Jaime Guzmán

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Jaime Jorge Guzmán Errázuriz
Jaime Guzmán Errázuriz.jpg
Senator for Santiago Poniente
In office
11 March 1990 – 1 April 1991
Succeeded by Miguel Otero Lathrop
Personal details
Born (1946-06-28)28 June 1946
Santiago, Chile
Died 1 April 1991(1991-04-01) (aged 45)
Hospital Militar de Santiago
Nationality Chilean
Political party Independent Democratic Union
Alma mater Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Profession Lawyer

Jaime Jorge Guzmán Errázuriz (June 28, 1946 - April 1, 1991) was a Chilean lawyer and senator, member and doctrinal founder of the conservative Independent Democrat Union party. In the 1960s he opposed the University Reform and becoming the main ideologist of the gremialismo thought. He opposed President Salvador Allende and later became a collaborator of the Pinochet Regime. A professor of Constitutional Law, he played an important part in the drafting of the 1980 Constitution that was imposed upon the populace by the dictatorship. He was assassinated in 1991, after the transition to democracy has led to the government of Patricio Aylwin, by members of the communist group Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front.[1]

Early life[edit]

See also: Gremialismo

Jaime Guzmán was born in Santiago to Jorge Guzmán Reyes and Carmen Errázuriz Edwards. Between 1951 and 1962 he studied in the Colegio de los Sagrados Corazones de Santiago, where at a young age he showed interest in literature and strong leadership qualities. Already during his senior year he began to show interest in political life. An excellent student, he graduated from high school at the age of 15.

In 1963, only 16 years old, he was accepted to study law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, graduating in 1968 with highest honours. He was awarded the Monseñor Carlos Casanueva prize for being the best student in his class.

During his university years he founded the Movimiento Gremial Universitario, a conservative political movement that in 1968 won the presidency of the student union of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, maintaining an almost uninterrupted leadership until NAU (Nueva Acción Universitaria), a left wing group, became majority since 2009. The Movimiento Gremial quickly expanded through the main universities in Chile.

After the 1973 coup[edit]

After the military coup, Guzmán became a close advisor to General Augusto Pinochet and a highly influential policy maker in Chile at this time, including being summoned by Pinochet to take part in the Comisión Ortúzar charged with drafting a new constitution. He also was a key participant in the drafting of Pinochet's Chacarillas speech of 1978, one of the founding texts of the military regime.[2]

Enjoying close contacts with Jorge Alessandri, he converted himself to the neoliberal economic policies supported by the Chicago Boys and eventually distanced himself from Alessandri, while getting closer to Pinochet and to his minister Sergio Fernández.

Even though Guzmán never assumed any official position in the militar dictatorship of Pinochet, he remained one of the closest collaborators, playing an important ideological role. He participated in the design of important speeches of Pinochet, and provided frequent political and doctrinal advice and consultancy.[3]

During the democratic transition[edit]

Following Chile's return to democracy, Jaime Guzmán presented himself as a candidate in the legislative elections. Despite coming third place, behind important figures of the Concertación, Andrés Zaldívar and Ricardo Lagos, he was still elected due to the binomial electoral system.[citation needed]

Guzmán continued until his death his functions as a professor of constitutional law in the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Chile. He was known to have a vast knowledge of Scholasticism.


Monument in homage to Jaime Guzmán inaugurated in 2008, located in the entrance to Sanhattan, in Vitacura, Santiago de Chile.

Guzmán died on 1 April 1991, shot at the exit of the Catholic University where he was a professor of Constitutional Law. He was driven to a nearby hospital by his driver but died 3 hours later from several bullet wounds. His assassination was executed by members of the far-left urban guerrilla movement Frente Patriotico Manuel Rodriguez (FPMR), Ricardo Palma Salamanca y Raúl Escobar Poblete, however the operation is believed to have been planned by the leaders of the movement Galvarino Apablaza, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena y Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann.[1] who had been planning the murder of Guzman since the 80s.

Hernández (also known as "Commander Ramiro") was the only one arrested and tried for the murder of Guzman, but after serving less than 3 years in a Chilean prison escaped and sought refuge in Cuba. In 2002 Hernandez was arrested in Brazil for the kidnapping of Brazilian businessman Washington Olivetto. He is currently serving a 30-year sentence in the Brazilian prison of Catanduvas.

Apablaza, lives with his wife and three sons in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2010 Argentina's Supreme Court granted a request of extradition by the Chilean Government. However, this request was later overturned by the Argentina's National Commission for Refugees (Comisión Nacional de Refugiados), being freed in September 2010.


See also[edit]