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The new Governors’ map

This is the first time that this kind of official has been elected in Chile. The position, whose dual aim is to strengthen local autonomy and decentralization, will be implemented in each of the country’s 16 Regions.

26 July 2021

The June 13th Governors’ election will undoubtedly lend the most neglected territorial demands across the different Regions greater prominence in the political agenda. Thus it is important to have these new Governors on our radars, as their management styles and priorities will usher in a new era. Below is a detailed report produced by Azerta’s Public Affairs team.

 

Arica y Parinacota Region

Jorge Díaz Ibarra (38)

Biography:

  • He is a lawyer and member of the DC (Christian Democrats). He was the Regional Councilor for Arica y Parinacota and former president of the Regional Council when he ran for the position.
  • Among his other credentials is having been an ad honorem volunteer advisor to the Corporation for Child Nutrition (Conin), Executive Director of the Nuevo Norte Foundation, a private non-profit organization whose mission is to identify and promote opportunities for dynamic and high social impact enterprises. He also served as legal advisor to the Municipality of Camarones.

Areas of focus:

  • He focused his campaign on three pillars: bringing honesty to the regional government, putting people at the center of decision making to put an end to “under the table” deals, and revitalizing budget implementation and initiatives to transform the region from a fishing village into a growth hub with a cross-border approach.

 

Tarapacá Region

José Miguel Carvajal (36)

Biography

  • From the ranks of the Frente Amplio (FA), this commercial engineer from the Universidad del Mar also holds a Master’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Catholic University of Chile. He holds a Certificate in Public Policy and Management, Decentralization, Leadership, and Citizen Participation.
  • He is a native of Huara, in the Pampa del Tamarugal.

Areas of focus:

  • He says he will work to restore the dignity of the region’s inhabitants, regardless of their social, ethnic, economic, sexual, educational, and religious or identity status.

 

Antofagasta Region

Ricardo Díaz Cortés

Biography:

  • He was born in Chuquicamata but moved to Santiago following the death of his father. He studied Pedagogy in Philosophy at the Catholic University (PUC), and upon graduation returned to the north, this time to Antofagasta.
  • Professor, environmentalist and politician, he is regional councilor for the Antofagasta Region and President of the Health and Environment Commission of the Regional Council.
  • He was the only candidate supported by the PRO to reach the runoff election for governors. In the last weeks of the campaign, he gained the support of all sectors of the opposition.

Areas of focus:

  • His interest is in regional development with greater autonomy from the central government. In his presentation as a candidate for the governorship he stated that, “the solution to regional problems is to have the necessary authority and autonomy to design a participatory regional strategy that allows for a short, medium, and long-term vision that addresses the major issues that —either due to lack of political will or outright negligence of the sitting regional authorities— have not materialized.”
  • His three priorities for the Region are health, employment and housing.

 

Atacama Region

Miguel Vargas Correa (54)

Biography:

  • He is a State Professor of History and Geography at the University of La Serena.
  • He served as Intendant of the Atacama Region from March 2014 to June 2017, during the second administration of former President Michelle Bachelet, and was replaced in the middle of his term due to criticism from Jaime Mulet, president of the FRVS party. Nonetheless, Mulet recently endorsed him for the runoff election.
  • He previously served as Regional Ministerial Secretary in Atacama and regional director of the National Consumer Service (SERNAC). He is a former member of the Socialist Party, and during the election he received explicit support from the Communist Party’s (PC) presidential candidate, Daniel Jadue.

Areas of focus:

  • He is focused on the areas of housing, health, safety, employment and education.
  • During his time at the Intendancy his focus was on developing small-scale mining.

 

Coquimbo Region

Krist Naranjo Peñaloza (44)

Biography:

  • She is an architect from the University of Bio Bio and a Permaculture Designer from the Permaculture Institute of Argentina.
  • Her professional career has centered on environmental issues, and she has undertaken a number of projects with public and private organizations through the Permacultura del Sur consulting firm.
  • She was also in charge of Environmental Management and Projects at the Municipality of Monte Patria.

Areas of focus:

  • She wants to use the Governor’s office to promote sustainable economic and social development with smaller scale and environmentally friendly investment projects, along with generating more employment and support for the areas affected by the pandemic.

