Jacqueline van Rysselberghe

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Jacqueline van Rysselberghe in 2014.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is van Rysselberghe and the second or maternal family name is Herrera.

Jacqueline van Rysselberghe Herrera (born February 3, 1965 in Chile) is a Chilean politician and psychiatrist who graduated from the University of Concepción. She was mayor of Concepción from 2000 until her resignation in March 2010 to take the office of Indendant of the Biobío Region. Previously, she had been a city council member since 1992.[1] On 3 April 2011 she resigned as Intendant.[2] She was elected to the Senate of Chile in the 2013 general election.[3]

Van Rysselberghe is a member of the right-wing party Independent Democratic Union where she is one of the five leaders (alongside Hernan Larrain, Evelyn Matthei, Pablo Longueira and Jose Antonio Kast), a position she also held during the period 2004-2006.


Her surname comes from Flanders, Belgium.[4] Her grandfather was François van Rysselberghe. Her great grandfather was Max van Rysselberghe, an engineer who left Belgium when he was about 20 years old on a what was originally planned to be a six-month-long scientific expedition to Antarctica. The expedition lasted two years. Reports of her connection to the Pierre Van Rysselberghe dynasty are, at this point, unverified. During the first year, plans to return to Europe were abandoned when the ice in the waterways failed to thaw during the summer. In Belgium, Max met Isabel Martin, the daughter of Valentin Martin, Chilean Minister of Public Works, who at that time had escaped to Belgium after the coup in Chile. Max and Isabel were married in Europe, and in 1905 left for Chile. This couple had four children, Lydia, Yvonne, Henry, the grandfather of Jacqueline and Daniel.[1]


On January 23, 2017 an investigative report published by Ciper Chile disclosed a series of email exchanges which had happened in 2014 between Jacqueline van Rysselberghe and Luis Felipe Moncada, President of ASIPES (Fishing Industry Association of the Bío Bío Region) while she was presiding the Senate Fishing Committee. That committee was discussing a law that would benefit smaller, artisan fishermen so it was opposed by ASIPES. In those emails, Moncada gave explicit instructions to the Senator on how to act in the committee, including clauses to put in the law. Former assistant to the Senator Joel Chávez declared to prosecutors on August 4, 2016 that van Rysselberghe had been receiving monies from ASIPES since the municipal elections of 2000[5] , when she was first elected Mayor of Concepción. The Senator confirmed the existence of the email exchanges but declared "it had not influenced legislative work."[6]


  1. ^ a b Dettwiler Rodríguez, Gretel (2008-01-17). "De la antártica al municipio penquista - Los Van Rysselberghe, belgas dignos de novela de aventuras". El Sur (in Spanish). Concepción. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Van Rysselberghe renuncia a la Intendencia del Biobío y frenaría acusación constitucional" (in Spanish). Emol. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "Reseña Biográfica Parlamentaria Jacqueline Van Rysselberghe Herrera" (in Spanish). Historia Política Legislativa del Congreso Nacional de Chile. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Revista Cosas Jacqueline van Rysselberghe: "Si la política invade a mi familia, la dejo" por André Jouffé
  5. ^ Ramírez, Pedro and Nicolás Sepúlveda (2017-01-23). "Así pauteó Asipes a la senadora Van Rysselberghe cuando presidió la Comisión de Pesca". Ciper Chile (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  6. ^ Pinto, Fabiola (2017-01-24). "Van Rysselberghe: Hubo correspondencia con Asipes pero no influyó en la labor legislativa". Biobiochile (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-01-29.