José Miguel Insulza
|José Miguel Insulza|
|9th Secretary General of the Organization of American States|
26 May 2005 – 26 May 2015
|Preceded by||Luigi R. Einaudi
|Succeeded by||Luis Almagro|
2 June 1943 |
|Political party||Socialist Party|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
José Miguel Insulza Salinas (born June 2, 1943) is a leftist Chilean politician and statesman. He occupied (since May 26, 2005 until May 26, 2015) the post of Secretary General of the Organization of American States, until replaced by the former Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro.
He is said to be nicknamed El Panzer in Chile, on account of his ability to take political criticism with little apparent concern. He is married to Georgina Núñez Reyes (Mexican) and has three children.
Life and career
Insulza attended St George's College, an elite American English-language school in Santiago, Chile. He showed interest in public service while studying law at the University of Chile, where he was President of th Law Students Centar, vice president of the students' federation of the University of Chile (FECH) and President of the National Association of Student Unions (UFUCH). After graduating from law school, he obtained a graduate degree from the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty (FLACSO) and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan, United States. He was professor of Political Theory at the University of Chile and of Political Science at the Catholic University in Chile until 1973. He was also Political Advisor to the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Chile until 1973.
Exile in Mexico
During the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, Insulza was prohibited to enter Chile. Insulza lived in exile in Italy from 1974 to 1981 and in Mexico from 1981 to 1988, doing research and then working as the Director of the United States Studies Institute in the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). He was a professor at Mexico's Universidad Nacional Autónoma, the Universidad Iberoamericana, and the Diplomatic Studies Institute. He has written numerous publications in his field.
Return to Chile
Insulza was appointed Chilean Ambassador for International Cooperation in 1990. He became Director of Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vice President of the International Cooperation Agency (AGCI). He was a member of the Chilean Association of Political Science, the Bar Association, and the Chilean Council of International Relations.
On March 11, 1994, Insulza became Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs. On September 20 of that year, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. On June 22, 199,9 he was appointed Minister Secretary General of the Office of the President. On March 11, 2000, he took office as Minister of the Interior of Chile.
Secretary General of the Organization of American States
Insulza was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States on May 2, 2005 following the withdrawal from the race of Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez. (See Organization of American States Secretary General election, 2005.)
On January 5, 2007, Insulza criticized Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's decision not to renew television channel RCTV's broadcast license (Chávez had accused the station of being a coup d'état instigator.) Three days later, Chávez responded to Insulza by calling for his resignation and referring to him as a pendejo—a Spanish profanity which is equivalent to "dumbass". Insulza later received the support of several OAS members, including the US, and Chávez conceded he had gone too far with his words. On April 2008, Chávez congratulated Insulza for stating in a presentation before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere that there was no evidence linking Venezuela to terrorist groups.
Insulza openly stated his intention to run for President of Chile, but on January 5, 2009, he stepped out of the race and vowed to continue as OAS Secretary General until the end of his mandate. He gave his support to Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle as the Concertación candidate for president.
On March 24, 2010, Insulza—the sole candidate—was reelected (with the abstention of Bolivia) as OAS chief for another five-year term.
Insulza won the Washington Office on Latin America's prestigious Human Rights Award in 2008. In 2014 Insulza was awarded the prestigious Kalman H. Silvert Award presented by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
As Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Insulza has been criticized for not taking any action against the human rights abuses in The Americas. In 2008, the Human Rights Foundation started the "Inter-American Democratic Charter and Mr. Insulza" program, which will inform Insulza every month of the human rights abuses taking place in the Americas.
- Organization of American States. Former Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro Took Office as OAS Secretary General. N.p., 26 May 2015. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.
- "Refereeing the Colombia Standoff - TIME". Time. March 6, 2008.
- BBC World Service | World Agenda - Global Warning
- "Chavez to nationalize electric, telecom companies". CBC News.
- Schumacher-Matos, Edward (July 26, 2009). "Inflaming Honduras". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "OAS Head Insulza Faulted for Inaction". The Human Rights Foundation. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Biography at OAS site
- Insulza CV (OAS.org)
- (Spanish) "Perfil de Insulza, futuro Secretario General de la OEA" (El Mercurio Online, Santiago)
-  (grassrootsonline.org)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to José Miguel Insulza.|
- "Checkmate by Default: Insulza Wins OAS Race because he is the Sole Candidate that Remains" (The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, May 2, 2005)
- Biography by CIDOB (in Spanish)
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
Juan Gabriel Valdés
of the Presidency
Álvaro García Hurtado
|Minister of the Interior
Luigi R. Einaudi
|Secretary General of the
Organization of American States