The Santiaguino Empire, or Southern American Empire, is a monarchic state and a direct descendant of the American Empire. Although it claims to be American in identity, it is mostly influenced by Hispanic as opposed to Anglo-Saxon culture.
During the Collapse, not every Imperial official was aware of New Dawn. Many believed the Emperor and his inner circle died in the Collapse and consequently state governors jockeyed for power. A series of succession wars were waged in the jungle between competing states, the most powerful of which were the Chilean and Mexican factions. The Chileans won out by fighting a defensive war of attrition against a Mexico that needed to defend its northern border. Eventually the Chileans were successful in reuniting the Spanish portions of South America under Imperial rule.
Despite the best efforts of the Empire before the Collapse, South America was not fully Americanized. Many South Americans had only a rudimentary grasp on English and obeyed the old Catholic Church as opposed to the State Church. Americanization was only successful in adding a thin American veneer to the various cultures of South America. The Santiaguino Empire attempted to continue the work of the old Empire, but it was dependent on South American population centers. Americans were the minority in this "American" Empire and were more influenced by their subjects than the other way around. By the 2500s, Spanish was the official language of the Santiaguino Empire and their version of the State Church was more similar to the traditional Catholicism of the continent. However, Imperial knowledge was held and maintained, if not improved on, by the Santiaguinos. During the Coalition invasion of Earth, they would recover many old Imperial archives.
For the first half of their existence, the Santiaguinos attempted to regain the rest of the Americas from the Mexicans and the techno-barbarians of the north. They proved unsuccessful in this venture, although under Emperor Alex I the Santiaguinos were successful in regaining almost all of Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Florida. Many pretenders to the Imperial throne considered the Santiaguinos American in name only, describing with names such as the Chilean or Santiaguino Empire. The Santiaguinos were unable to fully control the Amazon or regain Brazil, despite the best efforts of the Empire. The Santiaguinos also faced challenges to the west, in the form of Imperial remnants in the Pacific, until the Pacific remnants were destroyed by the ascendant Indonesians. The Santiaguinos formed the core of anti-Martian resistance during each Martian invasion of Earth.
Although the Santiaguinos managed to maintain their independence up until the Coalition invasion, relations between the two American successor states put independence at risk. The Coalition was deeply anti-monarchist and skeptical of the Imperial throne, and they were not impressed with an American regime that had "gone native." At the same time, the Santiaguinos were seen by others as long-lost American brothers who had withstood the test of time. Supreme Director Michael Applegate eventually decided to puppetize the Santiaguinos and seize any Imperial records and valuables they might have. The Santiaguinos would also provide troops to aid in the occupation of Earth. In exchange, the Santiaguinos get what they have always wanted: control over Mexico and Brazil, but not the Imperial heartland. When the Coalition was driven off-world by the Conseil, the Santiaguinos were finally driven out of South America, but this time they were able to flee the planet.