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Elisa Loncon, president of the Constituent Assembly, raises a Mapuche flag in Santiago, Chile. Elisa Loncon, president of the Constituent Assembly, raises an Indigenous Mapuche flag during the inaugural session of the Constitutional Convention in Santiago, Chile, July 4, 2021 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

Indigenous Peoples Have a Lot Riding on Chile’s New Constitution

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021

In June, Chile’s Constitutional Convention was seated, culminating a process that began with spontaneous protests in late 2019 and soon crystallized into demands for an overhaul to the country’s social model and rewriting Chile’s constitution, which dates back to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. 

As central protagonists in the protest movement that led to the successful constitutional referendum in October 2020, Chile’s Indigenous peoples have sought to make sure that the new constitution drafted by the convention includes formal recognition of their status, as well as a designation of Chile as a plurinational state. Both demands grow out of the deep and complex relationship between the Chilean state and the country’s Indigenous peoples.  ...

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