Chilean Government Looking To Withdraw From Dakar Rally Following April Earthquake
The 2015 Dakar Rally "has not begun, but it is already close to being altered," according to Jaime Martín of MARCA. The earthquake that struck Iquique, Chile on April 1 and impacted the surrounding area has "forced the Chilean government to consider if its planned investment in the event" -- which was nearly €6M in this year's edition -- should instead be invested in the affected areas. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet "prefers to donate this sum" to help the cities of Iquique and Valparaíso. The organizers of the Dakar Rally "are seeking alternatives to the route that was presented in Paris and it appears that the race will only be held in Argentina and Bolivia" (MARCA, 4/29). OLE reported Chile's decision "can be carried out without a problem because the contract between Chile and race organizer ASO was not signed and there is only a verbal agreement" (OLE, 4/29).