Tucked back in the unlikely corner of one of the many mini malls in downtown Santiago sits the Chilean headquarters of Le Monde Diplomatique ("The Diplomatic World"), a monthly publication that focuses on political issues throughout the world.
Photo by Sofia Carvajal
Upon walking in, you are greeted by the dozens of brightly colored but simple book covers that deck the walls of the tiny bookstore. In the back of the store lies a staircase that seems as though it leads to a stock room but in fact takes you to both the offices of the people who work at the publication and to the classroom-like documentary area.
Launched in France after World War II, Le Monde Diplomatique was once affiliated with the French magazine Le Monde. Because of content differences, Le Monde Diplomatique became a completely separate entity, which has spread to more than 30 countries and has been in Chile for nine years.
The purpose of Le Monde Diplomatique is not to discuss “the Chilean situation,” says arts director Carlos Munoz, but rather to bring Chileans information and ideas about global issues. In fact, only 20 percent of the content is related to Chile, while the other 80 percent focuses on issues like global politics, diplomacy and ecology.
In addition to offering a monthly publication--yearly subscriptions are available for CP$19,500 (US$38) and CP$17,500 (US$35) for students--Le Monde Diplomatique also releases a book every month that compiles the journal’s articles about certain issues such as regional conflicts, women’s rights or controversial leaders.
The short books (CP$2,990) are available at Le Monde Diplomatique’s Chilean headquarters, including La Locura de Pinochet ("The Madness of Pinochet") and Género y Globalización: Mujeres ("Gender and Globalization: Women"), among many others.
Documentaries about global issues are also shown at 6 pm every Tuesday night in the upstairs area, free to the public.
Le Monde Diplomatique Chilean headquarters
San Antonio 434 (at Monjitas)
Monday to Friday, 10 am to 7 pm
Free documentaries every Tuesday, 6 pm
Metro: Plaza de Armas