Thursday, March 28th 2013 - 10:25 UTC

Chile: Back from UN job Bachelet confirms she is running for president next November

Popular former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced late Wednesday that she is running in the 17 November election. Bachelet, the country's first female president 2006-2010, made the announcement at a public event in a southern Santiago neighborhood where she grew up.

The first woman president of Catholic Chile left office with an 84%approval rating

Polls show that Bachelet, 61, is the runaway favorite in the race, even though she first has to win a June primary election against three largely unknown candidates.

The ex-president arrived in Santiago late Wednesday after three years living in New York, where she became the first head of UN Women, an office that supports the rights of women worldwide, when it was created in 2010.

“We knew there were things still to be done” when her coalition left office, Bachelet said, “especially to improve the levels of income disparity.”

A socialist, agnostic, single mother, Bachelet was a strange choice to lead staunchly Roman Catholic Chile, but her informal political style and personal touch led her to being dubbed “the mother of Chileans.”

She left office with an approval rating of 84%, despite criticism over the response to Chile's massive February 2010 earthquake, and left behind a legacy of mostly successful efforts to improve the lot of Chilean women.

Born in September 1951 in Santiago, Bachelet studied medicine and joined the Socialist Youth as a teenager. Her father, an Air Force general, was a close adviser to president Salvador Allende, and was imprisoned and tortured after Augusto Pinochet toppled the socialist leader on September 11, 1973. Bachelet's father died six months later.

Secret police whisked Bachelet and her mother to a torture center in January 1975. The two women were eventually freed, and fled first to Australia and then to East Germany, where Bachelet completed her medical studies.

Bachelet, already the mother of a young son, returned to Chile in 1979 but was prevented from practicing as a doctor by the dictatorship. She continued studying specializing in pediatrics and public health and in 1984 gave birth to a daughter. Her third child, Sofia, was born nine years later.

Bachelet studied military strategy in Santiago and later in Washington, and in 2000 was appointed health minister with a mandate to reform the sector. She later became Minister of Defense.

55 comments Feed

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1 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 10:45 am Report abuse
Quelle surprise!
Mama is home....
2 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 12:13 pm Report abuse
Is the socialist candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami not your man?

A vote for Mami is a vote for the center-right-free-trade-capitalist status quo .
3 ManRod (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 02:29 pm Report abuse
hahaha, Condorito, you're so right.
I assume Think has started to think and has become rational and pragmatic?
Could that be?
4 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 03:00 pm Report abuse
Beware, hermanitos shilenos......

Mam’a is a DDR trained Manchurian Candidate due to be activated in 2014…
It’s all part of that Evil Cuban Communist plan to enslave Chile, you know...
5 redpoll (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 03:33 pm Report abuse
See you are on stag on this thread but the hounds dont seem to be all that interested in following the false scents you trail. Perhaps Comdr Quackover should take over?
6 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 03:45 pm Report abuse
Those Evil Commie Communists like Salvador Allende (Presente!) and now.............., Mamá!

Brainwash anybody?
7 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 03:46 pm Report abuse
@3 ManRod,
I think there is more possibility that Mami is a DDR trained Manchurian Candidate than our primito Ché Think has “become rational and pragmatic”.

@4 Ché Think
Very funny, of course they did try that one already.

...but seriously MEO must be your man. He is too socialist for me but he talks some truths and has conviction, which is always admirable. On being eliminated in the first round of the last election he refused to endorse either remaining candidate, proclaiming that they were both a continuation of the same thing - absolutely true - making him one of few socialists to speak out about the fact that the “left” has been hijacked by the free-trade-capitalist agenda.

He was unknown last time and not taken seriously by the Concertación. This time round they will have to be cleverer. It is going to be interesting.
8 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 03:56 pm Report abuse
Bachelet, Presidenta...
Marco, Ministro de Economía...
Camilita, Ministra de Educación...

