Friday, January 28

The beginnings of Gabriel Boric: when the current president was the ‘enfant terrible’ of Chilean politics

Gabriel Boric Font has become his 35 years in the youngest president of the Republic of Chile. His has been a victory by the minimum, not so much because of the result obtained against the extreme right-wing Felipe Kast, but because article 25 of the Chilean Constitution establishes that to run for the presidency the candidate must be at least 35 years old. Going back to the beginnings of today’s president-elect is, consequently, an exercise in recent memory. Born in Magallanes, the northernmost region of the longest and northernmost state on the planet, he broke into Chilean politics as a student leader. Later he was the first deputy to get a seat without agreeing with the traditional parties and then he set out to forge the Broad Front, the political platform with which today he has arrived at the Palace of The coin and that it has managed to save the historic fratricidal impulses of the autonomist left.

Boric went from painting walls with the brand “I ^ 3” (Insurrectionalist Left Intransigence) during adolescence in his Punta Arenas native to stir up student protests in Santiago, while studying law. He was one of the visible faces of the precariat who entered the university and left it with a bag of debts and a degree that did not always translate into quality employment. Well, in Chile the weight of private centers in the Chilean university system is highly high and more than a million students have contracted a State Endorsement Credit (CAE) to be able to study.

A large part of the children of the Chilean Transition -the first post-election elections Pinochet They were in 1989 – they were not represented in the party system inherited from the regime: the Concertación. The Socialist Party and the Christian Democrats took turns in the presidency and it was not until Boric’s victory that this binomial was broken for the first time. Before, Boric already managed in 2013 to be elected deputy in the Chilean parliament without agreeing with the traditional parties. An unprecedented fact, since in the then electoral system the majority formations were rewarded and to achieve representation in a territory a resounding victory was necessary.

And he was the only one of the student leaders who later jumped into institutional politics that did so without that pact with the old parties, since most of them joined the Communist Party (then accused of a fine from the socialist party). His direct, forceful and openly amending speech of the ‘establishment’ and the logic that until then had prevailed in Chilean politics earned him the label of ‘enfant terrible’. Boric enters Congress boosted by his fame among the students and from there he begins to understand that, for his struggle to prosper, he must become a broader speaker, go on to represent more struggles and not fall into the comfort of marginality. That was one of the seeds of the Broad Front, which today has led him to proclaim himself not only the youngest president of the Republic of Chile, but also the benchmark for the new Latin American left.

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