Even if overall Chilean fortunes have soared, many Chileans have languished. For weeks, many protesters have called for a new constitution, but the ‘how’ is just as important as the ‘what’. Chileans took a tentative first step toward redrafting their constitution—imposed 40 years ago by the military regime—in what University of Miami political scientists say will be an effort fraught with challenges to address the country’s inequalities. The prevailing rules are what allowed this nation of 18 million to do so many things right. The cabildos can play a role in fomenting a new culture in Chile and in reclaiming plazas and other public spaces, said Retamales. Protests continue as many celebrate the referendum announcement, while others criticise and reject it. There have been jubilant scenes in Chile after an overwhelming majority voted in support of rewriting Chile's constitution, which dates to the military rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet. The complete reversal of the government’s position on a potential constitutional assembly is seen by many as an important victory. A university history student, Ana* was protesting for universal free public education, but most of all, she was protesting for pension reform so that the generations before her can actually retire at retirement age. Managing the aspirations — and the inevitable frustrations to follow — is a job for political leadership. “The framers of Brazil’s constitution wanted to pack it with all the rights the dictatorship had voided,” said Felipe Camargo of Oxford Economics. Hold the tear gas and water cannons. Sunday’s victory in Chile did not come easily or swiftly. Trump’s Republicans Are a Faction, Not a Party, A Letter From 9 Million U.S. Expats to Janet Yellen. A mother of six and guardian of another six nieces and nephews, Castillo does not trust politicians to understand or act in the interests of the population, and she was far from alone. Sadly, that’s another Latin American asset in short supply. The student protests and ensuing police crackdown triggered nationwide mass protests over health, education, pension, wage, and other issues. On Oct. 25, in a popular referendum, the rest of … Instead, Chileans learned that savings rise or tank with the markets, life expectancy has soared and at least 29% of laborers still draw their livelihoods from the parlous informal economy. English Exceptionalism Is a Big Brexit Hurdle, Irrational Exuberance Hits the Oil Market, The Vaccines That Could Use a Shot in the Arm, capture of public institutions by private interest, 29% of laborers still draw their livelihoods from the parlous informal economy. “I am protesting for my mother,” Ana told Al Jazeera at a recent protest, shortly before police began firing volley after volley of tear gas. Should the process move forward, citizen elections to the convention would take place in October 2020, alongside local and regional elections. Reuters. For Modatima, the Water, Land and Environmental Defence Movement, among many other objections, the timeline itself is also cause for concern. Yet the economic orthodoxy it underwrote is also under assault. It would then require ratification in a nationwide referendum. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners. Basically, the vote was a central demand of mass protests over inequality in late 2019. “We have been silent for so many years,” Luz Castillo, a longtime social movement activist, told Al Jazeera. Article 192 of Brazil’s 1988 constitution famously capped interest rates at 12%, although it soon became a dead letter. The Chilean government has introduced a series of measures in recent weeks related to some of the multifold demands of social movements and protesters, but they have been widely rejected. The pace-setting economy also toppled the poverty rate from 36% in 2000 to 8.6% in 2017. Whether woke Chileans will go for anything less than a total reset is a tougher call. “The government’s response has been inconsistent, reactive, and of repression,” Pamela Pasache, a Ministry of Education workers union leader, told Al Jazeera. The convention would up to a year to draft the document and pass it with a two-thirds majority. Cristian Retamales, a local Ministry of Culture workers union leader in Antofagasta, told Al Jazeera the grassroots assemblies have been incredibly important, perhaps especially to him and so many others who grew up during Pinochet’s 1973-1990 dictatorship. In a referendum on Sunday, 78 percent of voters backed constitutional overhaul, a stinging rebuke of the constitution dating from the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. People gather to protest against Chile’s government during a referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Santiago, Chile. The Constitution that Chileans have just voted to supplant was installed by Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a … At least 23 people have been killed during the crisis. Here are five things to know the continued unrest and the referendum planned for next year: In mid-October, secondary school students and other young people protested against a subway fare hike in Santiago. The youth who sparked the movement for change in the first place will be excluded due to age from participating in votes and the convention. “There is so much inequality,” said Castillo. Chile is a World Bank high-income economy with high living standards. As actions continue in the streets and work towards next April’s plebiscite gets going, protesters and social movements continue to demand an immediate halt to repression and justice for the killings and myriad of abuses that have taken place during the crisis. But a more enduring solution is supposed to come from a referendum, to be held on October 25th, on whether Chile should scrap its constitution and write a new one. “The original parameters for Chilean pensions are obsolete. What’s harder to fathom is how to write all that exaltation into a workable compendium of laws that answers Chile’s aspirations and plays to its strengths as a Latin American economic exemplar. Castillo has been participating in protests since they began and she stands out in the crowd in Antofagasta. Chile’s constitutional referendum last month was its most important vote since the country transitioned to democracy in 1989. Such virtues have raised Chile’s international cachet and inflated the self-esteem of a political establishment that measured itself alongside the advanced nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. News Chile votes to replace Pinochet-era constitution: early referendum results. On the last Sunday in October, in a plebiscite postponed by the pandemic, Chileans voted overwhelmingly to redraft the country’s constitution and to elect a … More sessions are already being organised in different parts of the country to discuss the official announcement, constitutional process and next steps. Ukraine president addresses nation after being taken to hospital with coronavirus Part of the problem with Chile’s existing charter is pedigree: It was written in 1980, when Chile was under the boot of Augusto Pinochet (1973 – 1990), the region’s iconic military dictator. A constitutional assembly has been an important collective goal, but so are demands related to pensions, wages, health and education, and many of them are much more immediate. “The voters have said the model has to change fundamentally, but it’s unclear how. If anyone wondered what became of the fury that shook Latin America’s pre-pandemic streets, Chileans have an answer. Distribution does not reach the majority,” said Eduardo Rojas, a dockworker union leader in Antofagasta, a city 1,400km (870 miles) north of the capital. Chile’s current constitution has undergone many reforms, but it was written in 1980 by a commission during the 17-year military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. To the Chilean street, retaining the tyrant’s rulebook besmirches democracy. We don’t just need more regulations and mandates. He was a reporter for Newsweek and is the author of “The Last New World: The Conquest of the Amazon Frontier.”, Photographer: Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images South America. There is no indication that gender parity or indigenous representation will be taken into account. The regime ended in 1990 after a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled until 2010. 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