A new Chile offers hope to the countries of the South against neoliberalism and dictatorship

It all started in October 2019, when the Chilean government decided to increase public transport fares during peak hours. In retaliation for this decision, students took to the streets and began to protest against it. The government thought it would be wise to deal with the protesting students with a heavy hand, but the move sparked mass protests across the country in which people from all walks of life also joined and began protesting against other important issues, namely health, education, pensions. , salaries, etc. The government, however, decided that the best way to further suppress these protesters was to impose an emergency in the country and call in the army to restore order, but despite this, the protests and demonstrators continued. multiplied and the government began to feel the heat. .

One of the protesters’ key demands was to improve the old dictatorship-era constitution that allowed the private sector to have an oligopoly over health, education, pensions and housing. Even something as basic as water was privatized under the previous Chilean government. The government gave in to the protesters’ demand for a new constitution and announced the date of the referendum. A year later, the people of Chile voted overwhelmingly to have the constitution rewritten by a body made up entirely of elected people who were voted in by the people.

In December 2021, the Chilean people elected their youngest president, Gabriel Boric, who is a former student leader, a leftist and only in his 30s. He won the presidential election by a margin, beating his right-wing conservative opponent Jose Antonio Kast. The president-elect’s victory belongs to those who opposed Chile’s oppressive economic model introduced during former President Pinochet’s dictatorship. During one of his electoral rallies, he declared: “If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave”. President Boric promised the people a new Chile, a Chile that will advance the fight against climate change, respect the rights of nature, improve working conditions, wages and pensions for workers and end gender discrimination . One that will respect indigenous land and basic human rights, provide free health care, education and much more.

Fast forward to July 2022, the constitutional convention presented the final draft of Chile’s proposed new Magna Carta. This new constitution is downloaded, read and welcomed by progressives around the world.

The constitution was drafted by the constitutional convention, it was made up of 155 members and would be the most representative body in the history of Chile. Of the 155 members, 138 were elected from 28 districts by a system known as open-list proportional representation, which means that when people vote for a candidate, that vote will also be attributed to the candidate’s party. Under this system, if a party wins 51% of the total vote, that party should win half of the elected seats instead of winning all of them. Political scientists also refer to this as the “votes for seats” method and believe that this method is designed to produce inclusive representation. The convention also included 17 seats for 10 Indigenous groups. A quota for people with disabilities and equal representation of men and women.

One of the protesters’ key demands was to improve the old dictatorship-era constitution that allowed the private sector to have an oligopoly over health, education, pensions and housing.

Article 1 of the proposed draft constitution declares that Chile is a “social and democratic state.” It is plurinational, intercultural, regional and ecological”. The very first article paints a very clear picture of what a new Chili should be. He declares that Chile is a secular state, without any official religion and that all religions and beliefs will be respected. The chapter on fundamental rights in the draft constitution begins with article 17 and ends with article 126. Among other things, it declares torture, enforced disappearances and other cruel and degrading treatment as “imprescriptible”, a right that the law always protects and “not” invaluable “and also guarantees victims of human rights violations full reparations. The state will also ensure gender equality for women and other genders.

Article 27 states that “all women, girls, adolescent girls and people of sexual and gender diversity have the right to a life free from gender-based violence in all its manifestations, both in the public and private spheres. and private spheres, whether they emanate from individuals, institutions or agents of the State” and the State will take the necessary measures to eliminate these crimes. The proposed constitution also guarantees the inclusion of people with disabilities, protects older people from age-related abuse, and provides the right to self-government and autonomy for indigenous peoples and nations. An article stipulates that the State ensures community participation in matters relating to land use planning. Article 61 states that “Everyone has sexual and reproductive rights. These include, among others, the right to make free, autonomous and informed decisions about one’s own body, the exercise of sexuality, reproduction, pleasure and contraception” and the State will take care to regulate the exercise of these rights. The constitution also declares free education and health care and emphasizes the gradual increase in funding for mental health care and research. Also proclaims food, decent work, housing, access to water, clean air, decent work and digital connectivity as fundamental rights and not as a privilege.

The Chilean people are now on the verge of realizing their dream of a dynamic and inclusive new constitution for which they have had to fight so hard for so many years. The people will have the final say in a mandatory referendum on September 4, 2022.

Whether or not this constitution gets majority votes in the referendum, one thing is certain. Chile has inspired people from the peripheries around the world, especially young people, to dream and hope for a better future, to achieve even the impossible and to change the status quo. This Proposed Magna Carta Text Of Chile Is All The World Needs Right Now

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