In the face of the social crisis, the Chilean President agrees to amend the Constitution

This is one of the protesters who have been protesting for three weeks against the government. Among the proposed changes: "a better definition of human rights".

Time to Reading 2 min.

A protester in the streets of Santiago. PABLO SANHUEZA / REUTERS

Will this move help to alleviate the social crisis that has shaken Chile for three weeks now? In any case, this is one of the main demands of protesters who protest against the government's policy. Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced on Saturday (November 10th) that he was preparing a draft amendment to the Constitution, promulgated under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

"I believe that constitutional changes are legitimate and we will discuss them"said the president in an interview published by the daily El Mercurio.

Among the proposed changes are "A better definition of human rights and how to enforce" these rights. The planned amendments also specify "The obligations of the state" and establish "Better mechanisms for participation" citizen, added the president.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Chile: "The demand for a new constitution condenses the demands of the protesters"

A few days after the accession of Mr Piñera to the presidency in March 2018, his government had announced that it would not allow consideration of a bill that the previous president, Socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) , had submitted to Congress to amend the Constitution. The project anchored the inviolability of human rights, the right to health and education, and equal pay for men and women.

After three weeks of massive demonstrations in which 20 people lost their lives, the head of state said that the current project should finally be discussed at the same time as that of former President Bachelet and other proposals that could be done.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Historic mobilization in Chile against inequalities

A constituent assembly called for

Since the start of the social anger that sparked an upturn in the price of the subway ticket on 18 October, protesters have denounced social inequalities in the areas of education, health and pensions. But voices also called for a constituent assembly to change the Constitution.

Since the dictatorship, the Constitution has undergone over 200 changes in more than 40 articles, the president said. Amendments must be debated in Congress, the only body competent to validate them.

Like the marches, organized via social networks, citizens gathered at municipal councils to discuss the provisions of the future Constitution. Local referendums on the subject will be organized in early December in the vast majority of municipalities in the country.

On Saturday, the protest marches, fewer and quieter than the day before, continued under intense heat in the capital.

In the posh neighborhood of Las Condes, families marched under Chilean flags and Mapuche – the country's leading Indian minority – shouting the slogan of social protest: "Chile desperto" ("Chile woke up").

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also "Collective protest in Chile echoes global social reality"

In the Providencia neighborhood, police fired tear gas at dozens of protesters who were protesting the serious injuries sustained by a young man who was shot in the eyes during the riots.

Bikers roared their machines in front of the presidential palace of La Moneda, while isolated clashes occurred in Plaza Italia, the epicenter of the protests.

The Interior Ministry reported that 400 people were arrested on Friday and more than a hundred – civilians and police – were injured, mainly in Providencia and Plaza Italia, where 75,000 people had gathered.

Read also From the local trigger to global revolt: the convergence of struggles in the world


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here