Chile carried out its first TAI assessment in 2002, followed by a second study from 2004-2005. Since then, it has used the information gathered in these reports to help develop policy improving participation, access to information and, to a slightly lesser extent, access to justice. For example, the National Commission of the Environment recently committed to creating a participatory process in the design of the country’s first Toxic Release Inventory and TAI partner groups helped influence the design of the system to guarantee full citizen participation.
this year in Chile it´s being the 4th time that this methodology has been applied in our country. This time is the first in which poverty indicators have been applied.
Regarding the Chilean political context, we point out the recent implementation of the law 20.285 of Transparency and Access to Public Information. A mechanism for the enforcement of this law has also been created, called the Council for Transparency, which is an autonomous organism that has faculties for the penalization of the public services that do not comply with the law. This law has clear limits for access to information, establishing clear exceptions for the legal negation of certain information .
In reference to Environmental institutionality, during this year a discussion was held in the Congress on the modification of the law 19.300 of the Environment. Despite the recommendations and the meetings that were held with civil society organizations, such organizations point out that the modifications presented by the Senate represent a defeat for the correct exercising of fundamental rights. This reform modifies the existing environmental institutionality, creating the Ministry of the Environment, the Environmental Evaluation Service and the Superintendence of Oversight. However, the modification did not include issues sustained by civil society organizations that would have meant significant progress in terms of the rights of access, especially regarding public participation, and the correct access to information by providing technical assistance to communities, among others .
With regards to the social context, it is possible to identify significant changes in the behavior of the figures regarding people living in poverty. In 1990, after almost 20 years of military dictatorship, the measurements of the first democratic Government indicated that 38.6% of the country’s population lived in poverty. In addition, people living in situations of extreme poverty reached 13%. In the year 2006 the percentage of people living in poverty had decreased to 13.7% and that of people living in extreme poverty had been reduced to 3.2%. This decrease was due mainly to the development and implementation of social investment policies by the State.
Despite having the lowest figures of absolute poverty in Latin America, Chile is the country with the worst distribution of income in the region, in which the richest fifth of the society makes around 58% of the total amount of autonomous income , while the poorest fifth receives 5%.