September 17, 2010
A single mother of three, survivor of prison torture and exile. A pediatrician, linguist and practiced buster of gender barriers as the first female president of Chile. This is the resume that makes Michelle Bachelet an excellent choice to lead the newly created United Nations agency to promote gender equality around the globe, to be called U.N. Women. With her appointment this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has brought some badly needed star power to the world organization in general and to women's issues in particular.
March 3, 2010 |
Given the family history of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, it is with some irony that she has been forced in the final days of her government to call on the army to rescue her earthquake-ravaged nation. As a young woman, Bachelet was jailed and tortured by the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Her father, an air force general who opposed the 1973 military coup, died in jail. But now, faced with large-scale looting and food shortages, Bachelet, who heads the fourth consecutive center-left government since Pinochet's 1990 ouster, has sent in the troops.
March 1, 2010 |
Looting spread in earthquake-leveled parts of Chile on Monday even as government troops deployed in armored vehicles and on horseback to restore order and protect shipments of food and water. Scores of people were arrested for violating an overnight curfew. With the death toll creeping higher, Chile continued to reel from Saturday's massive magnitude 8.8 quake, one of the strongest on record. At least 723 people were killed, the government said, and many remained missing. Numerous oceanfront towns, like Lloca, Dichato and Constitucion, were devastated first by the quake and then, minutes later, by a tsunami, a kind of seismic coup de grace.
December 15, 2009 |
An overwhelming majority of Chileans are happy with President Michelle Bachelet, grateful for the social safety net she has extended to women and the poor, and optimistic about the future. Then why did Eduardo Frei, the candidate for her ruling center-left Concertacion coalition, fare so poorly in Sunday's presidential election, finishing a distant second to right-wing billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera in the first round of voting? For all the social progress under Bachelet, who leaves office in March because she is limited to one term under the constitution, there is dissatisfaction over Chile's economy and educational system.
December 13, 2009 |
As Chileans vote today for the first time since the death of dictator Augusto Pinochet, analysts say the expected victory of a conservative billionaire says more about voters' craving for better education and infrastructure than a return to authoritarian days. Sebastian Pinera, a Harvard-educated economist who owns a TV station, a soccer team and a chunk of the LAN-Chile airline, is projected to get the highest number of votes but probably not the 50%+1 he needs to avoid a runoff.
March 28, 2007 |
Barely more than a year in office, President Michelle Bachelet is suffering a sharp slide in voter confidence as her administration scrambles to salvage a botched public transport overhaul that has wreaked havoc in this capital. The Transantiago plan, designed to improve the city's chaotic system of buses and reduce pollution from the transit vehicles' exhaust, has instead stranded passengers, generated marathon waits and overtaxed the city subway.