Camila Vallejo

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Camila Vallejo
Camila Vallejo in 2023
Minister General Secretariat of Government
Assumed office
11 March 2022
PresidentGabriel Boric
Preceded byJaime Bellolio
Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile
In office
11 March 2018 – 11 March 2022
Preceded byDistrict established
ConstituencyDistrict 12 of the Santiago Metropolitan Region
In office
11 March 2014 – 11 March 2018
Preceded byCarlos Montes Cisternas
Succeeded byDistrict dissolved
ConstituencyDistrict 26 of the Santiago Metropolitan Region
President of the University of Chile Student Federation
In office
24 November 2010 – 16 November 2011
Preceded byJulio Sarmiento
Succeeded byGabriel Boric
Personal details
Born (1988-04-28) 28 April 1988 (age 35)
La Florida, Chile
Political partyCommunist
Domestic partner(s)Julio Sarmiento (2011-2016)
Abel Zicavo (2016-present)
Residence(s)La Florida, Chile
Alma materUniversity of Chile

Camila Antonia Amaranta Vallejo Dowling (Spanish: [kaˈmila anˈtonja amaˈɾanta βaˈʝexo ˈðawlin]; born 28 April 1988) is a Chilean communist politician and former student leader. A member of the Communist Party of Chile, she has been serving as the Minister General Secretariat of Government since 11 March 2022. Previously, Vallejo worked as a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, representing District 26 of La Florida, Santiago.

During her tenure as the president of the University of Chile Student Federation (FECh) and as the primary spokesperson for the Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech), Vallejo rose to prominence during the student protests of 2011.[1] Described as "the world's most glamorous revolutionary" by The New York Times Magazine,[1] Vallejo has been deemed the most influential communist figure in 21st-century Chile. She has also been seen as the symbolic successor to former deputy Gladys Marín.[2][3]


Early life[edit]

Vallejo is the daughter of Reinaldo Vallejo and Mariela Dowling, both members of Communist Party of Chile and activists in the Chilean resistance during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.[4] Reinaldo Vallejo owned an air conditioning business, while Mariela Dowling was a homemaker.[5]

She spent her childhood between the communes of Macul and La Florida, and attended Colegio Raimapu, a private school in La Florida. In 2006, Vallejo entered the University of Chile to study geography. There, she started forming ties with leftist students and became involved in politics, which led her to join the Chilean Communist Youth the following year.[6] Vallejo graduated as geographer in July 2013.[7]

Student leader[edit]

Vallejo as a student leader in 2012

Vallejo was counselor of FECh in 2008, and was chosen as its president in November 2010, becoming only the second woman to hold this post in the 105-year history of the student union.[8]

Vallejo has acquired public attention as a leading spokesperson and as leader of the 2011 student protests in Chile, alongside other student leaders, including Giorgio Jackson from the Catholic University of Chile Student Federation and Camilo Ballesteros from the University of Santiago, Chile Student Federation. In August 2011, the Supreme Court of Chile ordered police protection for Vallejo after she received death threats.[8][9] In October 2011 she was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile at its XIII National Congress.

On 7 December 2011, Vallejo was defeated in her bid for re-election by Gabriel Boric, a law school graduate;[10] Boric would later appoint her to his Presidential Cabinet after becoming President of Chile in March 2022. Despite not being the president of the FECh any longer, Vallejo continued to appear consistently in the media to defend the student movement and the rights of workers.


Official portrait as deputy (2018)

In November 2012, Vallejo was proclaimed by the Communist Party of Chile as one of their candidates for Congress in the 2013 elections.[11] Although in January 2012 Vallejo had stated that she would "never be willing to campaign" in favor of Michelle Bachelet,[12] she changed her position after the Communist Party decided to offer its support to Socialist presidential pre-candidate. Later she stated that "it was not an easy decision".[13] Vallejo and Bachelet first met at a campaign event on 15 June 2013.[14]

After Chile's national elections of 17 November 2013, Vallejo was elected to represent District 26 of La Florida with more than 43 percent of the votes, one of the highest victory margins of that election.[15][16] Vallejo was joined in Congress with other fellow student leaders, including Giorgio Jackson, Gabriel Boric and Karol Cariola, who formed the so-called "student bench" (bancada estudiantil). The deputies were very active in debates related to the educational reforms proposed by the second government of Michelle Bachelet.[17]

Vallejo has made anti-Zionist remarks during her political career. In 2016 she called Israel "a terrorist State that seeks the displacement and extermination of Palestinians", and that the "Palestinian–Israeli conflict does not constitute a war, but a genocide". She stated that "[t]his is not about antisemitism ... I emphatically condemn ... the impunity of a Zionist project that violates all international law, that seeks to oppress and exterminate a brother nation".[18]

