Bernal, Constitutional hijackers

Burt and Claudia
In Italian, “Il Gattopardo” means “The Leopard.” But the story an the term have taken on a political meaning in Spanish.

The hijacked constitution

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

The flowering of constituent assemblies has been accomplished with the desire to create, where it never existed, or to consolidate and recover, democratic institutionality …

Simeón Emilio Gonzalez H.


Pseudo-constitutionalism, which is nothing more than to make something seem constitutional when it is not, is in full swing in our midst. The fugitives from the movement for a constituent assembly, as well as their determined foes, have joined forces – from their different trenches – with the firm intention of promoting Creole Gatopardism.*

They forget and attempt to make us forget that “The construction of democracy can only be done by convening the whole of society, that is, only by convening a full and participatory founding constituent assembly” (Simeón Emilio González H, 1999).

Deprived by inexcusable ignorance of theoretical, doctrinal and historical knowledge of the meaning, scope and collective advantages of a constituent process for society, they have chosen to take refuge — from their vantage point – in the confused and abusive use of a vocabulary with concepts, terms and words that, to date, have been useful for their political and electoral tasks. They also delve into classic opportunism, befitting chameleons and opossums.

Thus they haven’t hesitated in their desire to hijack the valuable history – of more than 200 years — of constituent power to try to make a sick and distrustful society believe that the escapist contraption of ‘the parallel assembly’ will allow them to achieve a lifestyle, to find a way to continue in the community as they have.

They try to hijack the constituent assembly so that they can continue to make mediocrity reign and make people feel at ease in a pigsty, in a pond devoid of values, principles and truths. From their well of immorality they seek to avoid the necessity of taking citizens’ reaction into account. Hijacking the constituent assembly, they seek to deprive citizens of the democratic, participatory, peaceful, popular instrument most appropriate for democratic and democratizing debate – the means by which to regain control of society, which is already kidnapped.

It is up to us to rescue the hijacked process from the labyrinth and tangle created by the discredited politicians who rule the roost and who are not interested in mitigating the damage caused by their actions. Nor those of their political parties, which have only served to reserve for themselves perks and privileges at the cost of other people’s sacrifices.


* This term derives from the Spanish rendition of Il Gattopardo, an Italian 1958 novel and 1963 movie about a decadent 1860s Sicilian prince in a conflict with Garibaldi’s redshirt rebels. The prince uses every trick in the book to make it look like he’s delivering change but all the while ensuring that nothing changes. His victories are hollow and fleeting.


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