Chile History Part II

By | December 9, 2021

In September 1973 a coup d’état put an end to the Unidad popular experience (Allende himself was killed during the assault on the presidential palace) and power was assumed by a military junta, chaired by General A. Pinochet Ugarte (proclaimed President of the Republic in 1974), which suspended the Constitution, dissolved Congress and prohibited any political activity. While the repression was breaking down on Chile (thousands of opponents interned, killed or ‘made to disappear’), a rigidly liberal economic policy dismantled the reforms of the Allende government. After a plebiscite in support of the regime, in 1980 a new constitution was approved by referendum (promulgated in March 1981) which extended the powers of the president (extending his mandate to eight years) compared to the bicameral Congress, confirmed the institutional role of the military, sanctioned the illegality of Marxist-inspired organizations and established restrictions on the rights of strike, association and expression. In foreign policy,Beagle(➔ # 10132;), who found a solution with the mediation of the Holy See only in 1984. After a productive growth in the second half of the 1970s, the economy plunged into a serious crisis in the early 1980s. These developments provoked a strong growth of popular opposition and, since 1983, a series of strikes and protests put the military regime in difficulty, which reacted with harsh repression. The main parties began to reorganize, but with deep contrasts between them. While in fact the moderate and centrist forces and most of the socialists were trying to reach an agreement with the military, the communists and the MIR (Movimiento de izquierda revolucionaria) believed that only a break in institutional continuity could guarantee the return to democracy and did not exclude the armed struggle between the tools to fight the dictatorship. Starting in 1987, when the regime opened the registrations for a new electoral register and allowed the return to the legality of non-Marxist parties, it was however the moderate line that prevailed. The defeat of Pinochet in the plebiscite of October 1988 over the extension of his presidency until 1997 made it possible to combine presidential elections alongside the legislative provisions of 1989, strengthening the liberalizing tendencies. The consultations saw the victory of the moderate opposition and in March 1990 the military junta handed over power to a civil administration led by the Christian Democrat P. Aylwin Azócar. The defeat of Pinochet in the plebiscite of October 1988 over the extension of his presidency until 1997 made it possible to combine presidential elections alongside the legislative provisions of 1989, strengthening the liberalizing tendencies. The consultations saw the victory of the moderate opposition and in March 1990 the military junta handed over power to a civil administration led by the Christian Democrat P. Aylwin Azócar. The defeat of Pinochet in the plebiscite of October 1988 over the extension of his presidency until 1997 made it possible to combine presidential elections alongside the legislative provisions of 1989, strengthening the liberalizing tendencies. The consultations saw the victory of the moderate opposition and in March 1990 the military junta handed over power to a civil administration led by the Christian Democrat P. Aylwin Azócar. For Chile 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.

Established a center-left government, Aylwin tried to promote a gradual evolution in a democratic sense, trying to face the constraints connected with institutional continuity, Pinochet’s permanence at the head of the armed forces, the weight of the right in Congress itself. The transition process from dictatorship to democracy was conditioned by the role of ‘protection’ that the military continued to exercise over the life of the country and above all by the political presence of Pinochet. Deprived of the majority needed to change the Constitution, the Aylwin administration had to make continuous compromises with the right-wing opposition and could only approve some of the proposed reforms. Thanks also to the good performance of the economy (even in the presence of serious inequalities in the distribution of wealth), the center-left coalition was confirmed after the 1993 elections, in which the Christian Democrat E. Frei was elected president of the Republic ., which re-proposed some of the reform laws already attempted by his predecessor. On the international level, having concluded free trade agreements with Colombia and Ecuador in 1993, Chile re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba in April 1995 and in October 1996 became part of MERCOSUR as an associate member. In 1998 began the long judicial affair of Pinochet, who was arrested while he was in London, then extradited and brought back to his homeland and sent to trial at the beginning of 2001. The trial, first of all concerning the crimes and atrocities committed during the years of the dictatorship and then the establishment of secret funds in the name of his family and the result of illicit enrichments, was never concluded, due to the precarious health conditions of the former dictator, who died in 2006.

2000 was marked by the return to the presidency of the Republic of a socialist, R. Lagos, who initiated a vast program of reforms, which resulted in the reform of the 1980 Constitution in 2005. In 2006, his party partner took over in Lagos, M. Bachelet, who initiated a neoliberal policy, despite the protests of the workers and students.

In the presidential elections of 2009-10, the entrepreneur Sebastián Piñera, a candidate of the center-right, prevailed in the ballot over the former head of state Frei, supported by the center-left. Piñera’s presidency coincided with a phase of strong social unrest, which saw a succession of strikes in copper mines throughout the country, the recourse to the Inter-American Committee of some political prisoners of the Mapuche ethnic group and, above all, the growth of discontent in the movement. student, who called for a reform of the public and private school system, also calling for a self-convened referendum in October 2011. After some unsuccessful attempts at mediation and the abandonment of the negotiating table by the leaders of the movement,

In the first round of the presidential consultations held in November 2013, former president Bachelethe obtained 46.8% of the votes against the 25.1% awarded by his challenger, the exponent of the center-right E. Matthei; the success was confirmed in the ballot held the following month, in which he received 62.7% of the preferences, taking over the presidency of the country again, characterized in recent years by constant economic growth based on an open and competitive economy, only partially slowed down by a series of political scandals that took place between 2014 and 2015. In November 2017, confirming a historic trend of alternating political forces leading the country, the first round of the presidential elections recorded the affirmation of former president Piñera, which obtained 36% of the votes against the 22% awarded byA. Guillier, defeating him the month following the ballot with 54% of the votes and taking over from Bachelet. In the following years, in a country tormented by the economic crisis and social inequalities, popular discontent against Piñera’s authoritarian political management increased, up tosparked violent street protests in October 2019 following an increase in public transport fares, to which the government responded with the declaration of a state of emergency. In October 2020, through the referendum instrument, 78.2% of voters expressed themselves in favor of the enactment of a new Constitution to replace the current one, drawn up during the Pinochet dictatorship. In the local elections held in May 2021, the Chile Vamos coalition of Piñera, also composed of far-right formations, obtained 37 seats, just under a quarter of the total, while the two opposition lists, Apruebo Dignidad (27 seats) and the Lista de Apruebo (25 seats), independent candidates and representatives of indigenous communities (17 seats),

Chile History Part II