An agreement signed in the early hours of Nov. 15, between the right-wing government of President Sebastián Piñera and his left-wing opposition, has opened the way for Chileans to decide whether they want a new constitution.
After four weeks of uninterrupted protests and riots, the agreement offers a way out of the crisis. Chile will have a chance to move on from the illegitimate, authoritarian origin of its current 1980 constitution, without endangering the market-friendly and socially oriented economic model that has made the country a Latin American success story.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Piñera – perhaps fearing that social pressure would force him to resign – changed his tune by agreeing to negotiate, and the result is a lengthy and gradual constitutional replacement process, beginning with a referendum in April 2020 and potentially ending with a new constitution by late 2021.
To read more, check out Americas Quarterly.