Chile has experienced a demonstration of authentic defense of our democratic values. It has been the largest and most numerous participation in our history. It has been a political earthquake, a national tsunami, a response to the contamination of a sick democracy that we have lived through for the last fifty years and that will come to an end. 

A more representative and participatory democracy is yet to be born. None of the traditional politics can claim the triumph of the plebiscite that we have experienced in the last hours. On the contrary, it has been a vote of punishment to the politicians, the parties, the government and the institutions that have sheltered and lived with the Constitution that Jaime Guzmán (Note from the translator: a right-wing ideologue who worked for the Augusto Pinochet regime) drew up for the military dictatorship. Such a Constitution has always favored those sustaining political, economic and military power since the founding of Chile (with the exception of the 1000 days of Salvador Allende’s government). Today Allende would be proud to have sacrificed his life in order to see men and women walking again, gracefully and defiantly through the great avenues of Chile, claiming their legitimate rights back.     

The triumph of the option “Approve” is demonstrating that the country won’t accept the same old rules of the game that favor the right. Those who rejected the option for a new Constitution and its formula of Constituent Assembly have been defeated, but they will be gathering forces to debate for a new one. They will be there to defend their own political and economic interests, terrorizing and polluting, same as their campaign of terror during this plebiscite.     

In the results of the national consultation, close to 78 percent approve of a new constitution and 22 percent reject it. This shows a clear response from the conscientious people of our country. It also makes visible the communes that are against these changes, where the privileged of an unjust, voracious, discriminatory, classist and racist system live. Three communes in the eastern part of Santiago de Chile, the cradle of rejection. Rejection to any change in their life systems, their privileges, their way of building their defenses to the detriment of the vast majority of people. It is also home to those who traveled comfortably along the path of a transition to democracy after the dictatorship. Politicians, political scientists, journalists that praised the system, pseudo fascists, pseudo democrats, economic coalitionists, tax evaders, notaries, real state registrars, all those who have obscene salaries of privileges in this bureaucratic and sick national system.                

Citizens in Chile continue to protest the rightwing government of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Nov. 8, 2019. Courtesy: Nicole Kramm

The social explosion is about a social outcry, a political earthquake, a tsunami that began on October 18 of 2019 to say enough. We no longer tolerate this system that preys against all the values of national coexistence; we were betrayed by the dictatorship and the “transition to democracy,” we get betrayed everyday by the same old people. The largest movement against the ruling system ever seen in the recent history of Chile has occurred, with passion, love, commitment and also with  violence. Yet if it had not occurred like that, we wouldn’t have had the results of this plebiscite that lights an arduous, slow path that our country has to walk in order to achieve a constitutional Magna Carta that shelters us all worthy people who inhabit our territory. To reach a constitutional consensus won’t be easy, to reach a national accord, a new social pact will be a gigantic task but this mobilized people won’t accept shady deals, circumstantial arrangements of short-term policies for personal benefits.         

This country has said enough and has started an agreement where the human being is the most important and only protagonist of their own history. This country has said enough to politicians, political parties, congress, church, militaries, the police and government. 

They all will have to prove that they are worthy of respect and acceptance of their authority in the future. This country has said enough on behalf of those who fought against the dictatorship. Those who died because of the dictatorship, the murdered and disappeared, their widows and orphans, the martyrs, like former President Salvador Allende, General Schneider, General Pratt, Chancellor Orlando Letelier, former president Eduardo Frei Montalva. Furthermore, the thousands of political prisoners, the thousands of exiles with their families, the innocents who were born in involuntary exile and had demonstrated with their vote in the plebiscite, their commitment with this country that values them and has allowed them to express their opinion with their vote. The result has been favorable to “Approve” a new Constitution.

A Constitution of faith, hope and respect for the values ​​of humanity that must condition future political actions.

When we observe the result of the plebiscite in our territory as well as in the countries where our nation is represented by Chileans with social responsibility, we can intuit that the country is on a path of liberation from ancestral obstacles inherited by an ancient predator system brought by Europeans. We will have to review water rights, the rights of indigenous people, the right of education, work, housing, fair retirement, health access for everyone, regulate the exploitation of basic mining resources and the sea, respect of the environment as an inalienable right, as well as human rights.

Everything that has to do with our way of understanding our humanity will have to be discussed in the new constituent process. Our rights, our duties, our love for our nation. It is a debt to the future, with our children and their children. It is an immense task as majestic as our mountain range and rough as our sea.