Territory, constituent process and presidential elections

For Benavente (2007), the word “province” comes from the word pro-vincere, that is, that place with which the old Roman empire called the vanquished. Etymology that perfectly graphs the modern history of the regions of our country, fundamentally from the defeat of the federalist sectors of the nineteenth century against the construction of the Portalian State around a Santiago oligarchy and landowner of the center-south zone, historically making Santiago de Chile the political, cultural and economic capital of the country. 
Atrophy that has been possible thanks to the hegemonic capacity of these dominant sectors by imposing over two centuries an apparent nation-state for the benefit of local and transnational groups, but that is presented to us as if it were a guarantee of a national community of equals, normalizing and naturalizing a conception of regional territories as synonymous with extractivism, of zones of environmental sacrifice, of monocultures, of border containment or, in the best of cases, as subaltern spaces of popular religiosity, folkloric, tourist, rock, traditionalist, indigenous. While certain privileged areas of the center would be the expression of modernity, development, cosmopolitanism, high culture and the great arts, avant-garde scientific knowledge, like a once Roman metropolis. 
In this context, one of the actors of civil and community society that during the 2001-2019 cycle successfully managed to challenge and reform this dominant definition of territories, was the case of socio-environmental movements in regions, both mestizo and native, around perspectives and worldviews associated with good living, environmental sustainability, food security, among others, and that from 2012 to date register more than 127 active, latent and closed disputes, according to the map of socio-environmental conflicts of INDH. 
In this same sense, the recent process of democratic election and installation of governors, many of whom come from socio-environmental struggles, formed a new actor at the level of the national and regional political system, and with it the opportunity to lead a process of territorial and community development from autonomous logics to which the capital has historically imposed, which, together with the construction of important consensus on decentralization and territorial equity in some commissions of the Convention regarding the creation of communal governments, regional legislative capacities, regional withholding of taxes, and the elimination of presidential delegates, among other initiatives, constitutes a historic opportunity to overcome in a deliberative and democratic way this territorial inequality that has historically reaffirmed the inequality in our country. 
From the perspective of the regions, all this accumulation of social, political and cultural forces, many of them based on another conception of territory and that today derive in the Convention, the next presidential elections on Sunday, December 19, should not be understood exclusively in a left or right key, as if it were a cold War election, but among those who provide the best governmental guarantees so that this constituent process can lead to the formation of an integral State, which includes the regions and communities in equal territorial, political, economic, cultural, linguistic, national and environmental conditions, compared to other alternatives that seek to reaffirm the old fiscal hegemony in order to twist the regions two hundred years of history. 

The content expressed in this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.

Original source in Spanish

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