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Long and narrow, Chile clings to the western edge of South America's South­ern Cone. Hugging - page 37 / 46





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Chile                                   473

ties, encouraged participation in policy making, and acknowledged the need for socioeconomic development. A National Indigenous Peoples Develop­ment Corporation (CONAD1) now administrates indigenous affairs.

The Indian Law was an important progressive step, but, of course, much remains to be done. For one, CONAD1 would benefit from more indepen­dence from the presidency. The removal of directors who sided too openly with indigenous communities against the development projects of impor­tant private firms hurt the legitimacy of the institution among indigenous peoples and their allies. It transformed the Indian representatives on CONADFs council into state functionaries. The commitment to socioeco­nomic development for indigenous peoples was lukewarm at best. That, combined with festering, at times violent, land conflicts (especially by Ma-puches) forced the Frei administration to address the issue in July 1999. With great fanfare he committed about U.S. $280 million over three years. His ef­fort, however, was seen as largely cosmetic, as most of those funds were not fresh. He mostly called on monies already earmarked for public works and education in regions with heavy indigenous populations to the formal In­dian budget. Finally, the all-important issue of autonomy for indigenous peoples had barely been touched upon by the end of the Frei administra­tion.

On balance, in the transition from authoritarianism, the first two govern­ments of the Concertacion accomplished a great deal. Their policies helped to consolidate civilian rule and maintain economic stability, and addressed social equity and the concerns of new social movements. However, the pro­cess of overcoming the dark legacies of military rule was far from complete in 2000. An intransigent center-Right (and a frequently complacent Con­certacion) blocked progress on a number of vital issues. Constitutional re­form to restore Chile to full political democracy proved beyond the powers of the Concertacion, and the antidemocratic institutions it created remained. The designated senators, most of whom had to be chosen from conservative institutions, undercut the play of party politics in representative democracy. The Chilean military enjoyed a great deal of autonomy from civilian lead­ers. The core of their budget was fixed (10 percent of copper exports), and military doctrine and promotions were their prerogatives. They also domi­nated the National Security Council, which gave them direct institutional channels for participation in government policy making. Substantive amend­ments to the Constitution were not possible without support from conserv­ative political parties. But their interest in the maintenance of military guardianship and veto power over economic policy rendered them unco­operative. To be fair, however, on relatively minor issues Renovacion Na-cional was more flexible than the Democratic Independent Union, and a small number of conservatives, led by Andres Allamand, even supported restoration of full political democracy.

The Concertacion made equally little headway in protecting the rights of employees by strengthening the labor movement. First, the Concertacion^ pro-market and pro-business posture induced it to place only the most fun­damental of labor's demands on its policy agenda and to ignore most of

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