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Wed May 6, 2020, 06:21 PM

Chile president names Pinochet relative as minister

Issued on: 06/05/2020 - 23:46
Modified: 06/05/2020 - 23:45

Santiago (AFP)

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera waded into controversy Wednesday when he appointed a relative of former dictator Augusto Pinochet as minister for women and equality.

Human rights organizations slammed the appointment of Macarena Santelices, a grand-niece of Pinochet and a member of the right-wing UDI party that forms part of Pinera's coalition government.

Santelices also came under fire on social media for being a defender of the 1973-90 dictatorship that left some 3,000 opponents dead.

A former local TV journalist, she defended her record in her first speech as minister, denying she had ever "endorsed or justified" human rights violations.


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