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Postgraduate Indigenous Academics Abroad: Meet the President of the Constitutional Assembly of Chile, Eliza Lonkan | The world

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Launson was born in Triguan, La Aracuana, a stronghold of Mapuche, and spent most of his childhood in the Lefwellen community, where a large part of his family still lives. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, he said he traveled eight kilometers to get to school, usually on foot.

He graduated as an English teacher at the Universidad de la Frontera in La Aracania, and graduated from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the Netherlands, and the University of Regina, Canada.

He also holds a PhD in Humanities from Leiden University in the Netherlands and a PhD in Literature from the University of Pontifia Catalica de Chile.

The first session after the election of Eliza Launson, President of the Constitutional Convention of Chile, in Santiago on Sunday (4) – Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

Mapuche, who represents the largest indigenous community in Loncone, was elected to one of the 175 seats reserved for locals in the 155-member Constituent Assembly.

All ethnic groups included seven representatives of the Mapuche people, two Aymars, and one of the others: Kawaskar, Rapanui, Yagan, Quechua, Atacameno, Daguita, Kolla, and Chango.

After being elected president of the convention by 96 out of 155 votes on the second ballot, Loncan curled his fist over his head and thanked a local woman for his accomplishments.

The new Chilean constitution will replace the current Chilean constitution, drafted by a small commission during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) – as an institutional response to the crisis that led to the October 2019 wave of protests seeking more equal rights.

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