In a landslide victory, the people of Chile have decided to rewrite the Pinochet-era constitution.
There is a joyful atmosphere at the Plaza Dignidad as thousands gather to celebrate the results of the referendum, with the word renace (“reborn”) projected onto the Telefónica Tower.
In addition to the fireworks and celebratory atmosphere, the word renace (“reborn”) was projected onto the Telefónica Tower in a clear reference to the Chilean people’s decision to write a new Constitution to replace that of 1980, inherited from the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
A poster was also hung, reading: Plaza de la Dignidad, no olvidamos, 1973 (“Plaza de la Dignidad, we haven’t forgotten, 1973), in reference to the year of the coup d’état that overthrew Salvador Allende and to the new name the square was given in the midst of the social explosion that began in October 2019.
A sea of citizens defied the heavy police siege by banging on pots and waving flags to celebrate in the emblematic square in the capital which has become a symbol of the struggle for a dignified country.
During the celebration, thousands of voices in unison chanted the mythical Chile despertó (“Chile has awoken”) and El pueblo unido jamás será vencido (The people united will never be defeated), which have become the slogans of the popular revolt.
Atenea Ramírez, 68, who came to Plaza Dignidad tonight told Agencia Efe: “This is where the most political call of all came from: let dignity become a habit. What we are experiencing today is thanks to the young people, and that is why we have come to celebrate.”
Carlos Fuentealba, 54, said: “I am here to celebrate the triumph of the people, who, for the first, time will be able to write a democratic constitution by exercising their sovereignty. This is the beginning of a new Chile where social rights are respected.”
Before the results were known, the carabineros (Chilean police) had tried to disperse a group trying to hang a flag, but when the uniformed police approached them, they were repelled by the demonstrators.
Although the police responded with water cannons and zorillos (police vehicles that shoot tear gas, also referred to as skunks), they were unable to disperse the growing demonstration.