Mónica Jiménez

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Mónica Jiménez
Born (1940-12-25) December 25, 1940 (age 76)
Santiago, Chile, Chile
Residence Santiago, Chile, Chile

Mónica Eliana Jiménez de la Jara (born December 25, 1940) is a Chilean Christian Democrat politician and former Minister of Education.

Jiménez comes from a very political family. Her father Oscar Jiménez Pinochet was Minister of Health under President Salvador Allende, while her brother Jorge occupied the same position under President Patricio Aylwin. Even though she never formally joined the Christian Democrat Party until 2009, she supported it since she was a university student. She graduated as a social worker from the Universidad Catolica de Chile. In 1981, she obtained a Fulbright scholarship that allowed her to complete a Postgrade in Social Work Education at the Catholic University of America, in Washington D.C.[1]

Jiménez was married to Juan Barros, with whom they had five children, and who died in 2002, leaving her a widow.[2] She was a member of the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation which investigated human rights abuses resulting in death or disappearance that occurred in Chile during the years of military rule under General Augusto Pinochet. She was also a member of the Presidential Committee on Higher Education Certification and the Committee of the Fundación Paz Ciudadana. Jiménez is also the leader of the project "University: Building a Nation", an initiative that unifies the social work of 13 Chilean universities. She is also president of the Educational Corporation Aprender, which runs two schools for socially disadvantaged children.[3]

During her professional career, Jiménez has been dean of Social Work at the Universidad Catolica de Chile, and president of the Teacher's Association of the same university, acting as their representative in the directive council. Before being appointed as Minister of Education by President Michelle Bachelet on April 18, 2008, she was the president of the Catholic University of Temuco.[4] She replaced Yasna Provoste, dismissed in April 2008 because of her participation in the corruption case known as Caso Subvenciones.

In July 2008, during a public debate called "Dialogues for Education" and in the context of a manifestation of repudiation by various stake-holders, the 14 years old student María Música Sepúlveda threw her a jar of water to the face[5] to catch the attention of the Minister who ignored her while she tried to discuss the violent ways used by the police to expel students from the debate.[6] The act was widely rejected by politicians of government and opposition parties, but has generated a mixed reaction in the general population. The student organisations, in particular, have openly supported and revindicated Maria Música's act.

Since 2010 she has been the executive director of AEQUALIS(www.aequalis.cl), Forum for Higher Education. AEQUALIS, is a pluralistic, inclusive and innovative forum, where members communicate, hear and seek to arrive at a consensus in favour of common purposes. In its first stage (2010–2011) was unanimously considered an innovative and relevant initiative that, since civil society helped to analyze and promote policies of higher education. Members (approximately one hundred academics) coincide in appreciating that the social movement of the 2011 was a reflection of a situation of greater social significance therefore is should listen, meet and discuss their demands and incorporate them in a future scenario. Also, the Forum is a space that has made it possible to analyze our reality on the basis of relevant national and international experience in the matter. Currently AEQUALIS have published eight books with the work they have done from 2010 till 2013.


  1. ^ "Fulbrighter asume Rectoría de Universidad Católica de Temuco". Fulbright Chile (in Spanish). January 18, 2002. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  2. ^ "Perfil: Mónica Jiménez, una carrrera ligada a la educación y a los DD.HH.". El Mercurio Newspaper (in Spanish). April 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  3. ^ "Mónica Jiménez de la Jara asumió como nueva ministra de Educación". Universia (in Spanish). April 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  4. ^ "Mónica Jiménez Asumirá este Viernes el Cargo". Chile.com (in Spanish). April 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  5. ^ http://www.latercera.cl/contenido/25_30680_9.shtml
  6. ^ http://www.elmostrador.cl/modulos/noticias/constructor/noticia_nueva.asp?id_noticia=253141
Political offices
Preceded by
Yasna Provoste
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Joaquin Lavin