Chile begins this Wednesday the last and decisive stage to draft a constitutional proposal that will seek to bury the Magna Carta inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The Constitutional Council, the 51-member elected joint body, takes on the task of drafting a second text based on the preliminary draft prepared by the commission of experts in almost three months. The far-right Republican Party enjoys a majority in the body, with 23 councillors; followed by the ruling party, with 16; the traditional right has 11; and for the indigenous peoples there is a representative.
President Gabriel Boric, who had stayed out of the second process after the failure of the first, said on Sunday that he would approve the text prepared by the experts and announced that if citizens reject the final proposal in December, he would desist from changing the current Constitution during his Administration. Of course, unlike the opening ceremony of the 2021 convention, the president will participate in the premiere of the Constitutional Council, where he will convene the first installation session, which will work at the headquarters of the National Congress in Santiago. The president was also present on Monday at the proclamation of the counselors by the Electoral Qualifying Tribunal.
In the prelude to the work of the constituents, there are already several names that are emerging as the possible protagonists of the council; either because of their high voting in the elections, their political trajectory or because of what they represent for certain communities.
Here are 10 of the key characters:
Luis Silva, constitutional advisor for the Republican Party.SOFIA YANJARI
Chile's most voted constituent councillor is a 44-year-old constitutional lawyer. The numerary of Opus Dei caused controversy in his first interview after the triumph for asking himself "why crest being a majority do we have to reach agreements with the minority?" After an avalanche of criticism, he backed down. He is a defender of the subsidiary role of the State and opposed to introducing the right to abortion and euthanasia in the Fundamental Charter. Silva, like his party, wanted to maintain the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Last week he acknowledged the "admiration" he feels for the facet of "statesman" of the dictator and called for "a slightly more thoughtful reading of his government" on the 50th anniversary of the coup d'état against the socialist Salvador Allende.
The constitutional adviser for the Republican Party, Ninoska Payauna.Ninoska Payauna (RR SS)
The counselor of Aymara descent won the first majority in the northern region of Tarapacá. The 34-year-old English teacher is also a radio host and one of her flags in the process will be to guarantee freedom of education for the children. Until now it sounded like his party's main bid to preside over the Constitutional Council. The news that in 2007, when she was 18, she was arrested for stealing a sweater in a commercial store truncated her application. The case is concluded, but it brought sequels. He maintained that he made "mistakes" in his past, after a "hard" childhood, but finally on Tuesday night he published a video where he lowered his candidacy. "In the event that some want to continue questioning my integrity or abilities to assume as president of the Council, I have decided not to accept my candidacy," she said.
The constitutional advisor of the Republican Pratido, Héctor Urban.Héctor Urban Constituyente (RR SS)
The 51-year-old farmer won the first majority in the region of La Araucanía, the epicenter of the conflict over Mapuche ancestral lands that has become more complex over the years. After his victory, they attacked his father's truck with gunfire and at night fired at his home, where he was with his wife and 13-year-old son." The State has the obligation to provide security to all citizens and today we see that they are not fulfilling that duty," said the counselor. The government of Gabriel Boric put special protection measures in place for Urban and his family, who have been victims of some 400 attacks since 2000, they have said. The main concern of the vice president of the association Agricultores Malleco is security.
The constitutional counselor for the Republican Party, Beatriz Hevia.Beatriz Hevia Republicana (RR SS)
The 30-year-old lawyer from the southern town of Osorno won the highest percentage of votes per constituency in the election of constituents. At some point his name sounded to chair the council, but he did not advance. He advocates leaving intact between 85% and 90% of the current constitutional text, which he considers "very good". Hevia worked as a youth coordinator in the first presidential campaign of Republican Party candidate Jose Antonio Kast in 2017. During the second Government of Sebastián Piñera (2018-2022) she served as an advisor in the Undersecretariat of Economy. Until now he worked in the international area of the think tank Ideas Republicanas, dedicated to promoting public policies in favor of the "value of the family and the transcendence of people." "We are not going to compromise on convictions, but we are going to sit at the table to listen to all the good ideas that allow us to build a better country for all," he said about the party's role in the process.
