Wild festivals were celebrated across Chile after the country decided to break free from its constitution from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet's regime.
The Chileans voted overwhelmingly in a landmark referendum on Sunday to replace the constitution, which has long been viewed as the basis for the nation's apparent economic and social inequalities.
The result sparked celebrations in the capital and other cities after voters rejected the constitution established by dictator Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 regime.
People hope that a new constitution would expand the role of the state in providing a safety net for welfare and ensuring basic rights to health, education, water distribution and pensions.
Proponents of the "I agree" option respond after hearing the results of the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso, Chile. An overwhelming majority of the people voted to remove the country's constitution left by Augusto Pinochet's regime
People took to the streets on October 25 when the first results became known, sparking wild celebrations across the country. Pictured: aerial view of Plaza Italia Square on the election day of the constitutional referendum on October 25th
The vote took place a year after the day more than a million people filled downtown Santiago amid a wave of social unrest that left 30 people dead and thousands injured.
The call for a new constitution was a recurring theme in the protests sparked last year by an increase in public transport fares.
Thousands of people flocked to the streets of Santiago amid the cacophony of horns to celebrate a crushing victory for the "permitting" campaign – up 78.28 percent to 21.72 percent, with over 99 percent of the vote counting.
The vote came a year after the day more than a million people crowded downtown Santiago amid a wave of social unrest that left 30 people dead and thousands injured. Pictured: Dozens of people climb a monument in Santiago to celebrate the referendum
President Sebastian Pinera praised the result and called on the nation to work together on a “new constitution” in a speech broadcast from the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago (photo).
The Chileans were asked two questions in the referendum. The first was simply, "Do you want a new constitution?"
The second was, "What kind of body should the new constitution write?" And asked people how the constitution should be drafted after the vote – should people vote to throw away the current text.
The voters voted with an overwhelming majority for both the first question and a constitutional convention to draft the new constitution through the election of a mixed convention (78.99 percent to 21.01 percent).
The Chileans were asked two questions in the referendum. The fir was: "Do you want a new constitution?" (pictured on a voting slip). The second was, "What body should the new constitution write?" Voters agreed to the first question and advocated that a constitutional convention should draft the new constitution with an overwhelming majority
Pictured: View of the La Moneda Presidential Palace in Santiago on October 25th, which was illuminated with the Chilean flag following the results of the vote on the constitutional referendum
Thousands of people flocked to the streets of Santiago amid the cacophony of horns to celebrate a crushing victory for the "permitting" campaign – up 78.28 percent to 21.72, with over 99 percent of the vote counting
"I never thought that we Chileans would be able to unite for such a change!" said a jubilant Maria Isabel Nunez, 46, as she walked hand in hand with her 20-year-old daughter in the crowd.
President Sebastian Pinera paid tribute to the result and called on the nation to work together for a "new constitution" in a speech from his Moneda Palace, which is surrounded by his cabinet.
"This referendum is not the end, but the beginning of a path that we must all go together to agree a new constitution for Chile," said Pinera.
A woman holds a Chilean flag as she responds to the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso, Chile. According to Marcelo Mella, political scientist at the University of Santiago, the result is a slap in the face of the political class in Chile
The vote came a year after the day more than a million people crowded downtown Santiago amid a wave of social unrest that left 30 people dead and thousands injured
So far the Constitution has divided us. From today we must all work together so that the new constitution provides the grand framework for unity, stability and future. & # 39;
According to Marcelo Mella, political scientist at the University of Santiago, the result is a slap in the face of the political class in Chile.
"Such a strong vote for the constitutional convention should be understood as a rejection of the political parties that were largely administrators of the Pinochet constitution, the regime we inherited from him," Mella told AFP.
The call for a new constitution was a recurring theme in the protests sparked last year by an increase in public transport fares. Pictured: A memorial is sprayed by a protester against the Chilean government during the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Santiago
Thousands flocked to the streets of the Chilean capital, Santiago, as the referendum results overwhelmingly supported the rejection of the constitution
Within a few weeks of last year's protests, Pinera agreed to initiate a process to draft a new constitution, which began with a referendum to determine the fate of the current text
In the past, in long, ordered lines in Santiago and in cities across the country, masked voters shuffled patiently to polling stations to take part in the historic referendum.
The sheer size of the October 25 march showed the breadth of social discontent and marked a turning point in protesters' calls for a referendum.
Within a few weeks, Pinera agreed to initiate a process to draft a new constitution, which began with a referendum to determine the fate of the current text.
