Bases of Institutionality

Santiago, October 21st 1980 - The following has been decreed today:

Number 1,150 - Whereas, Provision of decree-laws numbers 1 and 128 of 1973; 527 of 1974; 3464 of 1980; and Considering,
That the Hon. Government Junta approved a new Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile, submitting its text to ratification by plebiscite;

That, to this end, the Hon. Government Junta called the entire Nation to a plebiscite for the day of September 11th, 1980;
That the national sovereign will, expressed by the majority in a free, secret and informed action, was pronounced approving the proposed Constitution;

That the National Scrutinizing College has remitted the Record of the general scrutiny of the Republic containing the official and definitive result of the plebiscite and wherein the approval of the new Constitutional text by a majority of the Chilean people is evident; With the merit of these facts and invoking the name of the Almighty God
I do hereby decree:

Be the Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile considered approved, the official text of which is the following:


CHAPTER I Bases of Institutionality

Article 1

Men are born free and equal, in dignity and rights.

The family is the basic core of society.

The State recognizes and defends the intermediate groups through which society organizes and structures itself and guarantees them the necessary autonomy to fulfill their own specific objectives.

The State is at the service of the individual and its goal is to promote common welfare. To this effect, it must contribute to the creation of the social conditions, which permit each and every one of the members of the national community to achieve the greatest possible spiritual and material fulfillment, with full respect for the rights and guarantees established by this Constitution.

It is the duty of the State to safeguard the national security, to provide protection for the people and the family, to promote the strengthening of the latter, to further the harmonious integration of all the sectors of the Nation and to ensure everyone the right to participate in the national life with equal opportunities.

Article 2.

The national flag, the coat of arms of the Republic and the national anthem are the emblems of the Nation.

Article 3.

The State of Chile is unitary. Its territory is divided into regions. The law shall provide that administration thereof be functional and territorially decentralized.

Article 4.

Chile is a democratic republic.

Article 5.

Sovereignty rests essentially with the Nation. It is exercised by the people through the plebiscites and periodic elections, as well as by the authorities established by this Constitution. No sector of the people nor any individual may assume its exercise. The exercise of sovereignty recognizes as a limitation the respect for the essential rights originating from human nature.

Article 6.

The action of the bodies of the State must be subject to the Constitution and to the norms enacted in conformity therewith.
Both the incumbent officers of said bodies or members thereof, as well as all persons, institutions or groups, are bound by the precepts of this Constitution.

The breach of this principle shall generate responsibilities and penalties to be determined by the law.

Article 7.

The bodies of the State operate validly within their field of competence, and in the manner prescribed by law, after their members have been properly invested.

No judicature, person or group of persons may assume, even on the pretext of extraordinary circumstances, any other authority or rights than those expressly conferred upon them by the Constitution or by law.

Any act contravening this article is null and void and shall give rise to the responsibilities and penalties indicated by law.

Article 8.

Any action by an individual or group intended to propagate doctrines attempting against the family, or which advocate violence or a concept of society, the State or the juridical order, of a totalitarian character or based on class warfare, is illegal and contrary to the institutional code, of the Republic.

The organizations and political movements or parties which due to their purposes or the nature of the activities of their members, tend toward such objectives, are unconstitutional.

The cognizance of violations of the provisions set forth in the preceding paragraphs shall rest with the Constitutional Court.
Without prejudice to the other penalties established by the Constitution or by the law, persons who incur or who should have incurred the aforementioned violations shall not, for a period of ten years from the date of the Court's decision, be eligible for public duties or positions, regardless as to whether they should or should not be obtained through popular vote. Likewise, they will not become rectors or directors of educational establishments or teach thereat or exploit any medium of mass communication, or become directors or administrators thereof, or hold positions therein, related to the broadcast or dissemination of opinions or information. During the aforementioned period, they will not be able either to act as leaders of political organizations or students associations, and in general, organizations related to education, or occupy positions in community professional, entrepreneurial, labor or trade unions.

If at the time of the Court's decision, those persons referred to above should be holding a public office or position, whether or not as the result of a popular vote, they shall lose it as a matter of law.
Persons penalized in accordance with this precept, shall not be eligible for reinstatement during the period indicated in the fourth paragraph.

The duration of ineligibility as prescribed in this article shall be doubled in case of recurrence of the offense.

Article 9.

Terrorism in any of its forms is essentially contrary to human rights.

A law passed by a qualified quorum shall define terrorist conducts and the penalty to be imposed. Those responsible for such crimes shall, for a period of fifteen years, be precluded from holding positions or exercising functions or activities as referred to in paragraph four of the preceding article, without prejudice to other ineligibility or of those for a longer period established by law.

Neither amnesty or pardon, nor provisional freedom for those tried for such crimes shall be warranted. For all legal effects, such crimes will always be regarded as common offenses and not as political ones.