Jaime Guzmán

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Jaime Guzmán
Senator for Santiago Poniente
In office
11 March 1990 – 1 April 1991
Succeeded byMiguel Otero Lathrop
Personal details
Born(1946-06-28)28 June 1946
Santiago, Chile
Died1 April 1991(1991-04-01) (aged 44)
Hospital Militar de Santiago, Providencia, Chile
Political partyIndependent Democratic Union
Alma materPontifical Catholic University of Chile
School of thought
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionSouth American philosophy

Jaime Jorge Guzmán Errázuriz (June 28, 1946 – April 1, 1991) was a Chilean constitutional law professor, politician, and founding member of the conservative Independent Democratic Union party. In the 1960s, he strongly opposed the University Reform movement and became an active organizer of the Gremialist movement. Guzmán vehemently opposed President Salvador Allende and later became a trusted advisor of General Augusto Pinochet and his dictatorship. As a professor of Constitutional Law, Guzmán played a significant role in drafting the 1980 Chilean Constitution. He briefly served as a senator during the transition to democracy before being assassinated in 1991 by members of the communist urban guerrilla group, the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front.[5]

Early life[edit]

Guzmán was born in Santiago to Jorge Guzmán Reyes, a sports leader at the Catholic University,[6] and Carmen Errázuriz Edwards, a travel agent.[7][8] He attended the Colegio de los Sagrados Corazones de Santiago from 1951 to 1962, where he displayed an early interest in literature and demonstrated strong leadership qualities. Even during his senior year, Guzmán showed a keen interest in political life, and he graduated from high school at the young age of 15.

In 1963, at the age of 16, Guzmán was accepted to study law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where he graduated in 1968 with the highest honors. He was awarded the Monseñor Carlos Casanueva prize for being the best student in his class.

During his university years, Guzmán founded the conservative political movement Movimiento Gremial Universitario, which in 1968 won the presidency of the student union at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. The movement maintained almost uninterrupted leadership until 2009, when the left-wing group Nueva Acción Universitaria (NAU) became the majority. The Movimiento Gremial quickly expanded to the main universities in Chile.

According to writer Óscar Contardo, Guzmán was identified as gay within a portfolio held by the National Intelligence Directorate.[9]

Role during Chile's dictatorship (1973-1990)[edit]

After the 1973 military coup, Guzmán became a trusted advisor to General Augusto Pinochet and an influential policymaker in Chile. Just two days after the coup, Guzmán was tasked with studying the creation of a new constitution,[10] and he later joined the Comisión Ortúzar charged with drafting the new constitution. He was also a key participant in the drafting of Pinochet's Chacarillas speech of 1977, which was one of the founding texts of the military regime.[11]

While he initially had close contacts with Jorge Alessandri and espoused his political views, Guzmán eventually converted to the neoliberal economic policies supported by the Chicago Boys and distanced himself from Alessandri. He became closer to Pinochet and his minister Sergio Fernández.

Although Guzmán never held an official position in Pinochet's military dictatorship, he remained one of the closest collaborators, playing an important ideological role. He participated in the design of important speeches for Pinochet and provided frequent political and doctrinal advice and consultation.[12]

Guzmán declared that he had a "negative opinion" of National Intelligence Directorate director Manuel Contreras, which led to various "inconveniences and difficulties" for him.[13] However, the National Intelligence Directorate identified Guzmán as an intelligent and manipulative actor in a secret 1976 memorandum.[14] The same document posited that Guzmán manipulated Pinochet and ultimately sought to displace him from power to lead his own government in collaboration with Jorge Alessandri.[14] The National Intelligence Directorate spied on Guzmán and monitored his everyday activities.[14]


After Chile's return to democracy, Guzmán ran for office in the legislative elections.

Guzmán continued to work as a professor of constitutional law in the Faculty of Law at the Catholic University of Chile until his death. He was known for his extensive knowledge of Scholasticism.


Monument in honor of Jaime Guzmán, located at the entrance of Sanhattan in Vitacura, Santiago, and inaugurated in 2008.

On April 1, 1991, Guzmán was shot and killed as he was leaving the Catholic University, where he taught constitutional law. The assassination was carried out by members of the far-left urban guerrilla movement, Frente Patriotico Manuel Rodriguez (FPMR), Ricardo Palma Salamanca, and Raúl Escobar Poblete. However, the operation is believed to have been planned by the leaders of the movement, Galvarino Apablaza, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, and Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann,[5] who had been planning Guzmán's murder since the 1980s.

