Jorge Arrate

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Arrate and the second or maternal family name is Mac Niven.
Jorge Arrate Mac Niven
Jorge Arrate.jpg
Jorge Arrate in 2009.
Ministry of Mining
In office
June 17, 1972 – July 10, 1972
President Salvador Allende
Preceded by Pedro Palacios Cameron
Succeeded by Alfonso David Lebón
Ministry General Secretariat of Government
In office
August 1, 1998 – June 2, 1999
President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Preceded by José Joaquín Brunner Ried
Succeeded by Carlos Mladinic Alonso
Ministry of Labor and Social Forecast
In office
March 11, 1994 – August 1, 1998
President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Preceded by René Cortázar Sanz
Succeeded by Germán Molina Valdivieso
Ministry of Education of Chile
In office
Septiember 28, 1992 – March 11, 1994
President Patricio Aylwin Azócar
Preceded by Ricardo Lagos Escobar
Succeeded by Ernesto Schiefelbein Fuenzalida
Personal details
Born (1941-05-01) May 1, 1941 (age 75)
Santiago, Chile
Political party Movimiento Amplio de Izquierda (2011)
Partido Comunista (2009-2010)
Partido Socialista (1963-2009)
Spouse(s) Diamela Eltit
Children Alejandro
Website Jorge Arrate

Jorge Félix Arrate Mac Niven (Santiago, May 1, 1941) is a Chilean lawyer, writer and politician . He was Ministry of State for the presidents Salvador Allende, Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle.

In 2009 he was appointed as candidate for president of Chile in representation of the political aliance Juntos Podemos Más and other leftist political movements, obtaining 6.21% of the total votes in the elections of that year.[1]

Early life[edit]

The son of a former navy officer, and municipal employee Juan Gabriel Arrate Mac Niven Ducoing and Aileen Seymour, he spent his early years in the Santiago neighborhood of Plaza Brasil, in the house where their fathers lived for many years. Then he lived in Viña del Mar (1945-1953) and later in Puente Alto (until 1965).[2]

He attended basic education in schools Saint Paul and The Mackay School of Viña del Mar.[2][3] His secondary studies were made at the Instituto Nacional of Santiago de Chile.[2]

He entered law school at the University of Chile in 1958, graduating in 1964.[2] The following year he began postgraduate studies in Economic Development at the School of Latin American Economic Studies of the University of Chile.[2] Between 1967 and 1969, he received a scholarship in the United States to pursue a PhD in economics at Harvard.[4] He obtained the degree of Master of Arts in Economics. He returned home to the Institute of Economics of the University of Chile to write his doctoral thesis, which never ended.[2]

Between 1973 and 1987 he was exiled in Rome, Rotterdam and East Berlin. During the first two years of his exile he was executive secretary of Chile Democratico, coordinator of anti-dictatorship activities in the country.[5] During his exile he was secretary of the Committee of Chileans Abroad.[6]

Marriage and children[edit]

He is married for the third time with the writer Diamela Eltit. He has two children from his first marriage to attorney Ana Maria Fernandez. His second spouse was the psychologist Soledad Larraín.[7]

In office[edit]

At the end of 1970 president Salvador Allende commissioned him the purchase of the Zig-Zag Editorial Group and the management of the firm that replaced it, Quimantú Editors.[8] On 1971 was designed by Salvador Allende as an economic advisor, and subsequently as chief executive officer of the Cuper Corporation (Codelco), where he was responsible for the nationalization of mineral deposits.[9] In June and July 1972 he served at the same time, on an interim basis, as Minister of Mining.[8]

After the restoration of democracy in Chile, he served as Minister of Education (1992-1994) in the government of Patricio Aylwin. Later served as Minister of Labor and Social Forecast (1994-1998) and Minister Secretariat of Government (1998-1999) during the admnistración of Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle.[2][8][10]

Between 2000 and 2003, he served as ambassador in Argentina during the administration of Ricardo Lagos.[2][11]

Academic activities[edit]

Since 1966 he has held teaching university functions. First at the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile, then at the School of Sociology of the Catholic University and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Chile. In 1970 he served as director of the Institute of Economy and Planning of this university.

In 1977, with the former minister of Allende, Orlando Letelier, he founded the Institute for the New Chile, based on Rotterdam.[8][12] He directed the center, continuously subsidized by the Dutch government of different political orientation from its founding until 1991. He also led the eight International Summer School in Rotterdam, Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago, organized by the Institute.

Since 1987 he has been visiting professor at the National University of Cuyo (Argentina), University of California, Berkeley twice, and the University of Virginia.

