A few weeks ago, Brazil saw its democracy in danger after a group of Bolsonaristas attacked the buildings that house the three branches of government, following the same script as what happened in the United States and the attack on the Capitol.

Events such as these cannot be looked at from afar, because several common factors should alert and worry us. Taking care of our democracy is no trivial matter, much less a slogan; rather, it is a matter of haste in times of ferment. The “Latin America Political Risk” index 2023, prepared by the Center for International Studies UC (CEIUC), has already warned of the ten risks facing our region: organized crime, democratic regression, complex governance, new outbreaks of social unrest, the migration crisis, food insecurity, polarization, and fake news, loss of competitiveness, increase in cyberattacks and weakening of regional integration.

All of these are present -to a greater or lesser extent-in our country, and have become major concerns of the common citizen. The survey “Chilenas y chilenos hoy” by Espacio Público – Ipsos 2022, indicated that the main problems affecting citizens are crime and insecurity; deficient health service; inflation; unemployment; and corruption in politics.

Unfortunately, this has led us to a pessimistic climate, encouraged by repeated red chronicle news in the morning and newscasts, as well as by political leaderships that have shown themselves more concerned with winning ephemeral battles than with responding to great urgencies.

This negativism has gone beyond the spheres of power, flooding daily spaces, and bringing uneasiness to daily conversations, in which we spend more time criticizing than self-criticizing, looking for culprits, instead of thinking about our contribution.

We need more dialogue, to reach agreements, to act under a more proactive and positive view, where the common good is the north, leaving aside egomaniacal battles and understanding that those who give in do not lose. And this not only applies to politics—State and parties—but also to each one of us as individuals, communities, companies, entities, or social organizations. Because while we complain, some continue to evade public transportation, taxes, shopping at the supermarket with an invoice, skipping the rules under the excuse of some legal loophole, demanding that everything changes, and at the same time putting obstacles so that it does not happen.

In terms of corporate responsibility, there is much to be done. One of the issues that have been on the table recently is their responsibility towards the environment and, therefore, their role in this crisis. And for this, it is important to be consistent in their actions, in line with current needs. In this regard, ESG (environment, social, and governance) criteria are a great first step to achieve it, and it is the trend of European and North American companies, which are in tune with reality and understand that it is no longer profitable to exist without looking around.

In Chile, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon and are adapting to these changes —now required by the CMF through NCG No. 461—, assuming the leading role in these changes. Observing the scenario and defining the role we want to play in it is the question we must all answer, including companies.

We are starting in 2023, and the invitation is to look for what is our proposal in the face of the complaint and to take care of our words because language creates reality and the one we are creating is plunging us into pessimism.

Let us assume that to advance towards greater justice, equality, more rights, and strong institutions, we not only depend on the State, but also on the commitment of each one of us as active members of society, who want to take care of our country and advance towards development. If we do not take care and prevent it in time, regrets will be of no use.

By Susana Sierra

Source: La Tercera