Viva Chile, Mierda!
9 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 04:05 pm Report abuse
I think your socialist dream team needs Andes Velasco at Economía.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

We can even do socialism well!
¡Viva Chile Mierda!
10 redpoll (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 04:25 pm Report abuse
@9 Mierda? The excrement of horse apples comes from the other side of the Cordillera from western Chubut methinks condorito
11 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 04:43 pm Report abuse
Me thinks he hides out closer to GMT 0
12 ChrisR (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 04:47 pm Report abuse
I wonder if she would take AR on?
13 redpoll (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 04:51 pm Report abuse
No I think our hoarse whisperer does live in Chubut or if not in an a insalubrious cupboard in the Argentine Foreign Office in Buenos Aires with a hotline to Timmerman and CFK
14 reality check (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 04:57 pm Report abuse
Anyone know her stance on British/Chilean relations in respect to the Islands, during her last term of office? Be interesting to know?
15 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 05:48 pm Report abuse
Much the same as now.
16 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 06:11 pm Report abuse
Much the same as now.
Las Malvinas son Argentinas..............
17 golfcronie (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 06:27 pm Report abuse
Christ, have you lot in Latam got no men with balls to run a country?
18 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 06:29 pm Report abuse
@Ché Think
Much the same as now.
We know the Falklands are British but seeing as Argentina is prepared to expend all its diplomatic capital on a lost cause, we'll throw you a bone. Sit, roll, beg. Good boy.
19 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 06:50 pm Report abuse
To my Shilean Brothers.....
That's what Mami “Thinks” about Argentina....:

Mami is good.....
Argies like Mami.....
Mami likes Argies.....
20 golfcronie (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 07:07 pm Report abuse
You LATAMS have no balls you have to elect Females to run the country.
21 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 07:14 pm Report abuse
@20 that is a bit weak given the outstanding leader of post-war Britain was Maggie.
22 ChrisR (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 07:31 pm Report abuse
21 Condorito

You beat me to it!
23 Condorito (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 07:34 pm Report abuse
That's me Chris,
quick to the point,
to the point no breakin,
cookin MCs like a pound of bacon....

Happy Easter.
24 Think (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 07:39 pm Report abuse
Peruvians like Mami too.................... (kind of)
25 reality check (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 08:20 pm Report abuse
Me too!

Why are the Rg's so jealous of the Chileans, see it on here all the time, anyone know?
26 ChrisR (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 09:05 pm Report abuse
25 reality check

I don't think the argies are jealous, I think they are frightened.
27 golfcronie (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 09:13 pm Report abuse
I was trying to bait the Argie trolls on here. No response from them, perhaps they realised that our MAGGIE liberated the FALKLANDS, she had more balls than any Argentinian polititian that I know of.
28 reality check (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 10:08 pm Report abuse
Not living in the region, I thought the boot was on the other foot. I thought it was or it appeared to be, that Argentina's neighbours are afraid of them. Certainly appears so, if not, why does she punch so much above her weight?
29 redpoll (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 10:28 pm Report abuse
We have to put up with the bs until the time comes, to quote Henry 111rd ”Who will rid me of this turbulent priest(ess)?
30 reality check (#) Mar 28th, 2013 - 10:51 pm Report abuse
Still not does explain why they have such a punch, they are not a regional military power anymore, they are most certainly not a regional economic power, so why do they have such a say in the region? What, does the rest of SA equate land mass to power, because has far as I can see, that is all they have going for them. Size!
31 Chicureo (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 03:20 am Report abuse
Oh she'll be the next president of Chile. The right here is still unhappy with Sebastian.
As long as they leave the Central bank alone, we're fairly safe. Think: Nice utube clips.
32 The Chilean perspective (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 08:49 am Report abuse
You're right pal she's loved by almost everyone, I am a fiscal conservative-liberal social reformer and I don't want her to be president again but I am definitely in the minority. I also must confess that I like her too, specially her courage in the face of Pinochet's crimes against her father, a courageous air force general that was never going to betray the constitution and the elected president. So what will change in Chile after she cruises into the top job?
Unemployment will go up to maybe 8%, GDP growth will drop to about 3% education will most likely be almost free and government spending will go up from 5% to 7 or 8% putting pressure on the budget. Everything else including our Falklands/Malvinas policy will remain the same.
33 Think (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 08:59 am Report abuse
(31) Chicureo
That Bachelet interview was spot on….
Specially in the beginning were she declares…:
“Yo quiero la paz………
Quiero La Paz………………., quiero Lima………….., quiero Buenos Aires :-)))

