denounce smear campaign against Constitutional Convention

Aldo Anfossi

Special for La Jornada

La Jornada newspaper
Saturday, September 4, 2021, p. 24

Santiago. The Constitutional Convention has been in session for two months in Chile and some polls show reduced approval of its performance, attrition attributed by the president of this body, Elisa Loncon, to a smear campaign that is articulated on social networks, systematically oriented by far-right conventionalists.

Much of this disapproval is fostered by sectors that do not validate the work of the convention. Non-existent realities are invented and it is a matter of watching Twitter. Unfortunately there are people who keep that information, which is wrong, (they are) many lies. You know how much lies have been used to invalidate our work, Loncon told reporters.

At the end of August, a survey by the firm Criteria placed the approval of the performance at 30 percent and the rejection at 40 points; in another measurement the figures are worse.

Loncon recognized that communications must be improved in order to reach every corner to counter the lies that are being told. He insisted that the trend is driven by this campaign against the work of the convention, and promised to make greater contact with the territories so that citizens do not get carried away by so much falsehood.

The right-wing ruling party elected 37 of 155 members, which is not enough for the third necessary to block the new articles. That filled her with helplessness and made her isolate herself, resorting to discrediting. In mid-August, 15 of the 37 published a letter in which they stated: We want to be part of the reunion between the original peoples and Chile, and “we recognize that, either as a State, as a society or as individuals, mistakes have been made and injustices, one of them being the little understanding we have had of the realities and perspectives of native peoples. Chile has a ‘historical debt’ and we are committed to contributing to its solution ”.

Sabotage

But the 22 who did not sign the letter, mostly from the far-right Independent Democratic Union and the Pinochet Republican Party, have persisted in sabotaging the convention by discrediting it.

Beyond the above, the conventionalists managed to give themselves an order to function and agreed on eight commissions that guide their work: communications, information and transparency; budget and internal administration; human rights, historical truth and bases for justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition; decentralization, equity and territorial justice; ethics; popular participation; indigenous participation and consultation, and regulations.

Now it is a priority that the regulation makes a proposal of the rules that will govern them in the 10 months that remain to produce the new text. That regulation should be sanctioned in mid-September.

Among the relevant events of the convention, two agreements of the Human Rights Commission that it wanted to include in the regulations stand out: one to end the secrecy that for 50 years protects the report of the National Commission on Political Prison and Torture, prepared in 2005, that details the torments inflicted individually on each victim by Pinochet’s henchmen, and another to replace the militarized Carabineros police, highly discredited and permeated by corruption, with a civilian one. Both agreements were not included as part of the regulation.

The rupture and dissolution of the so-called People’s List, the inorganic group of independents that in May hit the mark by choosing, without resources and against all odds, 27 out of 155 conventionalists. Cohesioned exclusively by their repudiation of political parties, as differences within the group over their vision of the country grew and electoral appetites grew to compete in the presidential and legislative elections in November, trusts were broken and it resulted in a diaspora: successively 10 left and this week 17 announced that they are now forming the collective Constituent People.

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