Protecting human, animal and natural rights in Chile

Javier Guerrero, General Secretary of the Green Party of Chile, talks to Green World about the party’s growing popularity, reflecting on the successes and challenges it is currently experiencing.

A landscape shot of the skyline in Santiago
Green World

Describe the current landscape for the Green Party in Chile at the moment.

We have recently faced several different electoral processes – the primary and gubernatorial elections, and elections for constituent members, mayors, and city councils – and we are currently in the middle of one more process for the election of deputies, senators and the president. We want to offer the country the option of voting for candidates where green politics are truly prioritized. In recent elections, the list of ecologists and independents that we presented saw the successful appointment of 46 council members and one regional governor.

Looking forward, we are facing the regional council, congress and presidential elections. We don’t have our own presidential candidate, so we will have to wait for the ballotage to decide our support. By no means will this go to the right-wing that violated human rights through repression, and perpetuated the harmful extraction of natural resources.

To what do you attribute the growing popularity of the Green Party in Chile?

We are working with and open to the needs of environmental organizations and movements nationwide, in addition to our own initiatives as a party. Our most widespread support comes from young people, given the fact that a vast array of our members are no older than 30. We believe that the general population has realized the growing importance of environmental affairs regarding their quality of life. We are in a moment wherein politics is subject to scrutiny – we have not been involved in corruption issues, and, as a result, the public has a lot of trust in us.

What, in particular, is the Green Party in Chile focusing on at the moment?

We’re currently focusing on the general elections, which are right around the corner – November 21st. 155 members of Parliament will be elected, along with 43 members of the Senate, and Regional Council members across the country. 

On the local level, our elected representatives lead workgroups to encourage behaviours that protect and develop the environment, landscape, and circular economy. In particular, our energies are focused on the decarbonisation of Chile’s energy supply through clean generation, ending animal cruelty in all its forms through responsible handling, and rights to protect nature in order to guarantee its conservation for future generations.

What does the future hold for the Green Party of Chile? 

The upcoming elections will be crucial for the Green Party of Chile. We’re hoping to expand our presence in Congress, where our green team can defend human, animal and natural rights. We have to consider that our country is in the process of writing a new Constitution, so the new Congress will be in a transition period. We trust this process, given the fact that ecological topics are being prioritised. We’ll be looking forward to sharing some good news following the elections in November!