Latin America

Early takeaways from Chile’s constitutional election

Rejecting mainstream political forces, Chileans vote for a bigger state and less free market in their new constitution

chile Protesters vandalize and set fire to a statue of General Manuel Baquedano in Santiago. He was a hero of the War of the Pacific, fought against Peru and Bolivia in the late 19th century. Photo: Diana Lotero Prada/Shutterstock
Protesters vandalize and set fire to a statue of General Manuel Baquedano in Santiago. He was a hero of the War of the Pacific, fought against Peru and Bolivia in the late 19th century. Photo: Diana Lotero Prada/Shutterstock

“Today, we have a historic opportunity: we will have a new Constitution and there is change ahead,” said Irací Hassler, the mayor-elect of Chilean capital Santiago, during her victory speech. A representative of the Communist Party of Chile, Ms. Hassler’s campaign involved jabs at “neoliberal” values that turn people’s lives into “commodities.” Indeed, the capital’s new mayor is voicing grievances that are common throughout Chile: a macroeconomic success which does not translate into prosperity for millions of people in lower-income households.

For this demographic, the weekend of May 15-16 was one of transformation — which began with protests...

Access all of The Brazilian Report

Less expensive than a coffee!

Enjoy your 30-day limited-time offer for US$ 0.25 a week