Chile has just chosen a very young president (35 years old). Former figure of the student movement, Gabriel Boric who federated all the tendencies of the left, beat the nostalgic far-right leader of Pinochet, Jose Antonio Kast by obtaining 56% of the votes. Their duel was also that of two models of society at odds. Social justice and environmental protection for Boric. Safety, order and ultra-conservative positions for Kast who had won the first round.
Neo-liberalism was born in Chile, and this country will be its tomb.” The emblematic sentence of Gabriel Boric sums up his political manifesto, born of the massive so-called revolt movements against social inequalities of 2019. They had forced the country to give up organizing the COP 25 in 2020 . The students at the origin of the social explosion which mobilized the Chileans for several weeks, revolted against the increase in the price of transport at the already very high cost which set ablaze a country which massively privatized its public services.
“You have to understand that Chile has been at two speeds since the end of the dictatorship,” explains Juan-Pablo Pallamar, Chilean scholar and geopolitics researcher at the University of Paris 13. “There is a small part of the population that benefits modernization, but in a country where essential public goods and services (education, access to water) are privatized, the majority of the population has access to them only at the cost of massive indebtedness. ”
4 million out of 15 million Chileans are said to be in a situation of debt distress and this is one of the main reasons that push them to question the model of a very liberal market economy. The election of Gabriel Boric is the culmination of a process that began in 2020 when the Chileans decided by referendum to adopt a new Constitution which is being written by a Constituent Assembly made up of 155 elected members. The latter must submit their text in July 2022. Largely from civil society, they are increasing citizen consultations.
Chilean political innovations have economic repercussions all over the planet insofar as the country is the world’s leading producer of copper, a metal essential for the energy transition. This summer, Chile was the victim of a severe drought. Since water is essential for human life and for mining, the new environmental framework has led a court to suspend the mining activity of one of the BHP group’s mines. The reduction in production was a symbol of the country’s new trade-offs which explains Gabriel Boric’s victory.
Fighting against social inequalities by building new models based on great openness and better respect for the rights of women, minorities and the environment, this is therefore the Chilean bet whose population is on average 35 years old, the age of its president! These young people voted massively and convinced their parents and grandparents to do the same, knowing that before the election the country was already embarked on a massive energy transition.
4500 km long, Chile is developing all renewable energies (solar, wind, green hydrogen) and is moving towards 100% renewable supply, which has enabled it to close its coal-fired power stations 15 years ahead of the announced schedule. …