Camila Vallejo

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Camila Vallejo Dowling
Camila Vallejo at the 'March of the Umbrellas' in August 18, 2011 in Santiago de Chile.[1]
President of the

University of Chile Student Federation

In office
24 November 2010 – 16 November 2011
Preceded by Julio Sarmiento
Succeeded by Scarlett Mac-Ginty (acting)[2]
Member of the

Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile

In office
October 2011 – Present
Personal details
Born Template:Bda
Santiago, Chile
Nationality Chilean
Political party Communist Youth of Chile
Alma mater University of Chile
Occupation Student

Camila Antonia Amaranta Vallejo Dowling (Spanish: [kaˈmila baˈʝexo]) (born 28 April 1988 in Santiago) is a Chilean geography undergraduate student and member of the Chilean Communist Youth. As president of the University of Chile Student Federation (Fech) and main spokesperson of the Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech), she led a movement for better access to quality education at the end of April 2011 — which continues as of April 2012.[3]


Vallejo is the daughter of Reinaldo Vallejo and Mariela Dowling, both historic members of Chilean Communist Party and activists in the Chilean resistance during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Vallejo lived her childhood between the communes of Macul and La Florida, and she studied in Colegio Raimapu, a Co-Ed private school in La Florida.

In 2006, Vallejo entered the University of Chile to study geography. There, she started forming ties with leftist students and getting involved in politics, which led her to join the Chilean Communist Youth the next year.[4] She was counselor of Fech 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.[5]

“We believe that the key to a successful student movement is to reposition the Federation to that of Vanguard at the national level; to return to interweave social networks with the people, the workers, with social organizations, the trade unions, and with the youth who did not make it into the University - who were left kicking stones. In other words, we speak of returning our vision to the array of social problems that surround the University, with which we are intimately tied to and committed to." —Camila Vallejo, Fech President speech (November 2010)[6]

On 7 December 2011, Vallejo was defeated in her bid for re-election by Gabriel Boric, a Law School graduate.[7] In October 2011 she was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile at its XIII National Congress.

Vallejo has acquired public attention as a leading spokesperson and leader of the 2011 student protests in Chile, alongside other student leaders: Giorgio Jackson from the Catholic University of Chile Student Federation and Camilo Ballesteros from the University of Santiago, Chile Student Federation.

In August 2011, the Supreme Court of Chile ordered police protection for Vallejo after she received death threats.[5][8]


Vallejo has been labeled by the media as the most important and influential Communist personality of the 21st century in Chile, and also as the symbolic successor of Gladys Marín.[9][10]

Vallejo has been praised publicly by several entertainers. In September 2011, Calle 13 traveled to Chile to support the student movement, and in a concert they invited some students and members of the Confech, including Vallejo.[11][12]

In August 2011 Vallejo was displayed on the front page of the German weekly Die Zeit[13] and in December of that year she was overwhelmingly chosen "Person of the Year" in an online poll by readers of The Guardian,[14] which four months earlier had published a piece on her.[5]

Vallejo has been included by magazines in such lists as "100 People Who Mattered" by Time Magazine on its December 2011 "Time Person of the Year" annual issue,[15] and in "150 Fearless Women" by Newsweek in March 2012.[16][17]

See also


  1. "March of the Umbrellas": Chile's Student Protesters Reject Proposal. Al Jazeera. URL accessed on December 14, 2011.
  2. Destacados Noticias. Federación de Estudiantes Universidad de Chile - Noticias » Scarlett Mac-Ginty asume como Presidenta FECh. URL accessed on 2011-12-22.
  3. Goldman, Francisco. "Camilla Vallejo, the World's Most Glamorous Revolutionary", April 5, 2012. Retrieved on April 5, 2012. 
  4. Aldea, Sofía. Compañera Camila. Revista Paula. URL accessed on August 5, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jonathan Franklin. Chile's Commander Camila, the student who can shut down a city. The Guardian. URL accessed on 2011-12-22.
  6. Discurso Asunción de la Presidenta FECh, Camila Vallejo. FECH Chile. URL accessed on 24 December 2011.
  7. Camila Vallejo, Chile’s iconic student leader, loses election. URL accessed on 2011-12-22.
  8. Corte Suprema acoge amparo a favor de Camila Vallejo y ordena rondas policiales, Emol, August 23, 2011
  9. El Partido Comunista y su recambio generacional: Karol Cariola, Camila Vallejo y Camilo Ballesteros encabezan el "comunismo joven", CNN Chile, October 3, 2011
  10. Francisco Vidal sobre Camila Vallejo: “Es la Gladys Marín del Siglo XXI” , El Dinamo, August 23, 2011
  11. Calle 13 se reúne con Camila Vallejo y dedica su debut a las víctimas del accidente, La Segunda, September 5, 2011.
  12. Camila Vallejo también fue parte de la fiesta de Calle 13,, September 6, 2011
  13. El Mercurio S.A.P.. Diario alemán dedica portada a Camila Vallejo. URL accessed on 2011-12-22.
  14. The Guardian readers vote Chile's student leader Person of the Year | Video. URL accessed on 2011-12-22.
  15. Padgett, Tim. "Chile's Student Protesters - Person of the Year 2011", TIME, 2011-12-14. Retrieved on 2011-12-22. 
  16. Camila Vallejo y Bachelet aparecen dentro de las 150 mujeres más valientes del mundo. URL accessed on 2012-03-07.

External links

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