The constitutional counselor for the ruling party Aldo Valle, in Valparaiso, on mayo.@AldoValleA 2 (RR SS)
The three-time rector of the University of Valparaíso and former vice president of the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH) is the letter of the ruling party to exercise the vice presidency of the Council. The 61-year-old lawyer was a leader of the port region's Socialist Youth during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. His first position by popular vote was achieved as an independent with the support of the Socialist Party. "All those aspects that correspond to public policy instruments should not be predetermined in the Constitution," he said in an interview and defends that his caucus be loyal, transparent and capable of being persuaded by the best arguments. Valle has as a campaign banner to guarantee the development and strengthening of public education.
The constitutional counselor for the ruling party María Pardo, on April 22. Maria Pardo Vergara (RR SS)
The councilor-elect for the Valparaiso Region and a member of Social Convergence – the party of President Gabriel Boric – sounds like the official card for the vice presidency of the council in the unlikely event that the Republicans present a man for the presidency. The 34-year-old doctor in Constitutional Law is a specialist in the constitutional idea of dignity and in the analysis of the gender perspective in Law. The academic of the Catholic University of Valparaíso postulates putting efforts on the issues in which the different benches agree and, ideally, achieve a transversal agreement.
The constitutional counselor for the Communist Party Karen Araya, on May 7. Karen Araya Rojas Constituent Councilor (RR SS)
The 43-year-old communist militant was the most voted constitutional councilor in the country. She is a basic general teacher with a major in Language and for three years she has served as president of the College of Teachers of the popular municipality of La Florida, the fifth most populous in Chile, with 400,000 inhabitants. He took to the streets during the 2011 student mobilizations, where he worked with the current government spokeswoman, Camila Vallejo. He switched from the Humanist to the Communist Party in 2015. He has warned that his bench is not going to subtract from installing "the demands of the great majorities that three years ago we said we wanted a new Constitution to guarantee rights." He has also said that the majority of the Republican Party "is a setback for Chile."
The constitutional adviser for the traditional right, Gloria Hutt.Gloria Hutt (RR SS)
The president of the center-right Evópoli party is one of the best-known political faces within the council. She was Minister of Transport and Telecommunications in the second Government of Sebastián Piñera (2018-2022), when the increase of 30 pesos (3 cents of euros) in the subway ticket was announced, which provoked several protests and ended up giving rise to the greatest social crisis in the country since the dictatorship. The civil engineer entered the political world in 2010, during Piñera's first term, as undersecretary of Transportation. He changed arenas after 25 years of experience in the transport engineering sector. Defender of the freedom to develop a life project "without the State or prejudices preventing or limiting it", she seeks to strengthen social rights such as education, health, housing and pensions in the Constitution.
The constitutional adviser for the traditional right, on March 18.
The historical militant of the right-wing Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party has been a parliamentarian in two periods and in 2013 he presided over the Chamber of Deputies. The 73-year-old lawyer sounds like one of the leading voices for building bridges outside his party. On the relationship with the Republican Party within the Council, he said that it is not appropriate to form a single bench, but that agreements have to be sought with them, as well as with the Socialists. "Subsidiarity must be maintained and cohabit in our Constitution and in our political regime with solidarity," he said in an interview. The one who was director of the Board of Directors of the Banco del Estado de Chile during the second term of Sebastián Piñera is in favor of collecting some aspects of the constitutional proposal rejected last year.
The constitutional adviser for the indigenous quota, Alihuén Antileo.Alihuen Antileo Constitutional Adviser (RR SS)
The Mapuche lawyer and academic was the only representative who won a seat for the list that represented indigenous peoples – the vote for its candidates had to be equal to or greater than 1.5% of the total vote at the national level. "My voters are left and right. Here we are not looking for something political, we are looking for something for all the citizens of Chile," said the founder of the organization Meli Wixan Mapu, key in the politicization of the Mapuche world of Santiago. The 58-year-old graduate in Legal Sciences was spokesman for the Arauco-Malleco Coordinator (CAM), from which he separated at the beginning of 2000. Its main concern for the process is to improve and make viable social rights, with the definition of a social and democratic State of law. On indigenous peoples, he considers that in the text they should remain as pre-existing peoples at the creation of the State of Chile, "with a particular lowering to the recognition of the collective rights of indigenous peoples."