(32) The Chilean perspective
You say..:
I am a fiscal conservative-liberal social reformer

I say…:
O sea…: Neo Momio de Centro. ;-)
34 ChrisR (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 11:22 am Report abuse
29 redpoll

I was thinking the same yesterday while walking my dog, but could not remember if three or two knights were involved?

The reason she thinks they are important is simply delusions of grandeur: there is no substance to it whatsoever.

“Can nobody afford a pistol bullet”?

35 Think (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 01:13 pm Report abuse

MANuel RODriguez.
The Chilean perspective.
And Chicureo................

Nice to see all the Shilean brothers gathered together at Easter......

We are missing out family's black sheep though...
Sergio Vega, used cars salesman from Punta Arenas...... our Croatian-Magellanic Pinochetist brother, hater of all things Argentinean, Communistic, Socialistic and/or Indio Pata Suciastic......
36 The Chilean perspective (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 02:18 pm Report abuse
33 Think
Center right is correct, but I'm not a momio. Momios want the poor to remain poor and ignorant, I want them all to become middle class consumers and entrepreneurs because this is the right path for development. I like the Canada or Australian/ New Zealand model only with a strict no deficit policy and a very limited state debt.
37 ManRod (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 02:47 pm Report abuse
30 reality check (#)
Still not does explain why they have such a punch, they are not a regional military power anymore, they are most certainly not a regional economic power, so why do they have such a say in the region? What, does the rest of SA equate land mass to power, because has far as I can see, that is all they have going for them. Size!

I think you have given yourself an indirect answer... especially because they are no economic, neither military power , nobody really bothers about what CFK is talking. Nobody takes her really serious in the region, except her leftist friends Evo and Correa. The rest is like, “yeah, whatever”. Paper and declarations are patient, and you brits shouldn't give her such a great stage to perform, you're just boosting her ego ;)
38 Sergio Vega (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 03:17 pm Report abuse
1 @ Quelle surprise!
The cow is home....

2 @ Is the socialist candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami not your man?

No, he is candidate for the Bolivian Presidence....

A vote for The Cow is a vote for the undercovered left as center-right-free-trade-capitalist with catastrofic consecuences like high corruption, low GDP growth, high inflation, high unemployement. tax increase, political favor payment with Gvt. positions, etc., etc. and bad crisis management (earthquake demonstration) with none political and juridical responsability from the President who leaded the crucial first days and then left the coutry to hide under the UN skirts......

If she were the great president the she wasnt, why then after her term the Concertas lost the power...???
Why she ended her term with an 80% of popularity while her supporting Alliance ended (and keep at the moment) so low support percentage about 20%....???
Because she worked just for her, not for the country nor the Chilean people......

About her father, I have as a lot of Chileans my reserve of his behaviour as a soldier when a political, social and economic crisis beat Chile with a civil war being estimulated by the “1/3 votes elected” president himself to take the whole power.....

