Prof Pens Op-Ed on Chile Protests

By Dan Verderosa, November 12, 2019
In a Washington Post op-ed, Patricia Rodriguez explains the role of indigenous groups in Chile’s protest movement.

In recent weeks, millions of people across Chile have taken to the streets to protest inequality in the South American country. Writing for the Washington Post, Ithaca College associate professor of politics Patricia Rodriguez explains the role that indigenous Chilean groups like the Mapuche — whose flag was featured in an iconic photo from the demonstrations — have played in the protests over long-simmering social and economic frustrations.

“Protesters waving the Mapuche flag above the statue [of former army commander in chief Manuel Baquedano in Plaza Baquedano in Santiago] are doing so to reveal indigenous people’s defiance against how, since the 1540s, early colonizers and more recent corporate plunderers, as they see it, have dominated Chilean politics and markets,” Rodriguez writes. “In particular, they’re angry that since the 1973 coup, both [Gen. Augusto] Pinochet’s administration and its democratic successor governments have used both constitutional prohibitions and military force to exclude grass-roots organizations from power and public discussion.”