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In Chile people are coming together to avoid dictatorship

Political parties seem to have forgotten the Constituent Convention that will outline the new institutional structure in Chile.


Manuel Cabieses Donoso


There is a large number of candidates aspiring to be regional governors, mayors, councillors, regional councillors, members of parliament, and even president of the Republic.

The 29 November is the beginning of the party, that starts with the primary for governors and mayors but may surprise the electoral abstention.

In the meantime, there is no mention of the Constituent Convention, the first in the history of our republic.

The parties do not acknowledge what is happening in “traditional Chile”. They do not understand the subterranean phenomenon that defies the institution inherited from a dictatorship, and which sometimes blooms into senseless violence or reaches peaks of huge mass protests.

The claim of dignity and equality for the men and women of this country emerges from the depths.

If this cry is not heard, the wrath of the people will knock down every barrier that stand in its way.

However, this rage of millions, has put forward a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis: a Constituent Assembly to draft a political constitution, which would democratically lead to a society of equals.

This movement failed to enforce the Constituent Assembly because it lacked organisation and a collective leadership respected by everyone.

Taking advantage of these weaknesses, the political establishment created a trap with the Constituent Convention, which replaces the will of the people with a regulation that grants veto power to the minority.

The people are aware of the trap, but will try to defeat the anti-democratic manoeuvre, like they successfully did in the 25 of October referendum.

This time, on 11 of April, we want to elect more than two-thirds of the politicians who are committed to changing the core of the Constituent Convention and making it a true Constituent Assembly. The aim is for a sweeping vote of the people.

After an impressive triumph, this is not an impossible task. The referendum proved that the unity of the people can destroy the traps and deceptions from the financial and political elites.

Winning this time, however, requires redoubling the efforts in order to motivate popular participation to be higher than 50.9% of the electoral roll.

There are more than 7 million citizens who didn’t vote in October.

This is the most important task for this period. It is much more important in the government elections that the next political constitution will replace the previous with new democratic power structures created from the popular base.

The parties, however, continue the bitter dispute of sharing a power that is on the verge of extinction.

But it is now up to the social movements, and each of us, to take the initiative and redirect the efforts towards the great victory on 11 April.

A group of important social leaders, some of them party leaders, have formulated a reasonable “Proposal for unity of the people of Chile, to elect the candidates of the constituent body”.

The political parties, that would be faced with an abstention, should be required to honour this proposal, as it gives them an undeserved respite, but at the same time recognises that the force is on the side of social movement.

We are facing a historic juncture. If we are not able to come together and choose a constituency, the tomb of the third, forged by the heirs of the dictatorship, awaits us. (PL)

(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: Photos: Marcella Via


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