Dear friends of EPES,
I am so excited about EPES’ 40th anniversary that I can barely sit still long enough to compose this letter—I know I’m not alone in feeling I truly need the boost this celebration will provide!
Like most of the rest of the world, Chile is still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, the personal and social trauma inflicted by the pandemic were compounded by the devastating results of the constitutional referendum on September 4. It’s hardly an overstatement to say that, if the draft had been approved, Chile would have had the world’s most progressive constitution, with positive implications for health, the environment, education, indigenous rights, human rights generally, and much more. But our hopes were dashed, and now Chile will have to begin a new process to replace the Constitution imposed by the dictatorship 42 years ago. There is no question that Pinochet’s constitution must go: 86% of Chileans were clear about that. The question now is how to come up with a draft that will be acceptable to a majority of Chileans. The rejection campaign outspent the approval campaign by at least ten to one. Clearly, Chile’s wealthy elites will do whatever they can to block substantive change.
Thank you for all you do, and for your continued support of EPES.
In solidarity and peace,
Christina Mills MD FRCPC