In 1992 he was the first director of the School of Public Administration at the University of Santiago. In 2003-2006 he chaired the ARCIS University Corporation (Chile). In 2008 he was professor at the University of Talca.

Political activity[edit]

In 1957 he was secretary general of the Federation of Secondary Students of Santiago.[10] In 1961 he was president of the Center of Students of the School of Law of the University of Chile[2] and in 1963 he ran for president of the Student Federation of Chile, with the support of the Communist and Socialist parties. In 1963 he joined the Socialist Party of Chile.[2] In early 1971 he was appointed by the Central Committee of the Socialist Party and leader of the Socialist Professionals and Technicians.

During its first two years of exile was executive secretary of the group "Chilean Left Abroad" and "Chile Democratic" international office coordinator of solidarity with the Chilean democracy, based in Rome. Between 1975 and 1977 he was secretary of International Relations of the Socialist Party of Chile, whose headquarters was in East Berlin. He was member of the Central Committee for the first time in 1978 and continued as a member of that body for twenty years.

In 1984 he tried three times to enter Chile against the will of the military regime and was rejected at the airport of Santiago, bound to Buenos Aires and Bogota. In 1987 he managed to legally enter the [country and join local political work.[2] On his return he assumed the task entrusted by the Socialist leadership headed by Ricardo Nunez, of promoting socialist reunification with the sector led by Clodomiro Almeyda.[13] In 1989 he was elected in the first election by universal suffrage by a political party in Chile, as general secretary (at that time head of the organization) of the Socialist Party of Chile.[2]

Arrate (first from left) as minister in 1992.
Arrate at a press conference after the 2009 presidential election.
In 2013, Arrate supported the independent candidate for deputy Francisco Figueroa.
Street propaganda for the presidential campaign in 2009

As head of his party, he ended its mission in the act of unification held on [29 December 1989. Subsequently, the "Congress of Unity Salvador Allende" held later that year in Valparaiso was designated President Socialist Party of Chile. When the party still exercised presidency Arrate was proclaimed by the Socialist Party for mayor of Santiago in the first democratic municipal elections after the military dictatorship,[2][14] in which was elect Jaime Ravinet, his partner in the list by the Christian Democratic Party of Chile.[15] In 2005, he accepted the nomination to be a candidate for senator from the Coquimbo Region, in which the Socialist Party of Chile had not elect anyone to the Senate since 1973. Arrate lost that election, being chosen his running mate Jorge Pizarro and the conservative candidate, Evelyn Matthei.[2]

In 2007 he proposed to end the cycle of the ruling Concertación, and face a new political cycle with a new coalition. In early 2008 several hundred members of his party asked him to declare his availability for a presidential candidacy with a new political coalition of the political left. Arrate accepted this challenge, focusing its efforts on the "reconstruction of a political project that proposes sweeping political and social changes in Chilean society", change the economic model and put an end to the "democracy exclusive that exists today".[16][17][18]

In January 14 of 2009 presented his resignation to the Socialist Party of Chile, with a view to addressing the 2009 elections supported by socialist factions outside the coalition government.[19][20] Éstas lo proclamaron oficialmente cuatro días después.[21]

Its official proclamation as candidate of the covenant Juntos Podemos took place in a national assembly of the political left on April 25, a day in overtook the leader communist Guillermo Teillier, removed the evening of the election, and Tomás Hirsch Humanist Party candidate.[22][23]

In July he lost the support of Humanist Party, who accused him of excessive approach to candidate Concertación, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle. The Humanist Party of Chile then went on to support the former socialist Marco Enríquez-Ominami.[24][25][26]

Days later, Arrate joins the Communist Party of Chile for the sole purpose of complying with the electoral law.[27][28]

In December 13 in first round Arrate got 6.21% of votes, surpassed by the 20.13% of Marco Enriquez-Ominami,[29][30] the 29.60% of Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle and 44.05% of the conservative business magnate Sebastián Piñera.[1]

Days later he gave his explicit support to Eduardo Frei facing the ballotage.[31]

He left the communist militancy in early 2010.[32]

After the presidential election, he joined the board of the "Broad Movement of the Left", resigning in 2012 due to the approaches of the party leadership with the parties of the old coalition.[33] Away from active politics for Chilean general election, 2013 decided not to support any candidate of extra-parliamentary left, but otherwise he was to the formation of the covenant New Majority, which replaced the former coalition government.[34][35]

International activities[edit]

Arrate chaired the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Culture (La Serena, 1993), the Andres Bello (based Bogota, Colombia, 1993-1994) and American Conference of Ministers of Education (Santiago, 1994).

