The results of Chile’s elections for the Constitutional Convention marked a breaking point in the country’s history. At the same time as the particracy is demolished and the political class defeated, the epicenter of decision-making finds its way back to the people. Right now, indigenous and Chilean men and women must unite to reach Kume Mongen, and thus allow for a diverse coexistence under conditions of greater equity and an unconditional respect for Mother Earth.
Despite being in constant increase since the 1990s, the Indigenous population of Chile has not varied greatly since the 2017 census, resulting in 2,185,792 people self-identifying as Indigenous, or the equivalent of 12.8% of the country’s total population of 17,076,076. The Mapuche are the most numerous (almost 1,800,000 individuals), followed by the Aymara (156,000) and the Diaguita (88,000). There has been a notable and sustained increase in the proportion of Indigenous population living in urban areas, with 87.8% of Indigenous members now living in cities compared to 12.2% living in the countryside.
The protests in Chile left in evidence that its political-economic system, which for years was considered the successful model to follow, but excludes most of the population, mainly Indigenous People. Photo: Leandro Crovetto.
The political caste and economic power have focused their attention on avoiding the presence of Indigenous representatives in the process of Chile's new political constitution. The reason for their opposition is simple: the participation of 24 indigenous people would mean too much power and the Indigenous would be able to influence decision-making. However today, after centuries of exclusion, the time has come for Chile's native peoples to decide.