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The Chilean implosion | Opinion

Image of the former dictator Augusto Pinochet and his government had a striking improvement among the Chileansaccording to the recent survey data “Cerc-Mori Policy Barometer”.36% justified the coup of 1973, which overthrew the socialist president. Salvador Allende. The survey not only concluded that the defense of the coup grew by 20 percentage points in the last 10 years, it also pointed out that almost half of the population, 47%, believed that the regime was “partly positive and partly poor .”

Chile changed, in three years, from a society that rose up in the streets against the neoliberal model to one that increased its appreciation for Pinochetism and voted overwhelmingly for the radical right, in the last elections in May. Given the surprise of the advance of conservatism, the digital newspaper The counter came to ask: “Are you Chileans becoming schizophrenic?”

The epidemic is spreading

In October 2019, Chile gained momentum to revolt against the inequality of the political, economic and social model. “An awakening” that according to the BBC “cracked” the speech that showed this country as “an oasis of success” in a region with serious problems. After that came the popular referendum, in October 2020, where 79% said YES to a new Constitution to bury the current one, which was written by the dictatorship, and change the foundation of the country. References from the left, from social and independent movements were the majority chosen in the polls to write the magna carta. Redistribution and equal rights were some of the popular demands. Proposal that he made his own Gabriel Boricat that time a young progressive deputy, and this led him to dominate the presidential ballot, in 2021, against his extreme right opponent. Jose Antonio Cast. Magazine Time praised the current president on its cover, in September 2022: he said that it represents “a historic moment of change.”

But nine months after that cover, Chile took another turn. The reformist constitution was rejected by 62%, at the end of 2022. The text proposes a Plurinational Nation, with equal access to basic rights. Although the latter was not fundamental, only transformational, it produced uncertainty. The Chilean philosopher, Agustín Squella, explained on CNN that his country “is characterized by saying yes to change and then becoming afraid when change happens.” A climate that was taken advantage of by those who wanted to maintain their privileges to create an artificial bubble, fueled by misinformation and crazy ideas, which caused fear in a large part of society. Fear of change, fear of others, fear of Mapuche, equality. Faced with the confusion, the ultra-right offered to restore “order” and “morality” and thus gained supporters.

the implosion

Faced with the rejection of the first project, President Boric encouraged another constituent. In May 2023, the Republican Party of José Antonio Kast prevailed with an overwhelming majority in the election of Directors who will be responsible for writing the new magna carta, starting this June 7. The ultra-right not only managed to dominate the assembly, but also, with more than three and a half million votes, it became the party with the most votes since 1965. Kast is the best representative of the defense of Pinochetism in Chile, it. says he is an admirer of the former dictator and denies his crimes. It is also related for Jair Bolsonaro, Donald Trump, Santiago Abascal of Vox and take pictures with Javier Miley. His speech is a concoction of national-xenophobic proclamations that circulate in different parts of the world.

Although the new constitution will not be written on a blank page, and will be based on a draft of 16 articles drawn up by a committee of experts. (pictured, experts deliver the draft to advisers) , the traditional right and the extreme will be the ones who define the text. together 34 seats are added to a council of 50 seats, a number that will allow them to propose and approve the rules they want when they exceed three fifths of a quorum. On the other hand, the ruling party of President Gabriel Boric – with low approval ratings for his management – took only 17 seats and lost the power of veto, for which he needed 21 members. Against all logic, the forces that have refused for decades a constitutional change now have a free hand to write it as they like.

vote is required

The last elections in Chile were the first of a mandatory nature with automatic registration where candidates from political parties were elected. Instead of 8 million Chileans voting, 13 million went to the polls – a huge mass of new voters who didn’t know what to think. His decision, according to a study by the University of Chile, was supported by the majority of the radical right: out of these 10 new voters, 6 chose the Caste party3 for the other right lists and only 1 for the Government Government or for what is represented by the former concertation.

Is it only fear of change imposed by a historical majority? Did the mandatory nature of the vote show how conservative and right-wing Chilean society is? Was the media wrong when they talked about “awakening a country”?

The economic, migration and security crisis that Chile is undergoing – and the mistakes of the government and the fears of the opposition – make voters show a more reactionary position. This abrupt change, evidenced in the last five elections since 2020, shows the volatility of public opinion. And it marks a failure of Chilean progressive forces in defending democratic principles and in establishing a critical and definitive judgment against the dictatorship. No other nation in Latin America has validated the face of a former dictator like Chile does.

The proposal for the new constitutional text will be voted on December 17, when 13 million dollars will have to decide whether to approve the Constitution -drafted mainly by the ultra-right advisors-, or if they reject it and leave the dictatorship in. force -but now endorsed by popular vote-. Regardless of the options, it will be the biggest victory for Pinochetism since the return of democracy in Chile.

He graduated in Communication from UBA.

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