Cristián Monckeberg, president of Renovación Nacional; Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile; Pilar Armanet, rector of Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA); Jorge Burgos, minister of the interior; and Patricio Zapata, dean of UDLA’s School of Law attended a ceremony to discuss the books and the reforms that it addresses.
The book, “The Home of Us All,” is being published by Ediciones UC. The attendees concluded that a new constitution is needed in Chile, but that the process requires an open space where all members of Chilean society can have the opportunity to debate. According to Patricio Zapata, “The process of creating a new constitution is an opportunity that we need to undertake as a country, because even if it doesn’t lead to a new constitution, it will increase civic engagement.”
In his opinion, the activities of citizens, universities, the media and other actors are more important than those of the government. Rector Armanet stated, “The university is committed to a thorough discussion regarding the new constitution in 2016,” which will begin through the university’s student councils.
The book, which uses non-technical language, suggests that Chile needs to increase protection of fundamental rights, create a government that is truly representative, ensure each citizen has an equal voice in the future of the country and that it responds to the challenges of the 21st century. According to Zapata, “The people need to be protagonists in the constitutional process. The public has a right to decide how their politics will be structured, a constitution should not be written by the elites anyway.”
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.