Chileans Vote to Scrap Pinochet-Era Constitution in Landslide Referendum

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Chileans Vote to Scrap Pinochet-Era Constitution in Landslide Referendum” – below is their description.

    Chile voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to draft a new constitution, launching a two-year struggle over first principles expected to blunt the neo-liberalism that has made it an investor favorite but plunged it into riots over inequality. A larger-than-expected 78.3% backed a fresh charter, a key demand of protesters who took to the streets last year in the largest civil unrest in decades. The current document dates back to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The result sets off almost two years of debate and uncertainty before a final vote on a new charter. Many investors fear that a new constitution means Chile will do away with the pro-business rules and fiscal discipline they say created one of Latin America’s most stable and prosperous economies. Protesters say that model — enshrined in the current charter — has left millions grappling with low wages, poor social services and injustices. “This plebiscite is not the end, it is the start of a road that we must travel together to agree a new constitution for Chile,” President Sebastian Pinera said in a national address Sunday evening. The referendum was one of several concessions that the government and lawmakers agreed to in order to quell riots that started last October. Sparked by a metro fare increase, the protests quickly spiraled into a broader social movement with grievances ranging from pensions to education. While pandemic-fighting lockdowns kept a lid on tensions most of this year, violent protests flared up again in recent weeks. Read the rest of this story at

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    In This Story: Chile

    Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile covers an area of 756,096 square kilometres (291,930 sq mi) and has a population of 17.5 million as of 2017. The capital and largest city is Santiago and the national language is Spanish.

    Chile borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Isla Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica under the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

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