Vallejo became a prominent figure as deputy and was re-elected in the 2017 general election. During her term as deputy, she pàrticipated mainly in the commissions of Education and Gender Equality. She was one of the main promoters of the legislation to reduce the working hours to 40 hours per week.[19]

For the 2021 presidential election, Vallejo was a supporter of Communist Party nominee Daniel Jadue and was intimately involved in his campaign to win the nomination of Apruebo Dignidad, the left-wing coalition created by the Communist Party, the Broad Front and other movements. She was described as his campaign spokesperson by several sources.[20][21] After Jadue lost the primary election to Gabriel Boric, Vallejo became one of the leaders of Boric's campaign.

Minister Secretary General of Government[edit]

After Gabriel Boric was elected president, Camila Vallejo was named in charge of the Ministry General Secretariat of Government and, in that role, she is the official spokesperson of the Boric government.[22] She assumed the office on 11 March 2022, along President Boric and the rest of his cabinet.


Vallejo has been labeled by the media as the most important and influential Communist personality of the 21st century in Chile, and also as the symbolic successor of Gladys Marín.[2][3] In August 2011, she was displayed on the front page of the German weekly Die Zeit[23] and in December of that year she was overwhelmingly chosen as "Person of the Year" in an online poll by readers of The Guardian,[24] which four months earlier had published a piece on her.[8] Vallejo has been included by magazines in such lists as "100 People Who Mattered" by Time in its December 2011 "Time Person of the Year" annual issue,[25] and in "150 Fearless Women" by Newsweek in March 2012.[26][27] In 2012, a collection of her writings, Podemos Cambiar el Mundo ("We Can Change the World") was published in Spanish.[28]

Some have been more negative. Historian Gabriel Salazar sparked controversy by stating in an interview with newspaper El Mercurio de Calama that Vallejo should quit the Communist Party if she was "intelligent enough".[29][30] He also stated that she had become the new caudillo of the Communist Party.[31]

In August 2013, the Omaha-based political punk band Desaparecidos released the song "Te amo Camilla Vallejo" saluting Vallejo's role in the Student Movement. The track was later released on Desaparecidos' 2015 LP Payola.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Camila Vallejo (blue dress) with Michelle Bachelet in the 2013 Nueva Mayoría election. She was pregnant at this moment.

