SANTIAGO, CHILE—The Chilean minors have been neglected for months, but with a new government program entitled “No Minor Left Behind” (NMLB), the Chilean government vows to make sure each minor is given essentials that everyone needs: a six-pack of Budweiser and a pack of cigarettes.
“It is essential to promote the health and well-being of every citizen, especially the children” commented one government spokesman about NMLB, which looks to be implemented before the year’s end, “By the end of the third quarter of 2011, we hope to see a 100% improvement in alcohol and cigarette consumption of all minors, and a 200% improvement among minorities”. This is a great step forward for the Chilean government, which in years past could only supply cigarettes, cocaine, and other narcotics to as little as twenty percent of the children in need (between the ages of 7 and 16).
Detractors of the measures point out that it’s unrealistic to claim that all children will have alcohol in their liver and tobacco in their lungs by 2012. “All this will do is lower our standards for what we consider ‘drunk’ and ‘addicted,’” says Marta Balamaceda, the district manager of the nation’s Department of Health and Resources. Others, such as the advocacy group CAFC (Cigarettes and Alcohol For Children) criticize the effort for taking away resources from the minors that have managed to fend for themselves. 10% of Chilean minors have attained acceptable levels of depravity, consuming at least a fifth of hard liquor and a pack of cigarettes daily.
President Pinera looks to be holding a signing ceremony on Wednesday in honor of this historic event, which many experts are calling the first major health reform in over a decade. “Long have I waited for the day when I can walk the streets of our dear Chile and see the children smiling back at me blearily. Finally our kids will be happy!” he declared.
This program is projected to fare better than ‘Machete for Every Minor,’ a program undertaken to provide self-protection to all minors. The measures came under fire as “incomplete” after the administration cut corners and distributed blunt weaponry. Quality control has been stepped up in recent years, and government officials assure us that citizens need not worry about shoddy manufacturing or hazardous products.