Home World Chile, protests after the no to the new Constitution: clashes with stones and sticks, police chase protesters with fire hydrants

Chile, protests after the no to the new Constitution: clashes with stones and sticks, police chase protesters with fire hydrants

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Chile, protests after the no to the new Constitution: clashes with stones and sticks, police chase protesters with fire hydrants

A Santiago de Chile there is a surreal air after 62% of citizens voted to reject the new Constitution and keep the current one, written during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. While from the headquarters of the campaign for the apruebo (I approve) the executives take the stage to officially accept the defeat, the citizens begin to head to Plaza Dignidad, the epicenter of the massive protests that began in October 2019 that led to the decision to write a new Constitution. “Today the majority of citizens have expressed their will – says the deputy from the stage Vlado Mirosevic – and we humbly take note of it “.

A Dignity Square there are thousands of people. They hug disconsolately and light fires while the song of Victor Jara “The right to live in peace”. Many flags are waved Mapuche, one of the largest native peoples of Chile and Argentina, whose rights were at the center of the 2019 demonstrations. The atmosphere is gloomy and it only takes a few minutes for the protests to begin. Suddenly the whole gathered crowd begins to advance, throwing stones and sticks at the passing cars. Immediately you hear the sirens of the carabineros that suddenly surround the square with dozens of fire hydrants and armored vehicles. The repression is extremely brutal and immediate. They throw dozens of tear gas, the demonstrators flee but the square is entirely covered in a cloud of smoke. The fire hydrants of the carabineros chase the demonstrators one by one, chasing them in the surrounding streets and parks. The bars and restaurants are open, in the squares families with children screaming at the arrival of the armored vehicles. Within a couple of hours, law enforcement officers disperse the crowd, arrest and take dozens of people to the barracks and all that’s left is a cloud of smoke above. Dignity Square.

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“Today the Chilean people spoke clearly and loudly – said the president Gabriel Boric – It is clear that citizens are not satisfied with the text that the Constituent Assembly has presented. As President of the Republic I humbly accept this fact and make it mine. “A meeting (convened by Boric) of all the leaders of the main parties is scheduled for tomorrow. There is no certainty about what could happen and what the government will decide. It will continue. to remain in force the current Constitution, written during the dictatorship of Pinochet and amended several times in the following years. From today, a political crisis could open for the government that from the beginning has aimed at a total reform of the Chilean state which, without a new constitution will be impossible Boric has stated several times in the past few weeks that, regardless of the result of the referendum, the constituent process should have continued, but for now it is not known how the government intends to do so.

For months the polls had given the citizens who would have voted against the new text an advantage (47% against 37%), but the rechazo (refusal) today has reached a good 62%, leaving the constituent members and leaders of the campaign of theI approve. The text, which could have radically changed the structure of Chilean society permeated by very strong inequalities, was judged by the citizens to be too ambitious. Very avant-garde on environmental issues, on gender and on the rights of indigenous peoples, it was the first Constitution written by an equal assembly (drafted by 50% of women and 50% of men). The funds invested by private individuals were destined, for the great majority, to the campaign of rejection and in recent months, dozens of false news about the text have circulated on social media and traditional Chilean media. From the fact that private property would no longer exist to the point of claiming that it would be possible to have an abortion up to 9 months. While dozens of people in the capital’s wealthier districts wave Chilean flags out of their cars shouting “we have won”, the rechazo committee declares that: “This achievement is a gesture of wisdom on the part of Chileans and a sound lesson for the most radical wing of the left and of communism that supported the new Constitution “.

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