In April 2013, it was made public that Vallejo was expecting her first child with Julio Sarmiento, one of the heads of the Communist Youth of Chile and her partner since September 2011.[33][34] On 6 October 2013, she gave birth to a baby girl.[35] In 2016, it became public that Vallejo and Sarmiento had broken up and that she was in a relationship with musician Abel Zicavo.[36][37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Goldman, Francisco (5 April 2012). "Camilla Vallejo, the World's Most Glamorous Revolutionary". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b "El Partido Comunista y su recambio generacional: Karol Cariola, Camila Vallejo y Camilo Ballesteros encabezan el "comunismo joven"" [The Communist Party and its generational replacement: Karol Cariola, Camila Vallejo and Camilo Ballesteros lead "young communism"]. CNN Chile (in Spanish). 3 October 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Francisco Vidal sobre Camila Vallejo: "Es la Gladys Marín del Siglo XXI"" [Francisco Vidal on Camila Vallejo: "She is the Gladys Marín of the 21st Century"]. El Dínamo (in Spanish). 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011.
  4. ^ Olivares, Marisol (12 February 2012). "Reinaldo Vallejo saca la voz" [Reinaldo Vallejo raises his voice]. La Tercera (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  5. ^ "One Woman's Path From Radical Student Activist to Politician". Teen Vogue. September 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  6. ^ Aldea, Sofía (16 May 2011). "Compañera Camila". Revista Paula (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Camila Vallejo Se Tituló de Geógrafa con Distinción Máxima" [Camila Vallejo Graduated as a Geographer with the Highest Distinction]. La Nación (in Spanish). 30 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Franklin, Jonathan (24 August 2011). "Chile's Commander Camila, the student who can shut down a city". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  9. ^ Ayala C., Leslie (23 August 2011). "Corte Suprema acoge amparo a favor de Camila Vallejo y ordena rondas policiales" [Supreme Court accepts protection in favor of Camila Vallejo and orders police patrols]. El Mercurio (in Spanish).
  10. ^ "Camila Vallejo, Chile's iconic student leader, loses election". The Santiago Times. Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Juventudes Comunistas proclamaron a Camila Vallejo como precandidata a diputada" [Communist Youth proclaim Camila Vallejo as a candidate for deputy]. Radio Cooperativa (in Spanish). 19 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Vallejo: Jamás estaría dispuesta a hacer campaña por Bachelet ni a llamar a los jóvenes a votar por ella" [Vallejo: I would never be willing to campaign for Bachelet or call young people to vote for her]. (in Spanish). 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Camila Vallejo (PC): Apoyar a Bachelet "no fue fácil, pero es la única que puede desplazar a la derecha"" [Camila Vallejo (PC): Supporting Bachelet "was not easy, but she is the only one who can move to the right"]. La Segunda (in Spanish). 14 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Bachelet coincide con Camila Vallejo en actividad y recalca rol de la educación "como un derecho social"" [Bachelet agrees with Camila Vallejo in activity and emphasizes the role of education "as a social right"]. La Tercera (in Spanish). 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Chile's ex-student leaders march their way to congressional victory". Reuters. 17 November 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo elected to Congress". The Guardian. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  17. ^ "El primer año de "la bancada estudiantil"". CNN Chile (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Camila Vallejo: Palestina en el corazón" [Camila Vallejo: Palestine in the heart]. diarioUChile (in Spanish). 9 August 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  19. ^ Nogales Toledo, David (24 October 2019). "40 horas: Camila Vallejo defiende su proyecto en el Congreso y las emprende contra ministro Monckeberg". La Tercera. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  20. ^ Cáceres, Felipe & Caro, Isabel (26 April 2021). "Se buscan independientes pro Jadue: la misión de Camila Vallejo y Lautaro Carmona en la campaña del presidenciable PC" [Pro Jadue independents are wanted: the mission of Camila Vallejo and Lautaro Carmona in the campaign of the presidential PC]. La Tercera (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Camila Vallejo: "El que más garantiza un gobierno ciudadano, amplio, participativo y popular, es Jadue"" [Camila Vallejo: "The one that most guarantees a broad, participatory and popular citizen government is Jadue"]. CNN Chile (in Spanish). 23 June 2021. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  22. ^ "El PC llega al comité político: Camila Vallejo asume como vocera del Gobierno de Boric". (in Spanish). 21 January 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Diario alemán dedica portada a Camila Vallejo" [German newspaper dedicates cover to Camila Vallejo]. La Segunda (in Spanish). 18 August 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  24. ^ "The Guardian readers vote Chile's student leader Person of the Year". Reuters. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  25. ^ Padgett, Tim (14 December 2011). "Chile's Student Protesters - Person of the Year 2011". Time. Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  26. ^ "Camila Vallejo y Bachelet aparecen dentro de las 150 mujeres más valientes del mundo" [Camila Vallejo and Bachelet appear in the list of 150 fearless women]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). 29 April 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  27. ^ Cadel, Stéphanie (March 2012). "150 Women Who Shake The World". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012.
  28. ^ Podemos Cambiar El Mundo. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  29. ^ "Salazar aclara: "Camila Vallejo no es una gran líder política, pero lo puede ser"" [Salazar clarifies: "Camila Vallejo is not a great political leader, but she can be"]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). 18 June 2012.
  30. ^ "Gabriel Salazar precisa dichos sobre Vallejo: "no es una líder política y lo puede ser"" [Gabriel Salazar specifies statements about Vallejo: "she is not a political leader, but she can be"]. La Tercera (in Spanish). 18 June 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
  31. ^ "Gabriel Salazar, Premio Nacional de Historia: "Si Camila Vallejo es inteligente debe abandonar el PC"". El Mercurio de Calama (in Spanish). 17 June 2012. p. 46. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  32. ^ Reed, Ryan (6 April 2015). "Conor Oberst Plots New LP With Revived Punk Band". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Camila Vallejo está embarazada" [Camila Vallejo is pregnant]. Radio Cooperativa (in Spanish). 12 February 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  34. ^ "Julio Sarmiento es el padre del hijo que espera Camilo Vallejo" [Julio Sarmiento is the father of the son that Camilo Vallejo expects]. La Nación (in Spanish). 11 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  35. ^ "Nació bebé de Camila Vallejo: Fue niña y pesó 3 kilos 355 gramos" [Camila Vallejo's baby was born: She was a girl and weighed 3 kilos 355 grams]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). 6 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  36. ^ "FOTO! El nuevo pololo de Camila Vallejo". Glamorama. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  37. ^ "Camila Vallejo tras su separación: "Estoy saliendo con un chiquillo"". ADN (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 March 2022.

External links[edit]