Anxiety Free News

Chile, October 2020

PHOTO: REUTERS

In October, Chile erupted in jubilation as an overwhelming majority voted to rewrite the country’s constitution, which currently dates back to the military rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet.

Over 78% voted “yes” in the referendum which was called following mass protests against inequality. In November 2019, the right-wing President, Sebastian Pinera agreed to hold the referendum after almost daily unrest that saw more than a million Chileans take to the streets of Santiago, the capital city.

One of the main demands was to reform the dictatorship-era constitution, which they believed entrenched inequalities through putting the private sector in control of health, education, housing, and pensions.

Best of all, voters also chose for the new constitution to be drawn up by a body 100% elected by popular vote, rather than 50% by members of Congress.

“Today citizens and democracy have triumphed, today unity has prevailed over division and peace over violence,” said President Pinera. Indeed, as the results came in, the word “REBIRTH” was projected onto a building in downtown Santiago. Rather fitting, as Chile breathed new life into their democracy.