Chile’s New Draft Constitution Is Boric’s Latest Setback

Chile’s New Draft Constitution Is Boric’s Latest Setback
Supporters of Chilean President Gabriel Boric rally in front of La Moneda, the presidential palace, in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 30, 2023 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

Just two years ago, then-35-year-old Gabriel Boric won Chile’s presidential election by capitalizing on the energy of a 2019 protest movement that demanded fundamental changes to the country, beginning with rewriting its outdated dictatorship-era constitution.

Boric, whose own political career began as a leftist leader of Chile’s student protest movement in the early 2010s, took office committed to fulfilling the demands of this new generation of protesters. Since then, however, hopes for radical change seem to have evaporated.

The latest disappointment came earlier this month, when the committee charged with coming up with a new constitution—the second attempt after a first one was resoundingly rejected by voters—approved a draft that would, in fact, make Chile more conservative. The draft, many say, looks even worse than the current constitution, which was written in 1980 under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, though it’s been amended several times since then.

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