Constitution & Climate

The present Constitution in Chile was crafted in 1980 by people who were handpicked by the then military ruler ~ Augusto Pinochet. It opened the country to mining investments and allowed water rights to be bought and sold. Over time, Chile prospered by exploiting its natural resources ~ copper, coal, salmon and avocados.

Seminal moment in global politics

Chile’s early dalliance with neoliberalism also exposes how the latter requires extreme violence or ‘shocks’ — as Naomi Klein argues in The Shock Doctrine — to entrench itself. Klein traces how the massive  upheaval the privatisation policies of neoliberal Chile triggered were only implemented under a draconian regime that rested on mass killings and torture which served as the ‘shock’ that allowed Chilean society to become more complaisant towards these radical economic changes.

Many milestones

With a larger mandate than his predecessors, Boric represents the forces that don't belong to the dominant traditional political compact since the 1990s. He is the first candidate in the post-Pinochet era to have won after coming second in the first round. His victory is largely seen as a rebellion against elitism

Chile’s triumph of hope over fear

After winning the presidential primary in his left-wing coalition earlier this year, Boric declared: “Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism, and it shall also be its grave!” Ahead of the run-off round, both Kast and Boric strove to win over the middle ground. History, as it turned out, tended to favour the latter. A couple of weeks before polling, credible documentary evidence emerged proving that Kast’s father had joined the Nazi party in Germany in 1942, eight years before emigrating to Chile.

Chile turns Left

“We are a generation that has emerged in public life demanding that our rights be respected as rights and not treated like consumer goods. There continues to be justice for the rich and injustice for the poor, and we no longer will permit that the poor (to) keep paying the price of Chile’s inequality”.