Change of Government in Chile: Adjustments and Controversies in La Moneda

General picture of the new ministerial government in Chile. (Photo:

With a delay of more than an hour, President Gabriel Borek implemented what had been discussed weeks earlier: Extensive cabinet reshuffleWhich has been promoted more aggressively since the rejection of the widespread victory in the exit referendum held last September 4.

Which is that the person responsible for confirming the decision to move in President Borek’s team was the current Minister of Finance, and the strongman in the Cabinet, Mario Marcel, After holding a series of meetings with CPC and CUT.

“From now on, we will make some changes tomorrow in the government teams and we will have space to discuss reforms Marcel said a surprise to the country.

However, the news is not a surprise. The idea of ​​taking steps within the Borek government was imminent and was conditioned only on the outcome of the September 4 referendum. Situations such as the Mapuche conflict in southern Chile and the country’s security and economic crisis for weeks prompted the need for a realignment within the ministerial team.

This adjustment would coincide with the first massive change within Borek’s team and would be the third fastest change since the return to democracy. However, a few weeks ago, a lone movement actually took place within La Moneda: the resignation of the Minister of Social Development, Janet Vega, who was forced to leave her post after it emerged that one of her advisers had been in contact with Hector Letul, the leader of the radical Mapuche movement in Chile, who is currently under preventive detention.

Once it is verified that the constitutional proposal has been rejected in a public referendum, Soon copies appeared that a ministerial change was on the way, which was confirmed by the president himself Noting that “there will be adjustments in our government teams to confront this new period with renewed vigor.”

Changes in the Ministry of the Interior

Newly appointed Home Secretary, Carolina Tuha, with President Borek.  (Photo:
Newly appointed Home Secretary, Carolina Tuha, with President Borek. (Photo:

In total, there were five cabinet changes made by President Gabriel Borek. Among the most important amendments, it was emphasized that in the Ministry of the Interior, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Izkiah Sechis, was removed from her post and replaced by Carolina Toha, a politician with a long career who stands out for being the historical campaigner of the Borre Democracy Party (PPD).

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In this way, the government leaves a woman very close to the president, who has accompanied Borik since his college days. Seches entered the government as having a great interest in the present and future of his alliance, but the security crisis and the Mapuche conflict in southern Chile have been the subject of frequent criticism of his administration.

In the case of Carolina Toha, she was Deputy for Santiago, Under-Secretary-General of the Government under Ricardo Lagos and was part of the government of former President Michelle Bachelet in her first government as Government Spokesperson. also, She served as Mayor of Santiago de Chile from 2012 to 2016. In this way, Tuha became the new strong woman of La Moneda.

Tohá’s arrival has been interpreted as a “wink” to the traditional guards of Chilean politics who have extensive political experience To incorporate the governments of Ricardo Lagos, Eduardo Frey and Michelle Bachelet. Toha will occupy the same position as his father, José Toha, in the government of President Salvador Allende, where he served as Minister of the Interior, who died as a result of the military dictatorship.

Controversy over dates

The Under Secretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, ordered a change of government in Chile despite the fact that his appointment to another ministry was confirmed.
The Under Secretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, ordered a change of government in Chile despite the fact that his appointment to another ministry was confirmed.

Early in the morning it was reported that Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior Manuel MonsalveHe will leave his position to occupy the position of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic. He will be replaced by the communist and history teacher Nicholas Cataldo.

However, old messages on Cataldo’s social networks, criticizing the Chilean police, sparked outrage among the opposition.

Even the opposition deputy, Jorge Alessandri, threatened to freeze relations with the government if Cataldo took office. “If this person arrives at the Undersecretary’s office, all conversations with the government are obviously frozenThe parliamentarian said, angering the ruling party, which argued that President Borek’s freedom of choice was being infringed.

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The government felt the blow of the opposition and decided to reverse the appointment of Cataldo, which led to unrest in sections of the ruling party. Political turmoil caused Manuel Monsalve to return to his position as Under Secretary of the Interior, categorically rejecting Cataldo’s option.

This movement prompted sections of the opposition to refuse to meet today with the government in pursuit of a constitutional agreement, declaring an “improvisation” on the part of La Moneda, and to postpone the meeting again between this sector of Chilean politics and La Moneda.

Other moves in the closet

After this controversy, it was confirmed that another woman with experience would take over the Ministry of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic: Socialist Anna Lea Uriart, A politician with extensive experience closely associated with the parties of the center-left and Michelle Bachelet. Uriarty replaced Giorgio Jackson, a friend of the President, who took over as Minister of Social Development, relinquishing his previous position as Head of the General Secretariat of the Presidency.

Lea Uriarte will be responsible for strengthening the relations between the government and ParliamentEspecially now, after the referendum. Let us remember that the future constitutional agreement will be born in the Chilean Congress, and the minister’s task will be to bring the parties together so that a constitutional path appears in the near future.

Continuing the changes, there were also moves in the Ministry of Health. Former Minister Maria Begonia Yarza left this position to replace Jimena Aguilera, who will have an important task in managing one of La Moneda’s most important portfolios. Aguilera is a medical surgeon from the University of Chile and a specialist in public health in the same study. She worked as Director of the Center for Epidemiology and Health Policy at the Faculty of Medicine of the German Clinic and Universidade del Desarolo.

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In the Department of Energy there was also a modification. Ex-Minister Claudio Hebe was informed in the early hours of this morning that he would be removed from his post and that Diego Pardo would take his place.who served as a consultant for La Moneda.

Former Science Minister, Flavio Salazar, has been removed from his post and replaced by independent Silvia Díaz Acosta.Díaz Acosta was born in Queluta, 125 kilometers from Santiago, and holds a doctorate in chemistry from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Feedback to change

Once these amendments were confirmed, the President of Chile, Gabriel Borek, spoke to the country and stressed that “Changes in the Cabinet are always exciting in Chile, and this change has not lacked its dose. It had to hurt and it hurts, but it’s necessary“.

The President added: “I do not know how to judge outwardly. Therefore words are not enough to bring our vision closer to the people, we must show it with deeds. The time when we were new is over, from this new starting point, we have to work to restore trust in institutions“.

The Home Secretary, Carolina Tuha, said they “feel obligated” because of the responsibility the state has handed them over. Regarding the restructuring within La Moneda, the new Tohá said:Changing names does not have a magical effect, what has a magical effect is to move all the energies of the state, from its servicesministries, officials and civil servants in the direction of responding to citizenship; We are also moving with our ability to reach agreements with all sectors, to motivate civil society, citizens and the private sector.

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