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April 1, 2012

Roberto Córdova wins Concertación primary elections in Pichilemu, Chile

Roberto Córdova wins Concertación primary elections in Pichilemu, Chile

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Roberto Córdova won the primary elections. Pictured during an interview in November 2010.
Image: Diego Grez.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pichilemu, Chile – Incumbent mayor of the Chilean commune of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova Carreño (Socialist Party) won the primary elections —qualified as “historic” by local newspaper Expreso de la Costa— to choose a unique candidate for mayor representing the Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia (Concert of Parties for Democracy) coalition of left-winged parties in the next municipal elections of October 28. The elections were held in the Digna Camilo Aguilar School. Córdova ran against incumbent councillor Andrea Aranda (Party for Democracy).

Anyone inscribed in the poll registry before November 30, 2011 and without membership in non-Concertación parties can participate in the election. Simultaneously, similar elections are were held in thirteen other communes of the O’Higgins Region, including regional capital Rancagua and Santa Cruz.

Both Aranda and Córdova participated on Saturday night in a televised debate hosted by municipal worker Fabricio Cáceres Jorquera in his program Cóctel de Sábado, broadcasted by Canal 3 Pichilemu.

The candidates

Roberto Córdova

Roberto del Carmen Córdova Carreño is the current mayor of the commune of Pichilemu. He was elected during a city council meeting in September 2009, after Mayor Marcelo Cabrera Martínez was forced to leave office permanently. Córdova is a Performance Engineer in Public Management.

Amongst other things, Córdova had to face the emergency triggered by the 2010 Chile earthquake and the subsequent Pichilemu earthquake. He also inaugurated the renovated Agustín Ross Cultural Centre with then-President Michelle Bachelet.

During his primary campaign, he reportedly visited rural areas such as Rodeíllo with a small group of people. His slogan is “Pichilemu, better every day.” (“Pichilemu, cada día mejor.”)

As reported by El Expreso de la Costa, he is supported by the regional president of the Party for Democracy (Aranda’s party) Leandro Sánchez, and senator Juan Pablo Letelier.

“In this voluntary but necessary election, I invite everyone [to vote] for Pichilemu to be better every day,” Córdova said to El Expreso.

Aranda in August 2011, during the Marcha por la Educación Gratuita in Pichilemu.
Image: Diego Grez.

Andrea Aranda

Andrea Natalia Aranda Escudero currently is one of the five councillors of Pichilemu, elected in 2008. She is married to Jorge Vargas, former Mayor of Pichilemu, with whom she has three daughters: Camila, Alicia, and Emilia. She is, by profession, a midwife.

She has been criticized by local media as following in the footsteps of her husband, Jorge Vargas, currently prohibited from active politics following his arrest for bribery.

Additionally, an anonymous editor of El Expreso de la Costa nicknamed Bellaco wrote: “[Aranda] assures her contender is campaigning with municipal funds, somebody asked, does she forget her husband made the same thing years before when he was elected for three terms?”

During her campaign, she visited places such as Cardonal de Panilonco, and organized several meetings with local leaders. Her slogan is “With woman’s strength.” (“Con fuerza de mujer.”)

Aranda wrote in an open letter published in El Expreso de la Costa: “As a woman, I’m sensitive to human necessity, and brave to defend the cause of family. My commitment is to work, providing all my capacities, for concrete works and materialization of dreams with you.”

Results

The primary elections were held at Digna Camilo Aguilar School.
Image: Diego Grez.

At 19:12 local time (22:12 UTC), regional newspaper El Pulso reported Córdova won the election, on Twitter.

The final results, as published by local TV channel Canal 3 Pichilemu on Twitter, are the following:

  • Roberto Córdova – 1,903 (73.1%)
  • Andrea Aranda – 699 (23.9%)
  • Total votes – 2,602 (100%)

Andrea Aranda said she “will continue to work for the people” and accused she was “the victim of a campaign of terror” against her. She later personally congratulated Roberto Córdova, who said “the election leaves several morals to local democracy,” and announced he would make an appeareance in Los Navegantes “to thank those who voted for him and those who did not.”



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March 29, 2008

Around 240 Chilean protesters detained after anti-government demonstration

Around 240 Chilean protesters detained after anti-government demonstration

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

The protesters tried to march in front of the presidential palace, but it was cordoned off.
Image: Wikimedia Commons User:JorgeGG.

Around 240 demonstrators in the Chilean capital of Santiago were detained Friday after anti-government protests held against the country’s education system and increasingly free market policies.

The annual protests, organized by the Revolutionary Left Movement, were held on the eve of the Day of the Youth Combatant. The day commemorates the deaths of Eduardo and Rafael Vergara, brothers who were assassinated on March 29, 1985 under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

The protesters, many of whom were students, reportedly threw rocks into Santiago’s main street, prompting squads of riot police to spray tear gas into the crowds. Other protesters marched towards the presidential palace, but it was cordoned off and heavily guarded. Most of the 240 who were detained are expected to be released after their identities are confirmed.