Hernández, also known as "Commander Ramiro," was the only one arrested and tried for Guzmán's murder. However, after serving less than three years in a Chilean prison, he escaped and sought refuge in Cuba. In 2002, Hernández was arrested in Brazil for the kidnapping of Brazilian businessman, Washington Olivetto. He is currently serving a sentence in Chile.

The assassination of Guzmán led to the creation of the intelligence organization, La Oficina, by the Aylwin administration on April 26, 1991, to neutralize violent left-wing groups that had not accepted the premises of the Chilean transition to democracy.[15][16]

Guzmán's sister and nephew postulate that Manuel Contreras and Pinochet had infiltrated FPMR to induce the assassination. Under that theory, their motivation was Guzmán's alleged willingness to collaborate with Chilean justice to clarify human rights violations.[17]

Political views[edit]

Jaime Guzmán.

At the age of 12, Guzmán participated in the political campaign of Jorge Alessandri, distributing propaganda.[4] Guzmán acknowledged that he had a "close ideological and personal proximity with Jorge Alessandri," and added that "he was the person who influenced me most in my interest for politics. His presidential candidacy in 1958 and his presidency, between my 12 and 18 years, made me admire him as a superior man."[3]

Guzmán was also influenced by his teacher Jaime Eyzaguirre and by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.[4] There has been a dispute over whether or not Juan Vázquez de Mella influenced Guzmán's gremialismo thought.[1]

Around the time of the 1973 coup, Guzmán became familiar with the ideas of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics, thanks to his contacts with Chicago Boys such as Miguel Kast.[4]

According to historian Renato Cristi, in drafting the new Constitution of Chile, Guzmán based his work on the pouvoir constituant concept used by Carl Schmitt, a German intellectual associated with Nazism, as well as the ideas of market society of Friedrich Hayek. This allowed Guzmán to create a framework for an authoritarian state with a free-market system.[2] In areas where Guzmán was dissatisfied with Hayek's thought, he found meaning in the Spanish translation of the book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism by Michael Novak.[4]


  1. ^ a b Díaz Nieva, José (2008). "Influencias de Juan Vázquez de Mella sobre Jaime Guzmán" (PDF). Verbo (in Spanish). 467–468: 661–670. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c El pensamiento político de Jaime Guzmán (2nd ed.). LOM Ediciones. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b Biografía de Guzmán in Icarito, 31.05.2010; access 09.03.2013
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Moncada Durruti, Belén (2006). Jaime Guzmán: una democracia contrarevolucionaria : el político de 1964 a 1980 (in Spanish). Santiago: RIL editores. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-956-284-520-5.
  5. ^ a b Especial de Emol.com - 15 años de la muerte de Jaime Guzmán
  6. ^ Moncada Durruti, Belén (2006). Jaime Guzmán: Una democracia contrarrevolucionaria. El político de 1964 a 1980 (in Spanish). p. 25. ISBN 9789562845205.
  7. ^ Gazmuri, Cristian (2013). ¿Quién era Jaime Guzmán?. ISBN 978-956-01-0042-9.
  8. ^ "Carmen Errázuriz Edwards". RodoVid (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  9. ^ Oscar Contardo, Raro, una historia gay de Chile, planeta, 2011, p133
  10. ^ Basso Prieto, Carlos (5 November 2013). "Los informes secretos de la CIA sobre Jaime Guzmán". El Mostrador. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  11. ^ Discurso de Chacarillas (1977)[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Carlos Huneus (3 April 2001). "Jaime Guzmán no fue un defensor de los Derechos Humanos en el Régimen de Pinochet" (PDF). Archivo Chile.
  13. ^ Miño, Claudia (8 August 2015). "Jaime Guzmán y su repudio hacia Manuel Contreras". Radio Bío-Bío. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  14. ^ a b c "La Dina de Contreras espió a Jaime Guzmán". El Periodista. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  15. ^ Torres, Cristián (27 March 2021). "La historia secreta de "La Oficina", el organismo que persiguió, torturó y mató a subversivos durante la naciente democracia chilena". Infobae (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  16. ^ Muñoz, Hector (1 April 2021). "Javier Rebolledo sobre Schilling: "Es el mismo discurso que da el 'Mamo' Contreras"". Futuro.cl (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  17. ^ Aguiló, Sergio (28 March 2016). "La hora de la verdad en el asesinato de Jaime Guzmán". Radio Cooperativa. Retrieved 4 October 2021.