The leftist presidential candidate Gabriel Boric, which leads the polls two months before the Chilean elections, promised on Wednesday that if he comes to power he will bring the outgoing Conservative president to justice Sebastian Piñera.
“The Lord Pinera he has been warned, he will be persecuted for serious human rights violations “ in the crackdown on social protests in 2019, he said Boric, a 35-year-old deputy and former student leader, in the first debate between the presidential candidates, organized by the Chilevisión and CNN-Chile channels.
Those responsible for the repression “must not only apologize, they must respond” to justice, he added. Boric, stating that “It is possible to build a new Chile.”
It alluded to the 34 dead in the framework of the “social outbreak,” as well as the 445 protesters who suffered eye injuries from pellets allegedly fired by the police (35 lost an eye and two were left blind), according to the state National Institute of Human Rights ( NHRI).
Five of the seven candidates participated in the debate, held on the first day of the campaign, including Sebastián Sichel, second in the polls and champion of the right-wing coalition of Pinera.
“I want to be the president of SMEs [pequeñas y medianas empresas]”said Sichel, a 44-year-old lawyer and former Minister of Social Development for Piñera.
The only woman in the race is the 51-year-old Christian Democratic senator Yasna Provoste, a candidate for the ailing center-left concertation that dominated Chilean politics after the return to democracy in 1990.
You provoked and Boric they demonstrated in favor of free abortion, which Sichel opposes. Now it is restricted to three causes (rape, maternal risk and fetal infeasibility).
In the debate, all the candidates promised reforms, although with different emphasis and recipes, in health, education and pensions, the issues that most concern Chileans.
They also debated the advisability or not of a fourth early withdrawal of individual pension funds, a formula that Congress approved in 2020 to help families in the pandemic.
The 2019 protests led to the convening of a Constitutional Convention that will draft a new constitution to replace the one inherited from the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), indicated by the protesters as one of the causes of inequality.
The far-right candidate José Antonio Kast and the radical leftist Eduardo Artés also participated in the debate.
In the November 21 elections, to which 15 million Chileans are summoned, the Congress and the 16 regional councils will also be renewed.
Boric leads the preferences with 13%, followed by Sichel (11%) and Provoste (6%), according to a survey by the Center for Public Studies, a ‘think tank’ with a liberal tendency.
The formation of Boric, the Broad Front, is allied with the Communist Party.
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