In 1996 he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a post he held for one year.

In 1995 he was vice president of the Conference of Ministers of Labor Non-Aligned Movement to New Delhi.


In addition to his collection of articles, interviews and speeches, he has published essays and fiction. The most recent (2011) is the story collection "Unas Doradas". In 2010 he received the first prize in the genre "memory writes" delivered by a jury of the National Book Council by the text "Passenger in Transit," a true story of testimony and reports on their attempts to go back to Chile during the military dictatorship.

One of his most famous books is Memoria de la Izquierda Chilena (2003) co-authored with Eduardo Rojas. Also coauthored with Paulo Hidalgo Pasión y razón del socialismo (1989), on the history of socialism in Chile. La fuerza democrática de la idea socialista (1985), written in exile and published in several issues in his country, had wide influence on the political leanings of the final years of the military dictatorship and the beginning of the democratic transition.

Brief political texts, collected in three compilations, have appeared, among others, in newspapers and magazines as Arauco, Chile América, Plural, Pensamiento Socialista, Convergencia, La Época, La Tercera, El Mercurio, Ercilla, APSI, Análisis, El Mostrador, Rocinante, Asuntos Públicos, "Punto Final", La Nación (Buenos Aires), La Nación (Santiago), Le Monde Diplomatique, Encuentro XXI, Crítica Social, Letra Internacional among others.


  1. ^ a b Votación candidatos a nivel nacional, Presidente 2009
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n La Tercera (Santiago), August 10 of 2003, Reportajes, p.18
  3. ^ El Mercurio (Santiago), March 14 of 1999, p.D22
  4. ^ Qué Pasa (Santiago), December 24 of 2005, p.14
  5. ^ El Mercurio (Santiago), November 5 of 1995, p.D2
  6. ^ "El". Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Arrate en especiales de Cooperativa
  8. ^ a b c d Cosas (Santiago), August 28 of 1998, p.20
  9. ^ Asumió el cargo el October 20, 1971.
  10. ^ a b Cosas (Santiago), May 20, 1999, p.38
  11. ^ Estrategia (Santiago), June 12, 2000, p.34
  12. ^ Qué Pasa (Santiago), May 16, 1998, p.28
  13. ^ El Mercurio (Santiago), April 13, of 1994, p.C5
  14. ^ APSI (Santiago), February 24, 1992, p.0-15
  15. ^ El Mercurio (Santiago), September 27, 1992, p.C3
  16. ^ La Nación (Santiago), July 13, 2008, p.49
  17. ^ La Segunda (Santiago), October 24, 2007, p.15
  18. ^ El Mercurio (Santiago), August 26, 2007, p.D15
  19. ^ "Ex ministro Jorge Arrate presenta su renuncia al PS". Emol. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Diario La Nación - Comunicaciones Lanet S.A. "Diario La Nación - noticias de Chile y el mundo - Finalmente Arrate dio el paso y abandonó el PS". La Nación. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  21. ^ Diario La Nación - Comunicaciones Lanet S.A. "Diario La Nación - noticias de Chile y el mundo - Arrate es abanderado de los "socialistas-allendistas"". La Nación. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  22. ^ CODISA, Consorcio Digital S.A. "Jorge Arrate es proclamado candidato presidencial del Juntos Podemos". Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "Jorge Arrate es elegido candidato presidencial del Juntos Podemos". Emol. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  24. ^ Radio Universidad de Chile, July 11, 2009
  25. ^
  26. ^ Radio Cooperativa, July 12, 2009
  27. ^ Radio Cooperativa, July 13, 2009
  28. ^ " — Partido Comunista de Chile". Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Enríquez-Ominami y encuesta CEP: "Nuestra candidatura es la única que está creciendo"". Emol. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  30. ^ "El". Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  31. ^ Diario La Nación - Comunicaciones Lanet S.A. "Diario La Nación - noticias de Chile y el mundo - Jorge Arrate y Eduardo Frei sellaron pacto". La Nación. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  32. ^ Las Últimas Noticias (Santiago), February 2, 2010, p.11
  33. ^ "Jorge Arrate renuncia a cargos directivos en el MAIZ en repudio a pactos con la Concertación". Radio U. de Chile. April 19, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Jorge Arrate y apoyo del PC a Bachelet: "Creo que esta vez se equivocaron"". El Dínamo. June 10, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Nos están metiendo el dedo en la boca con la nueva mayoría". Revista Qué Pasa. May 9, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 

External links[edit]