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Social Science and Public Policy

Uprising and Change in Chile: From Social Protest to Institutional Transformation

April 4, 2022 at 12:45pm2:15pm

Virtual (See event details)

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October 2019 marked a turning point in Chilean history. What
started as yet another protest became the country’s biggest social uprising
since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship in 1990. Within a month, Congress
had no choice but to authorize the start of a process that would eventually
lead to a new constitution and to the election of the youngest president in the
country’s history.

The protests came to encompass a
staggering array of social demands, ranging from pension, healthcare and
education reform, to political corruption, privatization of natural resources,
women’s rights, indigenous rights. Former President Piñera was widely
criticized for his handling of the crisis, and his approval rating hit an
all-time low of 6%. Conversely, polls showed that between 70 and 85% of
Chileans supported the demands of the social movement. 

Mauricio Paredes has been director of the Syracuse University Santiago Center in Chile since 2008. Formerly a member of the sociology faculty at Universidad de Chile, Dr. Paredes currently teaches two SU program courses: “Contemporary Issues in Chile and Latin America” and “Dictatorships, Human Rights and Historical Memory in Chile and the Southern Cone.” His interest in historical memory and Latin American dictatorships is closely related to his personal experience as a former political prisoner of the Pinochet regime. His current research on the history of human rights in the region includes archival evidence of Japanese internment camps in Chile during WWII, and his research has been recently published in book format by Lom Ediciones.

This event was first published on March 21, 2022 and last updated on January 19, 2023.

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