I not agree with all that this Gvt. has done, specially about the submition to the “regional” stances (UNASUR, etc.), but far long is the best term we have had from the last 2 centuries, moving us to the first level within LA and OCDE which means that the way we are following is the right one, were anyone have the oportunuty to grow with freedom......Hope it will continue for 4 years more at least.....for the Chilean people welfare.
39 Think (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 04:13 pm Report abuse
Gentlemen... may I present.... Poster (38) Sergio Vega:

Used Malvinas Land Rovers salesman from Punta Arenas......
Croatian-Magellanic Pinochetist, hater of all things Argentinean, Communistic, Socialistic and/or Indio Pata Suciastic......
He doesn't like Mami, either ;-)
40 Chicureo (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 04:16 pm Report abuse
I'm amused by the Daily Mail article today about British hackers breaking into an Argentinian electronic game regarding the Falklands. Reminds me of this site that simulates a war game as well.

I really think the best candidate for president is Laurence Goldbourne, but he does not stand a chance.

Bachelet has the general public's support and frankly she's capable of keeping the status quo. We need to invest more in education and improve social services. Hopefully, she'll choose better ministers this time around. She was very respectful of our armed forces. (She's a godmother of one of our best submarines and takes an enthusiastic attitude about sponsoring the activities.)

The real danger to Chile is not our neighbors, nor an inept government. It is instead the economy of China, especially the price of copper.
Happy Easter to all, even to those blind worshipers of CFK
41 redpoll (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 04:26 pm Report abuse
Sergio Not quite sure of what your argument is. Can you please post your comment in English with a Spanish translation underneath?
I think thats allowed under Mercopress rules
42 Think (#) Mar 29th, 2013 - 04:50 pm Report abuse
(40) Chicureo

I don't “Think” there is any CFK worshipers on this thread.......

Anyhow; a very good Easter to you and your family too.....
43 Anbar (#) Mar 30th, 2013 - 01:39 am Report abuse
“”I'm amused by the Daily Mail article today about British hackers breaking into an Argentinian electronic game regarding the Falklands. Reminds me of this site that simulates a war game as well.“”

You do realise that that is all total bullshit dont you?

Its completely made up by Datatec as free advertising for their “game”.

Bear in mind thier “game” is a very small low-quality level of an out-dated game that (relatively speaking) is prehistoric...and they were asking 70$usd for it.

the whole thing is just a clever bit of viral advertising for their net-hosting services.

(cant believe so many are falling for it - but props to the datatec mob for keeping the scam going)
44 Think (#) Mar 30th, 2013 - 08:48 am Report abuse
Turnip at (43)

Three things........
1) When communicating with friendly people (as Shilean Mr. Chicureo always has been to you, English pirates) it is not wise to utilize foul language...

2) You have no way to know that the alleged DDoS attack against hasn't taken place.

3) They were NOT asking 70$usd for it.... They are asking 70 AR$ for it.

As usuall for your comments...:
Foul language, personal opinions and false information.......
45 Conqueror (#) Mar 30th, 2013 - 12:19 pm Report abuse
Weasel @44 Much like yours then!
46 ChrisR (#) Mar 30th, 2013 - 04:43 pm Report abuse
45 Conqueror

Why are you being kind to I CAN'T THINK, et al?

A weasel HAS TEETH, and some poor weak souls are frightened of them, hardly a fair comparison.

The correct erm of address should be slug! Slugs one inch long hollow the turnips while they grow and the damage is not detected until the turnip is cut through.

But now we know how to deal with I CAN'T THINK: we sprinkle sprinkle iron sulphate slug-bait pellets, such as “Slug Magic,” “Sluggo,” and “Escar-Go!,” in the turnip patch.

47 Sergio Vega (#) Mar 31st, 2013 - 12:51 am Report abuse
39 @ May I present myself....???
Used Malvinas Land Rovers fan (and owner of 5 of them) from Punta Arenas......
Croatian - Spanish - Swiss - Chilote Magellanic Pinochetist, hater of Argentinean Gvt. POLICIES, Communist, Socialist and corrupt CFK suckers......
I don't like Chanchelet either, of course.....

Friend of regular Argentines from a lot of Provinces, where I have been sharing nice moments (and here too) with those excelent people (the contrary of you, naturally) and friend of a lot of regular Falklanders which I have shared excelent moments here and at Falklands Islands with them too......

