We the people of Chile, responsible for her history and future, have drafted this Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile. We have done so in a free and democratic way, exercising the original constituent power that we possess. The goal of this solemn act is to live in peace, justice, and prosperity within our borders and to coexist with all countries and peoples of the world, promoting and respecting the dignity, liberty, equality, solidarity and the fundamental rights of all human beings.
Chapter I. Bases of Institutionality
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
The dignity of a human being is inviolable. The State is obligated to respect and protect the dignity of human beings, just as all people and the diverse forms in which they associate are obligated to as well.
The family, in its diverse forms, is the fundamental nucleus of society.
The Republic of Chile is a State of democratic and social laws. Its territorial organization is unitary. Its administration is decentralized, allowing for the adoption of other modalities as allowed by the law.
The State is at the service of the people and its goal is the common good, for which it must create the necessary conditions for the sustainable development of the whole community and its members, clearly respecting the rights and guarantees consecrated within the Constitution with financial responsibility.
The State recognizes, protects, and promotes intermediate groups through which society is organized and structured; the State grants these organizations autonomy to accomplish their own specific goals, within the bounds established by the Constitution.
It is the responsibility of the State to protect the security and sovereignty of the nation and its territory, to give protection to the population, promote the harmonious integration and solidarity of its inhabitants and peoples, just as it must protect the rights of people to participate with equality of opportunity in national life. The protection of the environment as well as the national history and culture are special responsibilities of the State.
Sovereignty resides with the nation and with its diverse indigenous peoples. The exercise of sovereignty is realized by citizens through elections and plebiscites established by this Constitution and the laws, as well as through public bodies and authorities in the discharge of their duties. No sector of the people nor any individual may claim to exercise the sovereignty of the Chilean State.
The exercise of sovereignty recognizes respect for human rights as a limit. It is a requirement that organs of the State and all people respect and promote the rights guaranteed by this Constitution, those established by international treaties that have been ratified by Chile and are in force, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the Assembly General of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. The organs of the State must reconcile these rights with those established in the Constitution.
The State recognizes the indigenous peoples that live within the national territory as a part of the Chilean nation, which obligates the State to promote and respect their integrity as well as their rights and culture. The indigenous peoples will participate as indigenous groups within the National Congress through a parliamentary representation, whose number and form of election will be determined by an organic constitutional law.
Chile is a State of laws, based on the principle of constitutional supremacy. As a consequence, the entire juridical system is subordinated to the Constitution, the primary source of law; the organs of the State, prior to the regular inauguration of its members, must act within the form established by the Constitution and according to the legal norms dictated by the Constitution.
The autonomous character that this Constitution grants to certain organizations does not remove their status as part of the State with the same rights, responsibilities, and limitations that their status as part of the State involves.
The precepts of this Constitution obligate the leaders or members of these organizations just as they would any other person, institution or group.
Violation of this norm will generate sanctions as determined by this Constitution and the laws.
The Constitutional Tribunal will resolve those issues within its jurisdiction between organs of the State that do not involve the Superior Courts of Justice.
No magistrate, person, or group of persons may attribute to themselves, even within extraordinary circumstances, any authority or rights other than those expressly conferred to them by the Constitution and the laws.
Any act in contravention of this article is null and will give rise to the responsibilities and sanctions that the law mandates.
The exercise of public functions obligates representatives of the State to strictly adhere to the principle of probity in all of their actions.
The acts and resolutions of the organs of the State are public; their foundations and the procedures utilized are public as well. However, a single law may establish secrecy of all effects or some details when publicity would affect the ability of the organization to fulfill its duty, the rights of persons, national security, or the national interest.
The President of the Republic, the Minister of State, the representatives and senators, as well as other State authorities and employees established by an organic constitutional law, must publicly declare their financial interests and assets.
Such a law will determine the cases and the conditions in which these authorities must delegate the administration of certain goods or duties to third parties in cases where a conflict of interest would exist in the exercise of their official duties. Alternatively, other appropriate means to resolve conflicts may be considered and, in qualified situations, the transfer of all or part of these goods may be arranged.
It is the responsibility of the organs and institutions of the State to guarantee the institutional order of the Republic. All conduct that seeks to attack our democracy and fundamental rights is contrary to the Constitution and can be found classified within the penal code.
Terrorism, in any of its forms, is contrary to the rule of law.
The punishable acts classified as terrorist crimes, as well as the responsibility for their commission, will be established in a special section within the penal code. The procedural rules for their judgement will be material for the Penal Process Code.