Chile in Crisis

It is a little known fact, but Chile is the first, and as of the time this was written, the only first-world nation in Latin America. Chile has vigorously worked to increase its economy and quickly became industrialized. This, however, seems to have been quickly and seamlessly moved aside, and the nation is currently in protests, riots, and flames. This has all been going on for nearly a month.

This started when President Piñera of Chile rose the price of public transportation. The protest began in the capital city of Santiago where the people began demanding for the action to be reversed, but as time went on the protests turned into riots, and the government sent the military into the streets of Santiago, and by the end of the first week of protests there were an estimated 15 dead.

Caroline Salvador, a student at West who is also Chilean says that the situation is dire. The nation is in a crisis that, according to her, had been coming for a while.

Piñera yielded to the demands of the people, but Chile did not stop protesting. instead, the people of Chile began to demand more. Now Chileans have asked for the president to resign. This is a big step and so far Piñera is reluctant. The president has responded by asking his cabinet to resign, which they have.

Now, under more pressure than ever, Piñera has offered to make a new draft of the nation’s constitution. A large number of those in the opposition say that this would suffice, including the President of the Senate, Jaime Quintana.

The problem with Chile’s current constitution was that it was written under the provision of the dictator Augusto Pinochet. The constitution gives little power to the state and centers the power of the nation on the president. This has angered many Chileans which is why Piñera’s proposal seems to satisfy many.

It is inappropriate and sad that a nation that had risen economically, and in power had done this based on a government that was designed by a dictator. This would, of course, explain the social and economic inequality in the nation. Although Chile has a great economy, there is an obvious economic inequity.

This has become a common trend, where developing nations are developing with immense inequality, both socially and economically. This has been seen in China, India, and now Chile.

Photo Credit: Common Dreams

Photo Caption: Chileans protesting the government and its actions.

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