In between skirmishes with police, some protesters handed out flyers explaining their views. They say the government has manipulated the education system to favor the rich. “We think this neo-liberal education system that the government has introduced should be stopped,” said Saray Acevedo of the National Popular Coordinator of Students.

President Michelle Bachelet condemned the protests. “If one wants to pay homage to the tremendous tragedy of the Vergara brothers, during a period when Chile was not democratic, the right thing to do is guarantee that democracy means being able to express yourself but without violence,” she said. “Democracy in Chile is solid and there is no justification for violence,” Bachelet added.

Other Chileans who didn’t take part in the demonstrations agree with some of the protesters’ views. “There are so many problems,” said Rodrigo Núñez, 39. “It is true education is expensive and marginalizes the poor. The cost of living is high. Electricity and gas prices are up. Look at how they protest in Argentina! I voted for this government and feel conned.”

2 days before Friday’s protests, a bomb exploded in a Santiago bank. Police blamed the attack on “anarchists”, and they believe it was connected to the annual protests.

Additional protests are planned for Saturday, when the Day of the Youth Combatant will be formally recognized.



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December 11, 2006

Former Chilean dictator Pinochet dies at 91

Former Chilean dictator Pinochet dies at 91

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Monday, December 11, 2006

A map showing the location of Chile

The former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, died yesterday in a military hospital in Santiago de Chile.

Pinochet died at 2:15 p.m. (1715 GMT), surrounded by his family. A brief announcement by the hospital said Pinochet’s condition had worsened suddenly following a heart attack on December 3. Earlier in the week he was reported to be recovering from the heart failure.

In 1973 Augusto Pinochet took power in a US-assisted coup against Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende Gossens, who died in the first hours of the military takeover. His rule of terror, which he maintained by silencing all opposition, lasted 17 years and produced a national trauma that has still not fully healed.

A few hours after the dictator’s death, the Chilean government spokesman, Ricardo Lagos Weber, announced there would be no state funeral or national mourning. But the government authorized the flying of flags at half-mast on military buildings, and Pinochet’s funeral will be performed with military honors. Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, will not attend.

Within hours of the news yesterday, thousands of people gathered at Plaza Italia to celebrate the ex-dictator’s death. There was a jubilant carnival atmosphere in the streets as people merrily waved flags, sang songs or drank champagne. Later on, there were reports of clashes with police firing water cannon and tear gas at the crowd.

A smaller group of right-wingers mourned Pinochet’s passing outside the Military Hospital, clutching pictures of the dead dictator. “It is very sad, because it is as if we were left orphans,” one Pinochet supporter told the press.

But many of Pinochet’s opponents are angry because of his impunity during his lifetime. “What saddens me is that this criminal has died without having been sentenced”, said Hugo Gutierrez, a human rights lawyer.

During Pinochet’s dictatorship, established in 1973 by means of a coup de état, and later maintained through the use of police and military forces, curfews and state terrorism, thousands were killed or disappeared, and in later years his image was further marred by reports that he had stolen large amounts of money held in foreign bank accounts and that he had been engaged in cocaine smuggling.

Accused of dozens of human rights abuses, the ex-dictator was never tried for these crimes on the pretext of his frail health, despite repeated international attempts to take him to court.

The late Augusto Pinochet

There are a number of ceremonies to be held at Santiago, Chile, on December 12th. And there have been a number of clashes between the “momios” (right-wing pro-dictator sectors of the nation) and anti-pinochet manifestants, however, violence has not escalated to a concerning degree

Related news

Former Chilean President Pinochet suffers heart attack” — Wikinews, December 3, 2006

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January 15, 2006

Chile elects first woman President

Chile elects first woman President – Wikinews, the free news source

Chile elects first woman President

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Michelle Bachelet at a TV debate in October 2005

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Michelle Bachelet became Chile’s first elected female President Sunday when her rival, Sebastian Piñera, conceded defeat after trailing by six points. Bachelet, a member of the center-left group Concertación, previously served as both Health Minister and Defense Minister.

Outgoing President Ricardo Lagos called it a “historic day” and phoned Bachelet to congratulate her.

At 21:30 local time (00:30 UTC of Monday), Bachelet has said:

“Who had ever thought, my friends? Who thought 20, 10 or 5 years ago that Chile would elect a woman as a President? That became possible, because the citizens wanted it to. Thank you, Chile, thank you for your millions of votes. (…) My commitment as President of Chile will be to walk along you one more stretch in this big Avenue of Freedom we have been opening”

Ms. Bachelet supporters are reportedly celebrating her victory.

Results

The following results are based in the third official bulletin delivered at 20:50 local time (23:50 UTC), corresponding to the 99,71% of the total votes.

Candidate Coalition Votes  %
Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique Alianza por Chile 3 227 395 46.51%
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia 3 712 587 53.49%
Total valid votes 6 939 982 97.17%
Null votes 154 314 2.16%
Blank votes 47 708 0.66%
Total votes 7 142 004 99.71%
Total voters enrolled 8 220 897
( ~12.9% abstention)

Sources

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Chilean presidential election, 2005
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Michelle Bachelet
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