Mapuche Women Leader Drafts Chile’s New Constitution | Indigenous Rights News
The Constituent Assembly selected scholar Elisa Loncon to lead the drafting of a new text to replace the institution of the Pinochet era constitution.
The framers of Chile’s new constitution chose an indigenous Mapuche woman to lead the process because the country’s constitutional convention is Opening In the capital Santiago on Sunday.
Elisa Loncon, a university professor and Mapuche education and language rights activist, is a 58-year-old independent voter who was elected from 96 out of 155 representatives, including 17 indigenous people, who constitute the constitutional body.
The delegates were elected to draft a new text to replace Chile’s previous Magna Carta during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
“I thank the different alliances for their support. They put their trust and dreams in the hands of the Mapuche people. They voted for the Mapuche, a woman, to change the history of this country,” Langcon said.
Chilean voters are tired of the political status quo and urged for systemic reforms in May Elected Dozens of progressive independent representatives redrafted the constitution—a surprise blow to conservative candidates who failed to get a third of the seats to veto any proposal.
“The idea of ??this 155-member conference is that it tries to cover and represent all the different elements of Chilean society,” Al Jazeera’s Daniel Schweimler reported in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He explained that two-thirds of the parliament must approve every article of the new constitution. The agency will have nine months to draft a new document, and then submit it to a referendum, with a possible extension of three months.
“There is currently no group big enough to veto these articles,” Schweimler said. “In the next nine months to a year, we will see a lot of negotiations; alliances, alliances are forming, and people are trying to decide the best way forward.”
Although the previous version of the Chilean constitution has been revised in the past few decades, it is widely unpopular and regarded as a source of social inequality.
After protesters clashed with a special police force on the streets of San Diego where the ceremony was held, Sunday’s inauguration was postponed by several hours.
Demonstrations were also held in the nearby Plaza Italia, which became the center of large-scale social justice protests that erupted in 2019 and eventually led to the establishment of a constitutional convention in the country.
“I very much hope that this process will help us build a country for everyone,” Carolina Vergara, a 47-year-old bank employee, told AFP.
expert tell Al Jazeera stated before the meeting that the biggest challenge facing the tripartite members will be to build trust and learn from cooperation.
“We have to understand that we are facing new things that we have not practiced,” said independent MP Malucha Pinto. “As a country, we also face huge and beautiful challenges in the future.”