The protests succeeded in establishing a constituent process and now special Indigenous seats are being demanded.
The results of the plebiscite held on October 25, 2020 were unequivocal. Four out of five citizens pronounced themselves in favor of a new political constitution. The same proportion voted for the constitution to be written by officials elected for this purpose through a Constitutional Convention. This result represents an essential step towards putting an end to the 1980 Political Constitution enacted during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, which, despite numerous reforms, has continued to limit the exercise of human rights and a full-fledged democracy, generating exclusions and inequalities of every kind. In this context, the people of Chile discuss the inclusion of 23 additional seats in the constitutional convention for Indigenous representatives, as well as one seat for an Afro-descendant representative.
The Rapa Nui people of Easter Island continued to demand recognition of their rights throughout 2019. This related largely to demanding that the Chilean state recognise and implement the International Annexation Treaty known as the “Agreement of Wills”, signed on 9 September 1888 and which forms the basis of the relationship between Rapa Nui and Chile, given that the Rapa Nui were never a conquered people.
In Chile, nine indigenous peoples are recognized by statute,1 comprised of 1,585,680 persons, they represent 9% of the country’s total population. However, in the 2017 Census, 12.8% of Chile’s population, totalling 2,158,792 people, were recognized as indigenous. These peoples and their populations are: Mapuche (1,754,147), Aymara (156,754), Diaguita (88,474), Atacameño (31,800), Quechua (27,260), Colla (16,088), Kawésqar (5,298), Rapanui (5,065), and Yámana or Yagán (131). Though mostly inhabiting urban areas, particularly the Metropolitan region (30.1%), Araucanía (19.6%) and Los Lagos (13.1%),2 as of the year 2015, 24.7% resided in rural zones.