By Sophie Squire
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Far right takes early lead in Chilean elections

This article is over 2 years, 4 months old
The far right candidate will face a former student protest leader
Issue 2782
Gabriel Boric, presidential candidate of the left wing Social Convergence party in Chile.

Gabriel Boric, presidential candidate of the left wing Social Convergence party in Chile. (Credit, Mediabanco Agencia)

A far right lawyer who wants to crack down on indigenous people and migrants will face a former student leader in Chile’s presidential elections run-off next month.

In 2019 an increase in the price of public transports sparked protests

To calm the movement the state promised that the country’s constitution, written at the time of the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, would be rewritten. The candidate that wins this election will lead that process.

Jose Antonio Kast, who founded the Chilean Republican Party leader, will face Gabriel Boric, a member of the left wing Social Convergence party.

Kast had taken 28.52 percent in the first round of the election, as Socialist Worker went to press, ahead of Boric, who had won 24.71 percent of the vote. Kast has run on an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage platform.

His supporters’ marches include US Confederate flags and “Make Chile Great Again” placards.

Kast is close to Brazil’s far right president Jair Bolsonaro and is an open admirer of Pinochet.

Boric’s only hope is to tap into the anger against neoliberalism and reflect the anger shown during the 2019 protests.

Workers’ protests and strikes paralyse economy

A huge movement of strikes and protests has swept the French “overseas region” of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. 

Health workers, firefighters and teachers have paralysed the territory by striking and blocking roads for over a week.

The revolt began against mandatory vaccination for hospital workers and firefighters but drew in issues of a lack of democracy, unemployment and poverty.

Only a third of people in Guadeloupe are vaccinated. The distrust of the French state is amplified by people’s experience of how their lives are viewed as cheap. 

France authorised a pesticide linked to cancer—chlordecone—for use on banana crops for two decades and now nearly all adult residents have traces of it in their blood. 

The state has responded to the revolt by curfews, arrests and sending in police special forces. 

Charlie Kimber

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