People gathered at Plaza Italia square in Santiago to celebrate the biggest victory of in the history of Chile. A plebiscite was held to back the idea of a new charter that will replace one imposed by military dictator But what exactly happened?
Where it began: Back in 2019, a protest started over a small hike in metro fares which then expanded into a broad wave that shook Chile for weeks. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the streets, calling for radical change in their society, with higher wages and pensions, better health care and education. Eventually people’s attention landed on the most crucial problem; The Constitution. So basically Gen. Augusto Pinochet approved a fraudulent plebiscite in 1980 which eventually became the constitution of Chile.
What happened: On Sunday, just after a year of massive demonstrations which swept the nation, Chileans voted to scrap the dictatorship-era document and write a new one. Principally written by Pinochet adviser Jaime Guzmán, the 1980 constitution enshrined the neoliberal philosophies which supported a tiny fraction of people on the top. But an overwhelming majority of Chilean have decided to change it once and for all.
What’s next: In April, the public will elect 155 members, with equal numbers of men and women. Interestingly the world’s first constitution to accomplish gender parity.
Reservations: Those who voted against the change think that two-year redrafting could be a period of uncertainty and threatening for economic stability.
Major takeaway: Chileans organized these protest for sole purpose of representation of the people. This movement was led by common people, students, laborers , teachers, farmers etc. Chile didn’t wait for Messiah to show up, they took the fervor of grass-root movement and oriented it into concrete change.