Earlier in the day, thousands of people voted in the huge national stadium (picture), which has become disgraced as a detention center where opponents of the military regime were tortured
Left: A woman holds up her fist during the celebrations and wears a protective face mask over a more traditional one. A man carries a drum as people take to the streets to celebrate the referendum
Pictured: Protesters in support of Chilean constitutional reform celebrate while awaiting the official referendum results in Plaza Italia Square in Santiago
"I am full of hope that things will change and that we will bring about a radical change in this country," said Romina Nunez, 42, poll organizer at the National Stadium in Santiago, the country's largest polling station.
Thousands of people voted in the huge stadium, which shamed as a detention center where opponents of the military regime were tortured.
Elias Perez, a 39-year-old psychologist, said he wanted to give the place a different meaning as he prepared to vote for change in a place full of symbolism.
Last year's protests were initially sparked by increases in public transport fares, but quickly turned into widespread demonstrations against social and economic inequalities. Pictured: A man waves a rainbow flag amid the festivities
For those who support change, the Constitution is an obstacle to meaningful social reform, and a new one is needed to allow fairer access to private health, education and pension systems
Before the vote, the Conservatives argued that the Constitution was key to Chile's decades of economic growth and stability
"To be able to exercise the right to vote in an area of profound pain, in which there have been systematic violations of the human rights of many Chilean fellow citizens, and to be able to bring about change in this area is a symbolic way of showing honor." Homage to everyone who is no longer with us, ”he said.
Last year's protests were initially sparked by increases in public transport fares, but quickly turned into widespread demonstrations against social and economic inequalities – including health, education, housing and pensions – inherited from Pinochet's rule.
For those who support change, the Constitution is an obstacle to meaningful social reform, and a new one is needed to provide fairer access to private health, education and pension systems.
Pictured: Dozens of people celebrate and climb a memorial after learning of the partial results of the constitutional referendum
A proponent of the “I agree” option holds a sign after hearing the results of the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso on October 25th. The sign reads: "Against the wind and COVID, Chile has decided to end the legacy of the dictator & # 39;
However, many Conservatives say the Constitution has been key to Chile's decades of economic growth and stability, and a larger state role would put pressure on an economy struggling to get out of the Covid-19 health crisis.
There were strict coronavirus protocols for the vote, which, according to analysts, kept participation in the referendum at just over 50 percent despite the long queues outside the polling stations.
Chile exceeded 500,000 Covid-19 cases with nearly 14,000 deaths on Saturday.
Augusto Pinochet: Chile's dictator installed by a US-backed coup
The voters threw back the constitution of the regime of the dictator Augusto Pinochet (picture), who was in power in Chile from 1973 to 1990. At the time of his death on December 10, 2006, around 300 criminal charges were still pending against him for numerous human rights violations
Augusto Pinochet's rule over Chile lasted 17 years – from 1973 to 1990 – after rising through the ranks of the Chilean army to chief of staff in the first months of 1972.
On August 23, 1973 Pinochet was appointed Commander-in-Chief by then President Salvador Allende.
Just weeks later, on September 11, 1973, Pinochet took power in Chile in a US-backed coup that toppled Allende's democratically elected Unidad people's government and ended civil rule.
Pinochet ruled Chile first as president of the military junta of Chile, but in December 1974 the ruling military junta jointly appointed Pinochet as the nation's supreme head.
During his reign, Pinochet persecuted leftists, socialists and political critics, resulting in the execution of 1,2000 to 3,200 people, the internment of up to 80,000 people and the torture of tens of thousands.
The Chilean government puts the official number of executions at 3,095.
The dictator's military government implemented economic liberalization, including currency stabilization and the removal of tariff protection for local industry, the ban on trade unions and the privatization of social security, as well as hundreds of state-owned companies.
While these policies led to economic growth, critics state that economic inequality has increased under Pinochet and that some attribute the devastating impact of the 1982 currency crisis on the Chilean economy to these policies.
For much of the 1990s Chile was the best-performing economy in Latin America, but Pinochet himself saw his own wealth grow significantly during his tenure – through dozens of offshore bank accounts and other financial dealings.
He was later charged with embezzlement, tax fraud, and possibly commission on arms deals.
His 17-year term ended after a 1998 referendum in which 56 percent of the people voted against Pinochet and continued his rule as president. This led to democratic elections in Congress and the resignation of Pinochet in 1990.
However, he continued to serve as Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army until March 10, 1998 when he retired and became a lifelong Senator under his 1980 constitution.
Pinochet was arrested on March 10, 1998 in London under an international arrest warrant in connection with numerous human rights violations, but was released on health grounds in 2000 and sent back to Chile.
There, a Chilean judge ruled that Pinochet was medically fit to stand trial and placed him under house arrest in 2004.
At the time of his death on December 10, 2006, around 300 criminal charges were still pending against him for numerous human rights violations.
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