Panama is one of many countries where the cost of living is becoming untenable for workers. In recent weeks, trade unions have blocked major roads to demand the government impose price caps on food, gas, and medicine — and they’ve already won a 30 percent cut.
Octavio García Soto is a freelance journalist and has written for La Tercera (Chile), La Estrella (Panamá), and Taz (Germany).
This fall, Panama has seen large “pro-democracy” and “anti-corruption” protests, backed by mainstream media and much of the country’s business elite. But corruption isn’t owed to a few “bad apple” politicians — it’s rooted in Panama’s ultra-privatized economy.
With just two weeks until Chile’s presidential election, the race between the Left and the far right is narrowing. Jacobin spoke to Communist mayor Daniel Jadue about why he’s supporting his former rival, Gabriel Boric, and how radicals can build power at the local level.
Chile’s Constitutional Convention promises to shift the balance of power in a society long prey to neoliberal dogmas. But as Communist MP Camila Vallejo tells Jacobin, the Chilean right will stop at nothing to defend ruling-class interests.
Cristóbal Andrade is a car mechanic and socialist elected to Chile’s Constitutional Convention. Jacobin asked him why he attends sessions dressed as a dinosaur.
This October’s historic referendum in Chile saw a massive 78 percent vote to abandon the Pinochet-era constitution. Today, social movements are pushing for a new document that offers broad welfare and environmental guarantees — but first, they must confront an oligarchy hell-bent on thwarting any fundamental change.
This summer, in a COVID-19–driven economic crisis, Chile’s opposition forced the right-wing government to allow desperate citizens to draw on their privatized pension funds. But in a constitutional referendum tomorrow, Chileans may go a step further and vote to scrap these widely hated pension funds altogether.
After last October’s popular revolt, Chileans are due to vote on a new constitution to replace the current Pinochet-era document. But far-right forces are mobilizing to prevent any change — threatening deadly violence against social movements and indigenous people.