Chile incorporates indigenous rights in its new Constitution

The Constitutional Convention of Chile has approved this Thursday to incorporate into the draft of the new Magna Carta of the country the right of indigenous peoples and nations to their lands, territories and resources. Article 21, presented by the Commission on Fundamental Rights, was approved by 106 votes in favor (needed 103), 37 against and 10 abstentions.

Chile is in a process that began with the national plebiscite held in October 2020. That consultation was a referendum to determine whether or not citizens agreed to start a constituent process for the drafting of a new Constitution. This marked a before and after in the country since the Chilean citizens decided by 78% to replace the Constitution drafted during the military regime of Augusto Pinochet.

“The State recognizes and guarantees the right of indigenous peoples and nations to their lands, territories and resources”, collects the approved text

The text approved this Thursday states that “the State recognizes and guarantees, in accordance with the Constitution, the right of indigenous peoples and nations to their lands, territories and resources.” Likewise, “the property of indigenous lands enjoys special protection. The State will establish effective legal instruments for its registration, regularization, demarcation, titling, reparation and restitution.”

Indispensable resources

Another relevant point of the article is the recognition of ownership of indigenous lands, which has an important protection. “In accordance with the Constitution and the law, indigenous peoples and nations have the right to use the resources that they have traditionally used or occupied, that are found in their territories and are essential for their collective existence.”

“We have opened the beginning of a new path”, says Isabella Mamani

In this way, the approved article on indigenous lands becomes one of the most important achievements of the ancestral peoples in the ongoing process to draft a new Constitution. “We have opened the beginning of a new path”, celebrated the Aymara constituent isabella mamani.

However, from the right they were dissatisfied with the decision and Marcela Cubillos, also a member of the Constitutional Convention, expressed through her Twitter account that the body “left Chileans or indigenous people completely defenseless.”

exit plebiscite

The delivery of the draft of the Constitution is set for July 4 and later it will have to be approved in a plebiscite scheduled for September 4. If approved, it will put an end to the current Magna Carta, written during the civic-military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

This unprecedented constitutional, democratic, parity process with the participation of indigenous peoples was possible after the massive demonstrations of the so-called social outbreak of October 2019, which led to an agreement with the majority of the ruling and opposition parties.

Close to 80% of Chilean citizens voted in favor of a new Constitution

On October 25, 2020, through a national plebiscite, with almost 80% of the votes, the drafting of a new Constitution was approved and a few months later, in May 2021, the 155 conventionalists who are preparing the new charter were elected. great.

minimum salary

Also this Thursday, the Chilean Chamber of Deputies voted in favor of a bill from the Government of President Gabriel Boric for the progressive increase in the minimum wage, and which now goes to the Senate.

The project was overwhelmingly approved, with 143 votes in favor out of a total of 155 deputies. The text seeks to increase the minimum income of those over 18 years of age gradually, starting with an increase from the current 350,000 Chilean pesos (equivalent to 407 dollars) to 380,000 (442 dollars). This first increase will be retroactive on May 1 and will be followed by another, up to 400,000 pesos (465 dollars), next August.


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