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Guillier, the presenter who gives hope to the left

The image of independence of the candidate of the official, Alejandro Guillier, has driven his political career

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Guillier, the presenter who gives hope to the left

Less than four years ago, in March 2014, Alejandro Guillier Álvarez (La Serena, 1953) formally landed in politics. He did it as a senator for constituency of Antofagasta, country's quintessential mining zone, in north. Sociologist and journalist by profession, came to Congress to swell forces of left new second government of Michelle Bachelet, which unlike first aspired to a strong transformer seal.

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But Guillier was no stranger to Chileans: Since 1990s he spent two decades as a news driver in stellar schedules and even became most credible figure on Chilean television. With a discredited political class before citizens, ir image of independence and remoteness of traditional parties have been ir strengths to advance in presidential race of 2017.

He has never played in any party and is married to anthropologist Cristina Farga, with whom he has three children. Two of her first marriage, Andrés and Cristóbal, and one in common, Alexander. The couple met in Ecuador in early 1980s when he was a master in social sciences at FLACSO. The family, however, moved in 1984 to Santiago. Guillier — as reported by his wife — felt a sort of moral imperative to return to Chile, at that time in midst of dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Although return was complex, because y lived with right, after several attempts began to work in various media. "My beginnings as a journalist, like many, were modest," said Guillier, who in 1980s served as a political editor in opposition magazines like today and came even to be detained by regime because of his profession.

It doesn't belong to Chilean elites. He was not born in Santiago, like most of leaders in a centralized country like Chile, and comes from a middle-class family. Son of María Raquel Álvarez and Alejandro Guillier Ossa — Engineer — he grew up in Antofagasta and studied high school in public school in city where he is currently a senator. He studied both sociology and journalism at Catholic University of North — again in regions — and has always stressed that his career is result of meritocracy. "I am provincial who arrives in Santiago, begins to open his way in city with all difficulties that he is finding and is involved in situations that he originally did not even imagined. Because, if I won, it would really be first president of Chile that is completely provincial, "he said in book about country, by journalist Raúl Sohr.

Guillier is what in 2000 would have been defined as a classic supporter of former President Ricardo Lagos: A moderate left, secular, family man, rar conservative in ir tastes and personal behaviors. With a discreet parliamentary work, with no great successes or errors, critics reproach him for his changes of opinion against central issues — such as relationship with businessmen and economic groups — and a supposed lack of preparation and political experience. Be that as it may, Guillier gradually ended up imposing on official historical figures like Lagos itself, in a complex campaign which ended with new coalition majority broken between left and center. In this scenario, candidate has been hampered by exercise of having his own identity, although he has done what he could in this turbulence.

Health System

With a short political history, weaknesses of his biography are precisely in exercise of journalism and in his public life. In last decade he made propaganda to Isapres, private health system that now a part of population criticizes. In midst of a controversial case of child prostitution involving a well-known businessman, in 2003 press team that led Guillier used a hidden camera to record investigating magistrate, Daniel Calvo, when judge accepted that he attended A sauna for homosexuals. Calvo, who was 45 years old, was married and far of five children, his private world and his professional career collapsed.

In a fulminant political career, however, Guillier was consolidated in recent months as only figure in his political coalition with ability to summon a left too diverse. With an image of a weighted man — who gave him fame and prestige on television — his bet is to mobilize those 1.3 million people who voted in first round on left of journalist Beatriz Sánchez, her friend.


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