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 they 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 and because of this, on September 11, 1973, the day of the Pinochet/US coup, he was jailed. General Bachelet died March 12, 1974 of a heart attack after being tortured in one of Pinochet’s prisons. Michelle Bachelet and her mother were also imprisoned for a short time, but fortunately, they were able to flee the country, spending about a year in Cuba and 15 years in Mexico. 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 being Senate President: this is the first time Chile has had a woman hold the leadership position in the Senate.
Bachelet has put one of her primary goals to be improving Chile’s education system also she has said she will increase taxes on corporations and the very wealthy. She, and other Chileans share in a trend that continues to cover almost all of South and Central America of left-leaning government leaders: 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.
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