As of 2021, Chile’s new president is an eco-friendly millennial socialist without a First Lady, who is also an outspoken human rights champion with a large tattoo collection and a great dream.
Gabriel Boric has officially become Chile’s youngest president and the country’s first far-right leader in 30 years. On December 19, 2021, he won the second round of elections. After defeating his rival, Jose Antonio Casta, with nearly 56 percent of the vote, the 35-year-old politician and former student leader now plans to radically change the country’s life through a series of social reforms following his inauguration on March 11, 2022, so now is the time to learn a few interesting facts about him!
1. An emigrant’s descendant
Boric was born into a family of chemical engineers, whose forefathers came from Croatia to Chilean Patagonia in quest of a better living in the late 1800s. The future politician was born and raised in the gorgeous region of Magallanes in southern Chile, where he began his political career at the age of 27.
FILE PHOTO: Chile’s President-elect Gabriel Boric addresses the media at the presidential palace La Moneda, Santiago, Chile, December 20, 2021. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo
2. Prominent young activist
Boric was elected chairman of the student union at the University of Chile while studying law, and in 2011 he was one of the organizers of tens of thousands of marches against educational injustice. Protests spilled out onto the streets, prompting authorities to negotiate and act. The activist’s future was defined by these occurrences. Borych attended university but did not pursue a legal degree, preferring to concentrate on his political career. He was appointed as a deputy two years later.
3. The people’s president
Boric proposed in his electoral platform to raise the minimum wage by 50%, reduce weekly work hours from 45 to 40, and greatly boost public spending on social issues such as health care and assistance to the poor. Simultaneously, the new president intends to boost taxes on the rich and the private sector, as well as mining fees. Boric hopes to establish a European-style social democracy in Chile in this manner.
Gabriel Boric, a presidential candidate for the Social Convergence party, gestures during a closing rally in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday, December 16, 2021, prior of runoff elections. According to unofficial surveys circulating in the market, the left-wing presidential candidate Boric’s lead over conservative Jose Antonio Kast appeared to be narrowing on Thursday. Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg/Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg/Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg
4. The slayer of the Pinochet period
Boric claimed during his election campaign to “destroy the neoliberalism” brought in Chile under Augusto Pinochet’s right-wing authoritarian dictatorship. The newly elected president, in particular, intends to replace the private pension system with a state-funded one, with the basic pension set to be increased to $300.
5. He’s concerned about the environment, for example.
Boric, a true millennial, not only adores Taylor Swift, but also recognizes the need of environmental preservation. Chile is the world’s greatest copper producer, but the country’s newly elected president is threatening to halt one of the country’s new mining projects in order to combat climate change. Furthermore, the politician vows to aggressively invest in green initiatives, deal with coal-fired power plants by 2025, and adjust the country’s infrastructure to be climate-change ready.
6. He is an advocate for equality.
Boric congratulated Chile’s women after the election for banding together to safeguard the rights they battled for, such as the freedom to vote and abortion, both of which were on his political platform. Boric promises to include more women, as well as indigenous peoples and other minorities, in the country’s governance. Gabriel also fights for the LGBT community’s equal rights, particularly the legalization of same-sex marriage.
7. There is no First Lady in the White House.
Boric is currently unmarried, but he has been dating Irina Karamanos, an Irish woman, for the past 2.5 years. The 32-year-old feminist activist is a member of her partner’s political party and supports his political ideas. Borych once stated that no government posts should be based on the president’s personal relationships with others, and that authority should be divided based on ability. These are wise words. Let’s see whether he can back up his words with deeds!