  

Valparaíso Region

Rodrigo Mundaca Cabrera (60)

Biography

  • He is an Agronomic Engineer, and as Secretary General of the Modatima NGO has positioned his concerns, such as the drought in Petorca, in ways which have been picked up in TV reports on various international channels such as DW, and has managed to make them the subject of Observation Mission Reports by of the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH). The Institute has recognized the existence of a socio-environmental conflict.
  • In 2018 he was honored with the International Human Rights Prize awarded every two years by the German city of Nuremberg.

Areas of focus:

  • He is a regular speaker on water-resource related matters for both technical commissions and Congressional investigative commissions.
  • Through Modatima he has broadened his areas of interests, expanding beyond the Petorca Valley and gaining a presence in other areas of the country: in the north due to conflicts around the Salar de Atacama, in the central region in the Aconcagua Valley generally, as well as in the south.
  • As an advocate for environmental causes, Mundaca will pose important challenges for project developers in the Valparaíso Region.

 

Metropolitan Region

Claudio Orrego Larraín (54)

Biography:

  • He is a lawyer and Christian Democrat politician, former minister of state under President Ricardo Lagos, former mayor of the commune of Peñalolén and former intendant of the Metropolitan Region.

Areas of focus:

  • One of the issues on his agenda is security. Among the measures envisaged in this area are the resumption of the Comprehensive Plan for High Complexity Neighborhoods and its expansion to other municipalities, and the implementation of a regionally integrated remote surveillance system.
  • On environmental issues, Orrego will seek to drive a Sustainable Mobility Plan that involves the creation of a Metropolitan Transport Authority, and also foment mass-impact infrastructure, such as new commuter trains and an integrated network of bicycle lanes.

 

Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins Region

Pablo Silva Amaya (59)

Biography

  • He is an Engineer in administrative management. He worked for the municipality of Quinta de Tilcoco (2001-2003), the municipality of Rancagua (2005-2009), later for the municipality of Malloa (2010-2014), and finally for the municipality of San Vicente de Tagua Tagua (January-March 2014). He is a member of the Socialist Party (PS).
  • He also served as Regional Ministerial Secretary (SEREMI) of Public Works in the region, and between 2016 and 2018 was the Intendant.

Areas of focus:

  • Foremost among his proposals are the Regional Plan with a Gender Focus and strengthening entrepreneurship, training and workplace relationships. Regarding healthcare, he wants to ensure access, promote quality service and the opportunity to receive care.
  • He wants to strengthen public education, technical training and improve access to higher education. The environment is also one of his concerns, and he hopes to prioritize territorial sustainability versus economic development.
  • And lastly, he wants to advance cultural identity, the rescue and enhancement of the region’s tangible and intangible heritage, productive development, innovation and competitiveness, in addition to promoting policies to improve the quality of life and address multidimensional poverty.

 

Maule Region

Cristina Bravo Castro (44)

Biography:

  • She is a social worker and was governor of the Province of Curicó during the second administration of former President Michelle Bachelet.
  • She was elected as regional councilor in 2017.
  • She also worked at Fosis and the National Women’s Service.

Areas of focus:

  • Strengthen primary health care and, to this end, bolster the various municipalities throughout the Maule Region with additional resources, and return to providing communities with access to health checkups.
  • In the area of production, promote entrepreneurship among women and young people and revive the economy with contingency funds from the Regional Government.

 

Ñuble Region

Óscar Crisostomo Llanos

Biography:

  • He is a social worker from the University of Bío Bío. He served for eight years at the Chillán Hospital, and in 2014 during Michelle Bachelet’s second government he became the Provincial Delegate for the Housing and Urban Development Service (Serviu) of Ñuble.
  • He is currently acting Director of Health for the Municipality of Chillán Viejo.

Areas of focus:

  • His campaign has centered on the need to promote and strengthen participation and decentralization in the region. He also seeks to generate a more inclusive social vision, an intensive use of technology, and promote the defense of the environment.
  • He has also emphasized respect for regional cultural and historical values and the integration of indigenous peoples.

