Michelle Bachelet’s first term as president of Chile ran from 2006 to 2010. After her term as president ended she was chosen to head “UN Women”, a newly created UN entity that promotes gender equality.
Bachelet accepted the presidential sash from Senate President Isabel Allende, the daughter of Chile’s late Socialist President Salvador Allende. Both women have had remarkable lives given the hardships both have had to endure. Michelle Bachelet’s father, Air Force General Alberto Bachelet, was loyal to the idea of democracy and to the Allende presidency. Because of this on September 11, 1973, the day of the Pinochet/Nixon Kissinger coup, he was jailed.
General Bachelet died March 12, 1974 in one of Pinochet’s prisons. Banchelet died of a heart attack after being tortured. Michelle Bachelet and her mother were also imprisoned for a short time, but fortunately they were able to flee the country where they fled to Cuba for a year and spent another 15 years in Mexico.
The Pinochet/Nixon Kissinger junta killed at least 3,206 Chilean and foreigners living in Chile. Thousands more were imprisoned and tortured because of their political beliefs.
Another interesting milestone for Bachelet was that prior to her winning the presidency, she had spent time as head of the Chilean Military. An action taken to ensure that the abuses of the past would never happen again. 2014 brought two firsts, one was Michelle Bachelet serving two terms as president (since the restoration of democracy), and the other is Isabel Allende serving as Senate President – it was the first time Chile has had a woman hold the leadership position in the Senate.
Bachelet’s primary goal is to improve Chile’s education system. She also is seeking to increase taxes on corporations and the very wealthy. She, and other Chileans share a revolutionary spirit that now covers almost all of South and Central America: Nicolas Maduro-Venezuela, Jose Mujico-Uruguay, Ollanto Humala-Peru, Rafael Correa-Ecuador, Dilma Rousseff-Brazil, Evo Morales -Bolivia, Daniel Ortega- Nicaragua Salvador Sanchez -El Salvador.
Brian McAfee is a writer living in Michigan, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.