An independent doctor as the first woman in the history of Chile to assume the Ministry of the Interior, a journalist with a long career in the feminist movement as Minister for Women, and two comrades in student struggle make up the trusted team of the Chilean president-elect, Gabriel Boric, who takes office this Friday.
They are joined by the former president of the Central Bank, Mario Marcel, appointed to the Treasury portfolio, in a decision that seems to have allayed some of the fears of businessmen and other owners of money.
It is, according to what academics told Efe, a team that comes to “refresh La Moneda” after four complex years marked by multiple crises and that leave thorny challenges such as an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the north and the worsening of violence in the south of the country.RELATED
“It is a dialogue cabinet, which is how the new government has outlined its strategies to deal with these conflicts,” said Rodrigo Espinoza, a doctor in Political Science and an academic from Diego Portales University.
“The question is what will be the reception of the actors involved, whether or not there is trust in the indigenous communities of La Araucanía with the new government, the same as for the localities affected in the north by the migratory flow,” he says.
Izkia Siches: The first woman to lead the interior
From all sectors, the role of this 36-year-old doctor stands out in Boric’s resounding victory by almost 12 points against far-right José Antonio Kast last December.
With enormous weight in the influential Medical Association, a gravitating institution to face the pandemic, Siches became head of the presidential campaign and toured the country from end to end with her newborn daughter. A task with which she reaffirmed her position and she gave rise to assume as the first woman in the history of the South American country the portfolio of Interior and Public Security, as head of the political committee.
Mario Marcel: Experience for the farm
A renowned 62-year-old economist, Marcel was president of the Central Bank since 2016 and for years held various positions in the Treasury, such as Director of Budgets in the Government of Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006).
Independent but close to socialism, his appointment as head of the Treasury was well received by business elites, especially after applying a historic rise in interest rates to try to placate the very high inflation, which closed 2021 at 7.2%, the oldest in 14 years.
Camila Vallejo: From the student struggle to the government
Vallejo, 33, became known worldwide as the leader of the student protests that shook the country in 2011 against the Federation of Students of the University of Chile (FECh), of which Boric was also president.
From there, she made the leap to professional politics as a deputy for the Communist Party (PC) in 2014, then forming the so-called “student caucus”.
He intends to take over as spokesman for the incoming government, leading an opening to dialogue with various social and political actors to carry out ambitious reforms stipulated in the program, also consolidating a generational change in the ranks of the PC.
Giorgio Jackson: Student Wrestling Partner
A deputy since 2014, Jackson has a reputation as a tough negotiator and a good articulator. A colleague of Gabriel Boric and Camila Vallejo from the student leadership where they were formed, he is the person who will be in charge of relations with Congress, directing the General Secretariat of the Presidency (Segpres).
In a chamber where as of March there will be no majorities and I Approve Dignity -the coalition made up of the Broad Front and the Communist Party with which Boric won the ballot- only has 37 deputies and five senators, the role of Jackson (34 years old) it will be crucial to carry out the transformative agenda.
Antonia Orellana: Feminist Pulse
One of the founders of Social Convergence (CS), Boric’s party, and a feminist activist with an outstanding career, Orellana (32 years old) assumes as the youngest minister in the cabinet.
His role will be key as he chairs the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity, a space that for the first time in Chile will integrate the Political Committee to, according to the incoming administration, bring these guidelines transversally to all government tasks.
Its inclusion in the instance -along with Interior, Treasury, the spokesperson and Segpres- is a powerful signal to the feminist groups, crucial in the victory of the Broad Front.
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