Constitutional Process NATIONAL

Who is Elisa Loncón, the new President of the Constitutional Convention?

The Mapuche constituent was elected during the Convention’s first session. She said that with this process “it is possible to reform Chile.” Loncón has dedicated her life to the Mapuche cause.

Elisa Loncón is now the President of the Constitutional Convention. During its first meeting, the convention’s constituents chose their leaders, and even though Loncón didn’t win the necessary 78 votes on the first try, the runoff gave her a decisive victory, with 96 votes.

After Loncón won, she delivered a speech in which she thanked the people who voted for her, for “giving their trust and voting for a Mapuche woman, to change the history of this country,” and added “this convention will transform the country, and turn it into a multinational, intercultural country.”

A scholar and an activist

Loncón studied English at the University of La Frontera, in the La Araucanía region, with postgraduate courses at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (Holland) and at the University of Regina (Canada). She has a Master’s in Linguistics from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa UAM-I (Mexico); a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Leiden (Holland); and a Doctorate in Literature from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

She currently works as a professor at the University of Santiago and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. She is also part of the Education and Linguistics Rights for the Native Communities of Chile Network.

 She has always been an activist for the Mapuche community, participating in different Mapuche organizations since her childhood. After completing her studies, she dedicated herself to Mapuche linguistics and rescuing native languages. 

She was also a member of the Consejo de Todas las Tierras organization that aimed to create a Mapuche State and which created the Mapuche flag in 1992.

Although she is not currently an active member of any political parties, she sympathizes with left-wing ideology.

She was elected a Convention member with 11,715 votes, representing the native communities of the Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Santiago, O’Higgins, and Maule regions.

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