Alessandro Cinque

Freelance Photojournalist



Estallido, Chile despertó. 26.5 % of wealth is in the hands of 1 % of the population. The unstoppable growth of Chile, Latin America's unique model of development, has fallen under the blows of the real country: a society disrupted by the great social and economic inequalities that were the daughters of the authoritarian and ultra-liberal regime of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte who came to power in a coup in 1973, until 1990. Health care, education and the pension system belong to the private sector while the state remains a spectator. The middle class is an illusion, the result of the citizens' heavy indebtedness. A country with few unemployed but where workers have salaries that do not guarantee a decent lifestyle. "Chile despertó." Chile woke up shouted thousands of protesters in Italy Square in Santiago, the country's capital, from October 2019 until the first post-régime referendum. Decomposed society came back together to demand a new social pact that would repair years of injustice, a new Constitution since the current one dates back to the Pinochet era. Bursting over rising public transportation fares, the protests that took Chile's will for change to the streets gave rise to a new consciousness of rights, taking a stand against the caravan, corruption and the system that has ruled the country for the past 30 years. There have been more than 30 deaths, 500 people blinded by security forces, thousands injured and arrested, and more than 3,200 human rights violations in a year of protests that current Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has mishandled, first through violent repression then-but late-by agreeing to listen to the demands of the square. On October 25, 2020, 78 percent of voters said yes to a new constitution and yes to a constituent assembly chosen by the people. On a continent where democracy has suffered serious setbacks, Chile could set a new precedent for Latin America: enshrining the human, social, and environmental rights needed by contemporary society through the new Constitution, a reminder of the power of public dialogue.

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