On Wednesday 16 August, Chilean President Gabriel Boric made his third cabinet reshuffle, replacing ministers and secretaries of state for Social and Family Affairs, Education, Mines, National Assets and Culture. With this move, Boric is trying to improve the tense relations with the opposition and advance his government’s agenda.
The 37-year-old president has made changes in five departments – four new ministers were appointed and one was made secretary of state – but he has not touched his political committee, the area where he makes the most complex decisions.
The left-leaning Boric government has recently been shaken by a series of scandals involving the direct allocation of funds by central and regional government agencies to politically-affiliated civil society organisations. The crisis provided the momentum for the right-wing opposition to successfully call last week for the resignation of Social Development Minister Giorgio Jackson, who had come out publicly with Boric as a student leader in 2011.
Aurora Williams, a social democrat and former mining minister under centre-left President Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018), will replace Mining Minister Marcela Hernando, who was in charge of Chile’s national lithium strategy.
The new Secretary of State in the Ministry of Mines will be Suina Chahuán Kim. From 2019 to 2022, she worked as Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism and as Legislative Advisor at the National Congress and the Ministry of Education. She has also worked as a lawyer in various institutions. She is independent.
New ministers at a glance:
Minister of Social Development and Family
Javiera Toro Cáceres
Minister of Education
Nicolás Cataldo Astorga
Minister for Mines
Aurora Williams Baussa
Minister for National Assets
Marcela Sandoval Osorio
Minister for Culture
Carolina Arredondo Marzán