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The Silent Crisis

Victoria Bottazzini

3 de abr de 2023

Inequality, lack of political representation, economic failure, and as a result; violence have prevailed in most Latin American countries for a long time. A lack of institution in South American governments has opened the door for violence, and although its character of morality can be endlessly discussed, in effect it has been the means through which “the people” have been able to force political, economic, and social change in society.

By Victoria Bottazzini

The disrupting events of 2019, the discussion of the functioning of the political system, and the shift in political power, have left Chile immersed in political instability. For many, the elections of 2021 were seen as light after a tunnel of darkness, but the appearance of two political extremes only heightened polarization. What society needed was a centered ideology-based representative, capable of taking into account social needs and the importance of the neoliberal economic model, while maintaining supporters of political extremes under control. Uncertainty is what Chilean society faced throughout the whole process, and uncertainty is what it faces now, after the rejection of the proposed document on the 25 of September 2022. It is extremely important to understand the political uncertainty that  Chile is going through is not condemned to negative outputs, the fact that society rejected this outrageous constitution proposed in September of 2022, shows signs of a common need for change to a measured extent. Yes, people want radical changes in the social aspect, the recognition of minorities, and a more equal society, but it is clear that they do not want a radical change in every aspect of the Chilean structure. 

The constitution sets the rules and principles that govern a country, providing a framework for the government to operate. There is significant importance in the capacity of Chile to be able to adopt democracy into its document of fundamental principles. A democratic constitution would establish an accountable government, capable of protecting the rights and interests of all Chilean citizens. Additionally, it would promote the separation of power within society, diminishing the concentration of it on political elites, and creating a more stable country. Furthermore, a democratic constitution would ensure a government that is responsive to the political, economic, and social demands of the population, promoting inclusion and equality within society.

 There is still light after the tunnel, the social uprising of the 18 of October was not in vain, in fact, this event was able to end a decade of silent crisis, and materialize the population's social demands. The rejection of the newly drafted constitution, which would have restructured the country completely, shows the presence of a conscious society. 

Polls still show that Chileans want another convention to write a second draft. Although it may seem that this only elongates the present uncertainty, a second attempt would be carried out in a more moderate way. Allowing the election of some of the participants and designating others according to experience and knowledge would result in a more concise process, hopefully creating a document capable of complying with society's needs. As long as the country adopts democratic practices and maintains a moderately conservative economic model, Chile's crisis could end up having quite positive outcomes; deep social changes while maintaining a decent level of economic growth. 

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