Boric: an investiture loaded with symbols for a new era in Chile

Santiago de Chile, March 11 A presidential sash woven by “revolutionary” seamstresses, a breakfast with neighborhood leaders before the ceremony, a suit without a tie, a victim of police violence as a special guest and a woman behind the wheel of the Ford Galaxie who will take you through the streets of Santiago.Chile begins a new political era, a change both in form and substance led by the progressive Gabriel Boric, who this Friday took office as the youngest president in the country’s history -he is 36 years old fulfilled – and the first that is not part of the two great center blocs that governed since the return to democracy in 1990. “His investiture is a message of openness, diversity and inclusion. The purpose is to make strong differences with the outgoing government and insist that this is not just a change of command but of a cycle,” Mauricio Morales, from the University of Talca, told Efe. For Claudia Heiss, from the University of Chile, “Boric he is very aware of the symbolic dimension of his coming to power and has constantly been concerned to give signs that this does not alienate him from the citizenry”. A “REVOLUTIONARY” PRESIDENTIAL BAND Unlike the outgoing president, Sebastián Piñera, who commissioned his band presidential in Paris, Boric has opted for a small and modest workshop located in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Santiago, where a group of seamstresses, fed up with the precariousness of the trade, founded the Revolutionary Textile Union (Siretex) in the midst of a wave of protests of 2019.” I think he chose us because he wants to show that he is going to work with ordinary people and, above all, with women. I could have chosen a reputable tailor,” Marta Gatica, spokeswoman for the union, assured Efe. SOCIAL BREAKFASTBefore the solemn and formal ceremony in the Senate’s Hall of Honor, in the coastal city of Valparaíso, Boric decided to start the day by having breakfast with several social leaders, aware that a large part of their political capital is in the streets. “I am 84 years old, I bring you a little letter written by the residents of my town,” said one of the attendees at the event in neighboring Viña del Mar. GOODBYE TO THE TIEAllergic to formal dress, Boric has been polishing his style as he prevailed in the presidential race. Nothing remains of his bizarre haircuts, with mohawks, shaved heads and long hair, and of his half-buttoned plaid shirts that he wore when he stormed into Parliament in 2014. Now he has integrated jacket suits, shirts white or blue and his hair is always combed, but there is a formality that he refuses to include: the tie. As expected, Boric took office without her. TRIBUTE TO THE VICTIMS OF THE OUTBREAK Among the personalities who were personally invited by the former student leader to his inauguration was Gustavo Gatica, the young man who was blinded after receiving two pellets in the face during a protest in November 2019.”Gatica represents unrestricted respect for human rights, which is one of the important axes of this Government and Boric also wants to remember that he also comes from social mobilizations and that the engine of change he leads was the social outbreak,” Isabel Castillo, from the Catholic University and the Network of Political Scientists, told Efe. She also invited a large group of representatives of the different indigenous peoples, to whom she made a relevant and unprecedented wink during the ceremony: people and peoples of Chile, yes, I promise”. WOMAN AT THE WHEELIn another unprecedented gesture, Boric decided that Carabineros NCO Lorena Cid should drive the car Friday morning through the streets of Santiago the Ford Galaxie 500 XL with which he will arrive at La Moneda to give his first speech as president. “In this new era, women occupy new spaces that they had not occupied not because they did not want to, but because they were not allowed,” added Castillo. Since this Friday Boric leads the first cabinet with more women than men on the American continent (14 compared to 10) and for the first time in Chilean history appointed a woman at the head of the powerful portfolio of the Interior, the independent doctor Izkia Siches. As a sign of this commitment to equality, a large part of the women in the cabinet attended the investiture dressed in lilac or purple, the color of the feminist struggle: “That is going to be part of our administration. Our daughters are not alone, our mothers, our grandmothers,” said the new government spokeswoman, Camila Vallejo. Maria M.Mur