Why is Chile the most unhappy country in Latin America if international rankings say it is the one that has the greatest “wealth” ?


Different Chilean media have informed of a new report from the WHO in which the organization urges the Chilean government to invest in fighting depression, disease suffered by more than 17% of Chileans, which makes them, according to this report, the most depressive country in the world.

The information also indicates that Chile is a leader in Latin America in suicides and along with South Korea is one of the two countries reporting a rate of increase in suicides among children and adolescents.
Paradoxically, Chile usually heads the rankings of welfare and economic development in the region and it is internationally mentioned as the great case of Latin American success. The well-known Economic Freedom Index of the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal placed Chile as the seventh best economy in the world, the best in Latin America over more than 25 places. The Human Development Index of the UN determined that Chile is the best country to live in Latin America. Something that sounds like a touch of black humour, when it is considered that Chile is the country that most suicides and depressed people has in the region. Is it the best country to live … or to die?
Chile’s case is symptomatic of the enormous gap between economic indicators of a country and the real welfare of the people. This is almost like a hallucination of the global capitalist system paid with individuals’ mental health, victims of the pressure to increase their incomes, buying the idea (which comes with a high rate of interest) that happiness has to do with money and purchasing power.

To explain the unhappiness of the average Chilean, especially the residents in cities like Santiago, where only in 12 years consumption of antidepressants increased 470%, we must point out that Chile has been the country that has embraced more vigorously neoliberalism in the region (or has been the country that has been forced to adopt this ideology).

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining factor of human relations. Redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic elections are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” distributes benefits that could never have been achieved only with the planning.

This supposed abundant feast of freedom produces an inversion of values, which are dictated by the market (not only economic values) and “inequality is reframed as virtuous” because in the free market “everyone gets what he deserves”. At the same time to aspire to get the goods promised by this ideology and keep the machine working at an ever faster pace, it is necessary that citizens assume the essential role of the consumer and that the economy continues growing and providing statistical results, which are believed to be exchanged for material reality.
In Chile the commandment of neoliberalism has been implemented with singular devotion: economic growth at all costs. Chileans suffer this world-view, and are amongst the most indebted citizens in the world (73% of households live in debt). Debt, which having to meet payments and deadlines, makes people live and devote all their energies to making money; they raise money to a higher level of importance than it really has, equating it with the currency of happiness and freedom.

Likewise neoliberalism, promoting the ideology that everyone get what they deserve, makes “the rich to be convinced that they have acquired their wealth by own achievement- ignoring benefits such as education, inheritance and class” and on the other hand it creates a social fabric of frustration in which “the poor start to blame themselves for their failures, even if they have no means to alter their circumstances.” It is no coincidence that the countries that have assumed the neoliberal ideology are also those that more inequality have (another example is Mexico).

Part of an article extracted from the informative portal

Pijamasurf: http://pijamasurf.com/2016/04/la-paradoja-de-chile-el-pais-mas-depresivo-del-mundo/



A dangerous tendency towards depression and suicide.

(Alberto Varela)

Reducing the problem of depression to the economy is minimizing a very complex and deep situation to the scale of incomprehension, which will for sure aggravate the problem. Reducing the collective discomfort to certain characteristics of a particular country is to not have the global view of the problem of depression.
Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest rate of suicide and they have everything insured until death and beyond it. They do not know what to do with all their money, but they kill themselves. By contrast, in India with such poverty there are very low rates of depression or suicide.

I recently wrote an article about suicide as a global plague (I leave the link below) and I commented on the information: “1 million suicides a year worldwide”. It is obviously a problem at a global scale. Although it affects much more certain countries such as Chile. As if in a common part of humanity as a species the decision of suicide has been taken. There is no shortage of reasons, but neither are there consistent proposals, which go to the root of the problem, so the tendency to worsen.

As I will soon visit Chile to give a conference and to organise inner evolution retreats with psychotherapeutic use of Ayahuasca, I want to introduce the topic in writing. 

I have found that a large percentage of the over 15,000 people I have been contacting in the last 20 years, by the fact that I offer different activities for personal growth, inner evolution or spiritual awakening, are in the group of people who are in various depressive processes and even thinking seriously about suicide. In fact part of the retreats we organise have dynamics to detect and go deeper into this kind of problems.



