Mercurio, El

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Mercurio, El

El Mercurio was Chile's most widely read morning newspaper for most of the twentieth century and remains so into the present day, with editions in Santiago and Valparaiso. Owned for generations by the wealthy, Anglo-Chilean Edwards family, it has played a prominent, and decidedly conservative, role in Chilean politics for most of the twentieth century. It vigorously opposed both the reformist Christian Democratic government of Eduardo Frei Montalva (1964–1970) and the Popular Unity government of Marxist Salvador Allende (1970–1973). In an effort to blunt its criticism, Allende withdrew governmental subsidies and support (advertising contracts, etc.), but the paper continued to be published thanks to generous financial support from the U.S. government. It hailed the 1973 coup, and during the ensuing sixteen years of military rule, it enthusiastically supported Pinochet's neo-liberal economic policies, downplayed the extent of poverty and human rights abuse, and generally sought to discredit the government's civil and religious critics. Its conservative position continues in the twenty-first century.

See alsoAllende Gossens, Salvador; Frei Montalva, Eduardo; Journalism; Pinochet Ugarte, Augusto.


Guillermo Sunkel, El Mercurio: Diez años de educación política-ideológica (1983).

Fernando Reyes Matta et al., comps., Investigación sobre la prensa Chile (1986).

P. Sigmund, The United States and Democracy in Chile (1993)

Additional Bibliography

Durán, Claudio. El Mercurio: Ideología y propaganda, 1954–1994: Ensayos de interpretación bi-lógica y psicohistórica. v. 1. Santiago: Ediciones Chile y América-CESOC, 1995.

                                       Michael Fleet