As of 2021, Chile’s new president is an eco-friendly millennial leftist without a first lady, a staunch defender of human rights, lots of tattoos, and a big dream.
Gabriel Boric is now officially the youngest president in Chile’s history and the first far-right head of state in 30 years. He won the second round election on December 19, 2021. The 35-year-old defeated politician and former student leader Jose Antonio Costa with nearly 56 percent of the vote. A series of social reforms after his inauguration on March 11, 2022, so it’s time to learn some neat facts about him!
1. Descendants of immigrants
Boric was born into the family of a chemical engineer whose ancestors migrated from Croatia to Chilean Patagonia in the late 19th century in search of a better life. The future politician grew up in the beautiful province of Magallan in the south of Chile, where he began his political career at the age of 27.
2. Young activist
While studying law at the University of Chile, Poric was elected president of the student union, and in 2011 became one of the leaders of thousands of rallies against inequality in the education system. Protests spilled into the streets, forcing the authorities to negotiate and finally do something. These events determined the future of the activist. Borich graduated from university but did not earn a law degree, focusing on his political career. Two years later, he received a deputy’s mandate.
3. People’s leader
In his election manifesto, Boric promised to increase the minimum wage by 50%, reduce the working week from 45 to 40, and significantly increase public spending in the social sector, including health insurance and helping the poor. At the same time, the new president wants to raise tariffs on wealthy Chile and the private sector and mining. Through this, Boric wants to create a European-style social democracy in Chile.
4. Pinochet is an assassin of the era
During his election campaign, Boric promised to “end the neoliberalism” introduced in Chile under the right-wing authoritarian regime of Augusto Pinochet. In particular, the newly elected president has promised to raise the basic pension to $300 and plans to replace the private pension system with a government-sponsored one.
5. He is environmentally conscious
As a true millennial, Boric not only loves Taylor Swift, but also realizes the importance of protecting the environment. Chile is the world’s largest copper producer, but the newly elected president is poised to block one of its new mining plans to fight climate change. In addition, the politician is leaning heavily on green investments, pledging to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2025 and overhauling the country’s infrastructure to prepare for future climate change.
6. He fights for equality
After the election, Boric rallied to thank Chilean women who fought for rights such as the right to vote and abortion, both of which are at the forefront of his election agenda. Borik promises to involve more women and representatives of indigenous peoples and other minorities in governing the country. Gabriel also advocates for equal rights for the LGBT community, including the legalization of same-sex marriage.
7. A President without a First Lady
Boric is single, but for the past 2.5 years, he has been dating an Irish woman, Irina Karamanos. The 32-year-old feminist activist shares her partner’s political views and is a member of his party. Borich once said that there should be no positions in the government born out of the president’s personal relationships, and that positions of power should be distributed according to ability. Wise words. Now let’s see if he can back them up with action!