Are you happy, Twinc.......
48 Think (#) Mar 31st, 2013 - 09:27 am Report abuse
(47) Sergio Vega
The name is Think, El Think.

You forgotto mention two things........
1) Your visceral hate of all Indios Patas Sucias.....

2) Your personal conviction that deadh is too good a thing for your hate objects as for example, most Argentinean, Communists, Socialists, Bacheletists, Indios Patas Sucias andso many others....

3) I'm quite sure you share nice moments with “excelent” people in Chile, Argentina and/or Malvinas that share your fascist persuasion......
49 Anglotino (#) Mar 31st, 2013 - 11:06 am Report abuse
I actually thought Think was describing himself in the above post with all his talk of denigrating those with darker skin and description of fascist persuasion.

Learn to count Think!
50 Condorito (#) Apr 01st, 2013 - 01:05 pm Report abuse
@32 The Chilean perspective

“So what will change in Chile after she cruises into the top job?”

I think you could add HidroAysen to your list.

She will stand at the podium and tilt her head slightly to one side, talking in a soft voice like a teacher to a class of small children:

”Chilenas y Chilenos.....we need more electricity so Mummy can pay the utility bills. If Mummy can't can't pay the bills she is going to have to turn the lights off ... and you don't like the dark do you? (whole nation shakes their head in unison)....

Do you have any links to numbers on public spending during Bachelet's term compared to Piñeras?
51 ChrisR (#) Apr 01st, 2013 - 04:29 pm Report abuse
50 Condorito

Well at least that approach takes people with her unlike TMBOA screaming on the TV for more than 3 hours and confusing everyone else down to her level of mental instability.
52 Condorito (#) Apr 01st, 2013 - 05:38 pm Report abuse
100% agree.
53 Think (#) Apr 01st, 2013 - 09:11 pm Report abuse
I have 10,000 Chilean Pesos (14£ :-) that say: Hidroaysen is a “NO GO”

The proceeds /losses to be paid to the winner's favourite charity.......
54 Anglotino (#) Apr 02nd, 2013 - 01:02 am Report abuse
@36 The Chilean Perspective

“I like the Canada or Australian/ New Zealand model only with a strict no deficit policy and a very limited state debt.”

Though these countries are still quite different, I agree there is a streak of fiscal rectitude that runs through them. However this trait was learnt from past mistakes and problems.

I can't speak for others, but in Australia we had our own banking crisis in the early 90s where the Pyramid Building Society collapsed and the State Bank of Victoria went bust.

The result was some of the most stringent and successful financial regulating system that other countries are only now thinking about. As part of recovering from prolific government spending in the 80s and the banking crisis, Australians are now debt adverse. Indeed before the GFC hit, Australia had paid off its federal government debt and created sovereign wealth funds for unfunded future liabilities.

Our budget surpluses have given way to deficits at the exact right time. Running surpluses and paying off debt in the good times and the opposite during economic downturns. Countercyclical economic policies is something that the US and many countries in Europe seem to either ignore or refuse to follow.

Forbidding a government to run a deficit is not a good idea. It is a fiscal straight jacket that limits a country's ability to absorb or counter shock. In Chile's case, being an earthquake prone country it might be the difference between rapid and successful rebuilding during a period of high economic growth (more likely time for surpluses to be used) and creating a deeper recession or depression if a quake hit during an economic slowdown where the government had no access to a surplus. Or when Argentina's next crash happens.

Increasing debt to build infrastructure that increases economic growth or tax income is a worthwhile use. Increasing debt to just stand still..... that is a big mistake as many countries are now finding out.
55 Condorito (#) Apr 02nd, 2013 - 01:29 pm Report abuse
@53 Think
I will take you up on that.
Hogar Redes, la Serena will welcome your donation.

I am not 100% behind the project yet, but in all probability it will go through.

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