 

Biobío Region

Rodrigo Díaz Worner (54)

Biography

  • He is a social worker from the University of Concepción, where he was a student leader.
  • He was Intendant of Biobío from 2014 to 2018. He also served as the government’s Regional Ministerial Secretary (Seremi) and in other regional positions during former Concertación administrations.
  • He resigned his membership in the Christian Democratic Party (DC) in 2019. However, in the last weeks of the campaign he received the support of the PS-PPD standard-bearer, Paula Narváez; the president of the Senate, Yasna Provoste and the presidential candidate from the Communist Party, Daniel Jadue.

Areas of focus:

  • He has stated that he will establish a participatory regional government, with gender parity in his cabinet.
  • He promises a full-fledged fight against corruption and cronyism, with high standards of trustworthiness for public services and activities.

 

Araucanía Region

Luciano Rivas (39)

Biography:

  • He is an aquaculture engineer from the University of Chile and headed the region’s multi-trade association for two terms.

Areas of focus:

  • He is looking for an end to the “terrorism that violates people’s fundamental rights” and believes that State of Siege is a measure that can be considered in order to resolve the conflict, as he claims that the State has not taken charge of the situation.
  • He argues that decentralization should not only be visible at the regional level but should also generate a means to reduce territorial differences by providing development opportunities for all communes.
  • He believes that the State in La Araucanía is too highly concentrated in Temuco as the regional capital, and it is necessary to decentralize it to the other communes. To this end, he will seek to strengthen the work with the mayors and their municipal teams, as they are the ones who are on the ground on a daily basis and are aware of the real needs of their people.
  • Regarding the province of Malleco, he speaks of creating a first-class industrial park and a university in Angol, the development of special interest tourism, such as Andean tourism, the promotion of the Nahuelbuta Park, and wine and multicultural tourism.

 

Los Ríos Region

Luis Cuvertino Gómez (71)

Biography:

  • Poultry breeder. Current regional councilor for Los Ríos, he has previously run for elected office and was mayor of Lanco for two terms (1996 – 2000 and 2004 – 2008).
  • In recent weeks he received the support of communist standard-bearer Daniel Jadue and socialist presidential candidate Paula Narváez. Both travelled to the region to support him.

Areas of focus:

  • Achieving greater digital connectivity in rural areas will be one of the main focuses of his administration as Governor. Currently, the Los Ríos Region has 275 locations that are not connected to the Internet.

 

Los Lagos Region

Patricio Vallespín López (57)

Biography:

  • He is a geographer and politician with the Christian Democratic Party. He was the deputy for District 57 of the Los Lagos Region for three consecutive terms, from 2006 to 2018, and first vice president of the Chamber of Deputies from March 2015 to March 2016.
  • He was also Intendant of the Los Lagos Region between 2002 and 2004.
  • In the last weeks of the campaign, he received support on the campaign trail from two presidential candidate who travelled to his region: Paula Narváez (PS) and Daniel Jadue (PC).

Areas of focus:

  • He has spoken out on a number of issues such as housing and the environment.
  • He is interested in guaranteeing territorial representation, without having an incumbent president restrict the actions that arise from listening to the people.

 

Aysén Region

Andrea Macías Palma (43)

Biography:

  • She is a sociologist from the University of la Frontera. Regional Councilor for the Province of Coyhaique (2018-2021). She identifies herself as feminist and progressive. She is a member of the Socialist Party (PS).
  • In her work as a regional councilor, she has been a member of the standing committees on Regionalization, Territorial Integration and Environment, Housing, Land Management and Planning Instruments, and Science, Technology and Innovation.

Areas of focus:

  • She has announced that one of her first initiatives will be the development of an economic reactivation plan for the region. “There is a lot of public investment that has been approved, which is to say that the financing is in place but is not being implemented; therefore, we are committed to developing a program for all of these initiatives using territorial criteria to generate employment and emphasize the execution of those works and projects that today are not being executed in spite of being highly impactful for the territory,” she explained.

 

Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica Region

Jorge Flies Añon (51)

Biography:

  • He is a surgeon from the University of Chile and teaches at the School of Medicine of the University of Magallanes.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was Intendant of the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica Region, during the second government of Michelle Bachelet.
  • From 1999 to 2014, he was director of the Magallanes Health Service.

Areas of focus:

  • He has led initiatives to position the region as a scientific hub.