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Camila Vallejo

Born: 28 April 1988

Nationality: Chilean

Camila Vallejo is a Chilean geographer and Communist Party politician, currently serving as a member of the Chamber of Deputies that represents District 26 of La Florida, Santiago. She is part of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile.

Vallejo was one of the most prominent leaders of the student protests in Chile in 2011, as she was a president of the University of Chile Student Federation and the main spokesperson of the Confederation of Chilean Students. As a daughter of members of Communist Party of Chile and activists in the Chilean resistance during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, she connected with leftist students and got involved in politics after starting her geography studies at University of Chile. Soon after entering the university, she joined the Chilean Communist Youth.

Vallejo was councillor of the University of Chile Student Federation in 2008, and was chosen as its president in November 2010, becoming only the second woman to hold this post in the 105-year history of the student union. On 7 December 2011, Vallejo was defeated in her bid for re-election, but despite not being the president of the Student Federation any longer, she continued to appear consistently in the media to defend the student movement and the rights of workers.

Vallejo has been labelled by the media as the most important and influential Communist personality of the 21st century in Chile. She is also has become the symbolic successor of Gladys Marin, Augusto Pinochet’s opponent who accused the dictator of committing human rights violations and was the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Chile (1994-2002) and later its president until her death in 2005. Vallejo has been considered as one of the most influential people of the 21st century and has been awarded with the title of “Person of the Year” by the readers of The Guardian in 2011. She was also chosen as one of the “100 People Who Mattered” by Time Magazine in 2011, one of the “150 Fearless Women” by Newsweek in 2012.

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