How free do Chileans feel? Where can they exercise their liberties? Who feels more or less free in the country? In order to find the answers to these questions, and use them as a point of reference for the defense of freedom in Chile, Atlas Network partner Fundación para el Progreso (FPP) and GFK Adimark has produced a study titled “Barómetro de la Libertad” (“Barometer of Freedom”).
The study reveals that 84 percent of Chileans consider liberty a “very important” matter that helps them make decisions, while 85 percent of Chileans feel that it has become more difficult in recent years to exercise their freedoms.
“The limitation of political power, judicial independence, and democracy” are the worst perceived indicators, explains Armando Holzapfel, FPP manager (translated from Spanish). “Chileans have less trust in institutions that aim to limit authority and, for the most part, consider that the courts do not act independently of the government and parliament.” Holzapfel goes on to praise the importance that Chileans place on strong institutions, as well as the concern that they have regarding weak institutions.
More than 1,500 people throughout Chile were interviewed to complete the study in August and September. Of those interviewed, 60 percent felt that they have a great deal of freedom to choose their own lives, while 56 percent feel that their liberty has been violated at some point.
Respondents feel that freedom of expression and freedom of personal relationships are both aspects in which freedom in Chile is going in the right direction. The barometer also points out that the most important freedoms that the Chilean government must respect are the lives of the citizens, freedom to choose how to raise children, and respect for private property.
The 2015 edition of “Barometer of Freedom” is the first installment of a planned annual series, which will allow Chileans to compare the state of liberty from year to year and ultimately observe the evolution of freedom in their country.