When it happens that this kind of delicate situations or problems are manifested in groups of people living within the same country, rulers, the country, its history, culture, religion, well … many possible causes …can be blamed, but the interior of each of the individuals is seldom called upon. Regardless of the fact that socio-cultural trends may predispose more or less to depression or suicide, there is a very deep and complex internal reality, which shelters the main reasons for depression and suicide.

On an internal level I refer in the first place to the FAMILY, but later on looking fully into the individual, I refer to the STATE OF HIS/HER PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL STRUCTURE, the weak, fragile and inconsistent parts that many people have, people who are like emotional children deprived of resources to cope with life,

which does not allow them to deal with their affairs with maturity and responsibility.

In that respect there are variables, such as the dose of love or the reference of authority, that every child needs, which are seriously damaged inside most people.

It is obvious that this is a big problem in the psycho-emotional structure, which as we know is constructed in the early years of a child’s life.

And much more obvious is that if we do not change the family and educational models, we will hardly reverse this problem.

On the other hand we human beings have become experts at making children forget their divine nature, an ontological amnesia of tragic consequences, because if there is something that can help us in really tough times is the memory of what we are, where we come from and why we are here. The spiritual Alzheimer in which we have incurred has disconnected us from that which is essential. Coming to believe that we are simply an identity, or that we are what we have, what we think, do, eat or believe.

An authentic personality disorder which affects the internal balance of human beings. It is like having lost the meaning of life, and having forgotten the meaning of existence.

Our method addresses this issue in a confrontational as well as liberating way. But not to change the family, education or society, but for the individual to make an inner transformation which he can manifest on the outside, it does not matter where he/she lives; We do not create or have communes to escape from our family or society, but we create the conditions for the individual to realise who he/she is and what he/she is worth to take it then to his/her everyday life, because that is what will save him/herself from tragedy.

In addition to using Amazonian plants for the treatment of depression, we have a team of doctors and psychologists and facilitators specially trained to get to the root of the problem from a clear and deep vision, to look honestly and transparently at what happens to each one of us. Thus able to begin to understand that all illnesses or diseases are multifactorial and that each individual sets up his/her own way; to access then individually each person, in order for them to become aware by him/herself on how he/she set up his/her own depressive picture, his/her suicidal thoughts or his/her limitations or problems.

Having treated so many people in this way and seeing the positive results obtained, encouraged us to continue expanding our method. We are verifying that when the roots of any problem are touched, it begins to weaken and then leave. We see it in retreats to overcome addictions that we also organized in several countries, and will surely take to Chile soon.

On this visit to Chile, there is an internal issue to be resolved for our organization, because we are part of the collective healing, and we get inside us to see and feel what happens in us. In the case of the visit to Chile our personal job is to accept the resistance, criticism, judgments, condemnations and slurs, even before arriving in Chile and with no one knowing us.

Before arriving we are already being invited to leave.
For anyone who thinks that I have sexually abused someone, or who thinks that I economically abuse indigenous people, it is obvious that I suggest him/her not to come. And if in spite of so many things said about me, there are people who want to know the truth, this will manifest spontaneously.
Anyone who wants to know about my criminal record can apply for them, or know the causes of the slanders made about me, please write to

[email protected]


I, as founder and director of this organization and international community, have decided to go against all odds, the worst that can happen is that nobody comes to the conference and that would also be very welcome because I would go for a walk and enjoy that wonderful country. But I would never renounce the call from my heart to go there.

Even though I do not know what will happen, I can say for sure that I will not argue with anyone, I will not fight or go to war. I’ll just share my own discoveries related to human welfare, health, and happiness and especially with the flourishing of consciousness and love. 

Alberto José Varela

[email protected]



Ayahuasca International holds Inner Evolution retreats with therapeutic use of Ayahuasca in several countries in Europe. Click the links for specific information on each retreat.

Berlin, December 27 to January 1

Cologne, December 27 to January 1

Vienna, December 28 to January 1

Marbella, December 29 to January 2

Marbella, January 4 to 8

Tenerife, January 5 to 8

Berlin, January 11 to 15

Switzerland, January 12 to 15

Madrid, January 12 to 17

Munich, January 26 to 29

Berlin, January 25 to 29

Amsterdam, January 26 to 29

Click here for a complete listing of  information of all the 2016/17 Ayahuasca International Retreats Calendar . It includes subsequent links to information, prices and booking procedure for each retreat.

For bookings or to request any further information call to +49 (0) 171 987 6655 (also available by whatsapp) or write to [email protected] 

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