Leftist Boric looked at politics since he was a child

The first time Gabriel Boric sought the presidency, he was just six years old. He was in college, in the first grade, and he was elected president of his group. Two years later he would seek the same position again.

Since those years, the family knew that politics would mark Boric, the leftist candidate who on Sunday will seek to win the presidency of Chile at 35 years old in a second round in which he will face José Antonio Kast, a 55-year-old far-right lawyer and admirer of the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

María Soledad Font, Boric’s mother, said that she “never” heard her son say that he wanted to be president of the country, but she does remember that his mother, the candidate’s grandmother, assured them that one day she would be.

“It’s not that she was a witch, but she believed in astrology, she studied the line of the hands,” Font told The Associated Press about her mother and her predictions that Gabriel Boric will one day be the president of her country.

Luis Boric Scarpa, the father, commented that what he remembers is that his son showed above all a desire to serve those most in need.

“Ambitions to be president, no,” he said. “Yes to participate in public service, in making changes, in reforming our society, in giving rights to those who do not have them; and that since I was a child, from a very young age ”.

Less than a week before the presidential runoff, Boric’s parents received the AP at their residence in Punta Arenas, 3,500 kilometers south of Santiago, where they keep several of the candidate’s childhood memories, including a letter seeking the vote of his classmates to lead his class at 8 years.

In the letter to his class, little Boric reminded them that two years before he had already held the same position. “I was president in first grade, but at that time I did not know what it was to be president, that’s why I was a bad president,” the page reads. “Now I am prepared and I promise to be a good president,” he promised.

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“And please, if you want to vote for me, think about it. If you vote for me, just because I am your friend and you don’t care who becomes president, don’t vote for me ”, his letter concluded.

Finally, he was elected.

Boric leads the I Approve Dignity pact, made up of the leftist Frente Amplio and the Communist Party. His rival, Kast, represents the Christian Social Front, an alliance of two conservative collectives.

In Chile, the dissemination of polls 15 days before the elections is prohibited and those that were carried out before gave Boric as the favorite, although political analysts agree that Sunday’s result will be very narrow.

For some, like Oscar Barrientos, Boric’s language teacher in high school, in his youth he was influenced after reading about contemporary Chilean history and the transformations that the country was going through.

He felt, Barrientos considered, “called a little to incarnate, in a contemporary and new version, those transformations; so the course that his political career followed does not surprise me at all ”.

Boric graduated from law in 2012, but has not graduated. He was a university leader and then a deputy on two occasions; In fact, his last term as legislator ends on March 11 of next year, the same day that the winner of Sunday’s elections will have to assume the presidency of Chile for the period 2022-2026, replacing the center-right president Sebastián Piñera. .

His mother said Boric “was studying” to get a degree, but he started participating in the student movement and no longer did. “He was so passionate about the important contingency that was being lived, that he did not do enough.”

However, for his father, Luis Boric Scarpa, of Croatian descent, “it is not essential” to have a professional title.

“It seems to me that the responsibilities you have are much more important than having passed the degree exam,” he said.

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