Chile will have a new constitution. Nobody would have predicted that what started off as largely student protests over metro fare increases on 18 October would spiral into the most serious political and social crisis in Chile in a generation and culminate one month later in a multi-party political accord to rewrite the 1980 constitution, an institutional straitjacket bequeathed by the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), entrenching a neoliberal economic model. His popularity in shreds, President Sebastián Piñera had hoped this gesture would defuse tensions, reduce the pressure on his government, and restore some stability to the volatile peso. But protesters are demanding still more.

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