Chile's Ex-president Bachelet, Who Was Tortured After 1973 Coup, Approved as New UN Human Rights Chief

She was Chile’s first female president and the first head of the UN agency to promote gender equality

Chilean outgoing President Michelle Bachelet, August 10, 2018.
Chilean outgoing President Michelle Bachelet, August 10, 2018.Credit: AFP

The UN General Assembly has approved Chile’s former President Michelle Bachelet as the next UN human rights chief by consensus.

With a bang of his gavel, Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak on Friday gave official approval to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ selection of Bachelet. The UN’s 193 member states applauded.

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Bachelet has been a victim of human rights abuses herself and is also a fierce advocate for women’s rights.

She was Chile’s first female president and the first head of the UN agency to promote gender equality, UN Women.

Bachelet and her mother were tortured after a 1973 coup led by right-wing general Augusto Pinochet ousted Marxist President Salvador Allende. Her father, Gen. Alberto Bachelet, was accused of treason and died of cardiac arrest after months of torture.

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