trade and industry regulations and administer several programs intended to support U.S. companies' sales in Chile.

The Consular Section of the Embassy provides vital services to the more than 18,000 U.S. citizens residing in Chile. It assists Americans who wish to vote in U.S. elections while abroad, provides U.S. tax information, and facilitates government benefits/social security payments. Besides U.S. citizens resident in Chile, about 160,000 U.S. citizens visit Chile annually. The Consular Section offers passport and emergency services to U.S. tourists during their stay in Chile. It also issued about 53,000 visitor visas in FY 2010 to Chilean citizens who planned to travel to the United States.

DEFENSE
Chile's Armed Forces are subject to civilian control exercised by the President through the Minister of Defense. The President appoints service chiefs to 4-year terms and has the authority to remove them. In 2010, the Ministry of Defense was restructured and a new Joint Staff was created.

Army
The commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army is General Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba Poblete. The Chilean Army is 36,250 strong and is organized with an Army headquarters in Santiago, six divisions throughout its territory, an Aviation Brigade in Rancagua, and a Special Operations Brigade in Colina. The Chilean Army has been undergoing a modernization process that has transformed it from a territorial-based organization to a deployable, operational organization. The Chilean Army is one of the most professional and technologically advanced armies in Latin America.

Navy
Admiral Edmundo Gonzalez Robles directs the 22,000-person Navy, including 2,500 Marines and 2,000 coastguardsmen. Of the fleet of over 85 surface vessels, only eight are operational major combatants (frigates). The eight frigates are based in Valparaiso. The Navy operates its own aircraft for transport and patrol; it does not have any Navy fighter or bomber aircraft. The Navy also operates four submarines based in Talcahuano. The Chilean Navy Coast Guard is responsible for environmental protection of the sea and search and rescue responsibility of an area over 26.5 million square kilometers.

Air Force (FACH)
Gen. Jorge Rojas Avila heads a force of 12,500. Air assets are distributed among five air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. The Air Force also operates an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica and at Quintero, near Valparaiso. The FACH has one of the most capable air forces in Latin America with 10 Block 50 F-16s, all purchased new from the U.S., and 24 reconditioned Block 15 F-16s from the Netherlands. In early 2011, the FACH was in the process of purchasing 12 additional Dutch F-16s.

Joint Staff
Lieutenant General Hernan Mardones Rios is Chief of the Joint Staff established in 2010. The Joint Staff advises the Minister of Defense on military issues and serves as his coordinating organization for all matters related to the planning, preparation and deployment of the Armed Forces. Another of its primary functions is to inform the Minister on legal military employment options during constitutional states of exception and/or specific international crises that could affect national security and/or defense.

Carabineros
After the military coup in September 1973, the Chilean national police (Carabineros) were incorporated into the Defense Ministry. With the return of democratic government, the police were placed under the operational control of the Interior Ministry but the Defense Ministry retained administrative control of the force. This ended in February 2011, when the Carabineros were formally relocated into the Interior Ministry. Gen. Eduardo Gordon Valcarcel is the head of the national police force of 30,000 men and women who are responsible for law enforcement, traffic management, narcotics suppression, border control, mountain rescue, VIP security, and counterterrorism throughout Chile.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Alex Wolff
Deputy Chief of Mission--James “Buddy” Williams
Public Affairs Counselor--Gary Keith
Economic and Political Counselor--David Edwards
Management Counselor--Thomas Lyman
Commercial Counselor--Mitchell G. Larsen
Consul General--Mark Leoni
Security Officer--Liseli Pennings
Senior Defense Officer--Captain Ronald Townsend, USN
Agricultural Counselor--Rachel Bickford
APHIS Attache--George Ball
Legal Attache--Eric Metz
Drug Enforcement Administration--Sean Waite

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Santiago are located at 2800 Andres Bello Avenue, Las Condes, (tel. 562-330-3000; fax: 562-330-3710). The mailing address is 2800 Andres Bello Avenue, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.

 




TRAVEL ADVISORIES

To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for Chile check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet.




TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit and International Driving Permit required
Currency (CLP) Chilean Peso
Electrical 220 Volts
Telephones Country Code 56, Batuco (1yz)2+7D, Casablanca (1yz)32+6D, Cabildo (1yz)33+6D



Time: Mainland and Juan Fernández Islands: GMT - 5 (GMT - 4 from second Sunday in October to second Saturday in March).
Easter Island: GMT - 7 (GMT - 6 from second Sunday in October to second Saturday in March).

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs and screw-type bulbs are used.

Telephone: Full IDD available. Country code: 56. Outgoing international code: 00. Compañía de Teléfonos de Chile provides most services though there are a few independent companies. Cheap rate is applicable Mon-Fri 1800-0500 and all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Climate: Ranges from hot and arid in the north to very cold in the far south. The central areas have a mild Mediterranean climate with a wet season (May to August). Beyond Puerto Montt in the south is one of the wettest and stormiest areas in the world.

Required clothing: Lightweight cottons and linens in northern and central areas. Rainwear is advised during rainy seasons. Mediumweights and waterproofing are needed in the south.

Food & Drink: Santiago has many international restaurants; waiter service is usual. The evening will often include floor shows and dancing. Examples of typical national dishes are empanada (combination of meat, chicken or fish, with onions, eggs, raisins and olives inside a flour pastry), humitas (seasoned corn paste, wrapped in corn husks and boiled), cazuela de ave (soup with rice, vegetables, chicken and herbs), bife a lo pobre (steak with french fries, onions and eggs) and parrillada (selection of meat grilled over hot coals). Seafood is good. Best known are the huge lobsters from Juan Fernández Islands. Abalone, sea urchins, clams, prawns and giant choros (mussels) are also common.
Chile is famous for its wine. Pisco is a powerful liqueur distilled from grapes after wine pressing. Grapes are also used to make the sweet brown chicha as well as aguardiente, similar to brandy. Beer is drunk throughout the country.

Nightlife: While many restaurants and hotels offer entertainment there are also a number of independent discotheques and nightclubs. Casinos: The Municipal Casino in Viña del Mar offers large gambling salons, full cabaret and boite with Chile’s best dance bands. A casino operates in Gran Hotel in Puerto Varas between September and March. Arica also has a casino operating throughout the year with baccarat, roulette, black jack, a restaurant and late-night cabaret.

Tipping: Restaurants and bars add 10 per cent to bill. However, waiters will expect a 10 per cent cash tip in addition.

Currency: Chilean Peso (peso) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of peso20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of peso500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.

Currency exchange:
Foreign exchange transactions can be conducted through commercial banks, casas de cambio, or authorised shops, restaurants, hotels and clubs. Visitors should not be tempted by the premiums of 10 to 15 per cent over the official rate offered by black marketeers. Casas de cambio are open daily 0900-1900.

Credit & debit cards: Diners Club, Visa, American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.




CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Tobacco.....................400 cigarettes and 500 grams tobacco and 50 cigars

Liquor........................2.5 litres of alcohol

Perfume.....................Reasonable for personal use

Cameras....................No restrictions

Film...........................Reasonalbe for personal use

Gifts...........................Refer to consulate

Currency....................Refer to consulate

Agricultural items......Refer to consulate

Import Prohibited ...Meat products, flowers, fruits and vegetables unless permission is sought prior to travelling. Prohibited items without permission are liable to be confiscated at the airport.





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