On Thursday, the Constitutional Convention's Political System Committee approved approved a norm declaring Chile a "Plurinational and Intercultural State."
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Approved with the favorable vote of 19 out of 25 members of the Commission, the new norm emerged after reviewing citizen petitions that demanded to include in the constitutional draft the Indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and self-government.
The new norm sets that the exercise of public functions must be carried out guaranteeing intercultural dialogue and recognizing the cultural diversity existing inside the Chilean society.
According to the proposal, the Indigenous peoples and nations are: Mapuche, Aymara, Rapa Nui, Lickanantay, Quechua, Colla, Diaguita, Chango, Kawashkar, Yaghan, and Selk'nam.
Currently, Chile is drafting a new Constitution to substitute the one inherited from Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1990). As part of this process of institutional creation, the Constitutional Convention has instated seven thematic committees formed to ensure a wide participation of all sectors in Chile.
At the time of their election, the 155 Convention members had a 9-month period to present the constitutional text. If they fulfill their functions in such a period, the plebiscite to approve or reject the new Constitution should be held in mid-2022.
“Chile should not be afraid of plurinationality, as it allows the State and the communities to have relations that recognize the particularities of the original and Indigenous peoples and their demands,” said Former President Michelle Bachelet.