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  • Young woman is detained after being beaten by riot policemen during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 30, 2019.

    Young woman is detained after being beaten by riot policemen during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 30, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 December 2019

On Dec. 15, citizens will be asked about both the Constitution and issues that concern them most.

Chile's Association of Municipalities (AChM) on Friday announced that it will conduct an independent consultation on Dec. 15, which will be focused on the citizens' main demands.

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AChM executives confirmed that they will make the consultation even though in April 2020 a referendum is convened for the country to pronounce on the realization or not of a new Constitution that replaces the current one, which was written under the tutelage of the Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1990).

At the Dec. 15 consultation, in which all Chileans over 14 years of age may participate, citizens will express directly their opinion on both the new Constitution and on the main issues that the social mobilizations they have raised.

The results of this independent consultation will be presented to President Sebastian Piñera and the National Congress​​​​​​​.​​​​

The AChM president German Codina, who is also the mayor of Puente Alto said that this initiative will allow the direct participation of the population.

The ballot will ask if the citizen agrees to have a new Constitution and how the procedure to write this document should be carried out.

Citizens will also be asked about social and economic issues that concern them most. To do this, voters must choose three demands they believe are the most relevant.

Among the alternatives that will be consulted are, for example, increases in pensions and wages, gender-related income inequality, college students' debts, access to basic services, and environmental problems.​​​​​​​

Meanwhile, thousands of citizens on Friday took to the streets in Santiago to reject Piñera’s neoliberal policies and violence.

In this South American nation, which is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America, protests have lasted for over a month. Police brutality has been widely spread.

At least 2,800 civilians have been seriously injured during demonstrations and 26 people have been killed so far, according to the National Institute of Human Rights (INDR).

The current wave of social discontent began on Oct. 18 when students rejected a 30 cents increase in subway fares.

A couple of days later demonstrations became part of a broader social movement whereby citizens demand Piñera’s resignation, a new constitution, and better public services.​​​​

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