Donate to the 40th Anniversary Fund here!
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.
Meanwhile, EPES staff continue their vital work for health and dignity for all. The November 2022 Update will tell you about EPES’ critical activities in mental health, nutrition and food sovereignty, and human (especially migrant) rights. There is a thread of connection in all these programs, as they bring together diverse communities—immigrant, First Nations, urban— over shared problems, and encourage them to develop collective solutions. I look forward to being in Chile to celebrate EPES’ extraordinary 40 years of working for justice, dignity and health, and to share in their recommitment to the work ahead, of building a brighter future for Chile. I hope you feel these connections too, because it is your steadfast support that makes the work possible.
Thank you for all you do, and for your continued support of EPES.
In solidarity and peace,
Christina Mills MD FRCPC
PS And. dear friends, if you are able to make an additional or increased donation this year in honor of the 40th anniversary, we will be more than grateful!