BY SALVADOR MILLALEO FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
The Constituent Assembly, born of the 2019 protests, spent two years drafting a new constitutional text that promised to be the most advanced in Latin America. A social state based on the rule of law, recognition of Indigenous Peoples and the inclusion of collective rights, the rights of nature and women's rights opened up a whole new perspective and generated hope in the region. Nevertheless, in the exit referendum (“plebiscito de salida”), two-thirds of Chileans voted down the new constitution, which would have overturned that inherited from Pinochet. Elitism, a lack of work on the ground and the poor popularity of the government and the Assembly members appear to be just some of the reasons for this defeat, which threatens to put a halt to human rights progress in the country.
Cover photo: Nuevos Papeles
BY TIARE AGUILERA HEY FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
After 130 years of systematic breaches with the Agreement of Wills, the Constitutional Convention has opened a window of hope for the Rapa Nui people to achieve their right to self-determination and for the State of Chile to become a "friend of the island". Through extended open councils held on the island, the Rapa Nui are elaborating a special article that takes into account their specificities. This article is to be included in the new Constitution, with the objective that their voices finally be heard.
Photo: The Rapa Nui people’s pineapples at the Constituent Assembly. Photo: One
Despite steadily increasing since the 1990s, Chile’s Indigenous population has not seen any major variations since the 2017 census. 2,185,792 people self-identify as Indigenous, which is equivalent to 12.8% of the country's total population (17,076,076). The Mapuche are the most numerous (almost 1,800,000 individuals), followed by the Aymara (156,000) and the Diaguita (88,000).[i] Trends highlight the sustained increase in the urban Indigenous population, with 87.8% of Indigenous people now living in towns and cities compared to 12.2% in rural areas.[ii]