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|Los Rios Region XIV, Southern Chile's Newest Region|
|Valdivia Southern Chile City Guide|
The Los Rios region (The rivers region) was recently split from Los Lagos region (region X), and will be numbered officially as region XIV. The new region will have Valdivia as the capital. The Los Rios region was not the only new region created. In Northern Chile, the Arica-Parinacota Region was also created and will be numbered as region XV.
The debate about splitting up the Los Lagos region has been going on since perhaps the formation of Chile. The old Region X has been one of the fastest growing, and perhaps stretched a bit in the resource allocated to it by the federal government for some time. With Puerto Montt as the regional capital, resources needed to be allocated as far south as Chaiten and Futaleufu, and as far North as Osorno and Valdivia.
It was only natural that the region be split eventually. The bigger concern was how the loss of political influence and federal money might hurt the Los Lagos region overall, and unbalance the allocations of resources in Southern Chile.
One of the bigger debates was which way would the city of Osorno go. This was left to a vote of the residents of Osorno, and in a municipal referendum Osorno voted to stay with the old Los Lagos region.
We will be interested to see how Valdivia deals with being turned in to a regional capital. Being a regional capital in Chile means setting up a large amount of government offices and infrastructure. It also means that the large push to build office buildings, relocate government workers, and the other basic activities that go with starting a new region could lead to a major real estate boom in an area that was already one of the strongest real estate markets in southern Chile. The impact of growth on such a small historical city will be something to watch closely over the next few years.