Camila Vallejo

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Vallejo and the second or maternal family name is Dowling.
Camila Vallejo Dowling

Camila Vallejo as Deputy
Deputy of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile for the 26th district
Assumed office
11 March 2014
Preceded by Carlos Montes Cisternas
President of the University of Chile Student Federation
In office
24 November 2010  16 November 2011
Preceded by Julio Sarmiento
Succeeded by Gabriel Boric
Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile
In office
October 2011  Present
Personal details
Born (1988-04-28) 28 April 1988
La Florida, Chile
Nationality Chilean
Political party Communist Party of Chile
Residence La Florida, Chile
Alma mater University of Chile
Profession Geographer

Camila Antonia Amaranta Vallejo Dowling (Spanish: [kaˈmila anˈtonja amaˈɾanta βaˈʝexo ˈdaʊlɪŋ]; born 28 April 1988, in Santiago) is a Chilean geographer and Communist Party politician, currently serving as a member of the Chamber of Deputies, representing District 26 of La Florida, Santiago. She is part of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile. As president of the University of Chile Student Federation (FECh) and main spokesperson of the Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech), she was one of the most prominent leaders of the student protests of 2011.[1]


Early life

Vallejo is the daughter of Reinaldo Vallejo and Mariela Dowling, both members of Communist Party of Chile and activists in the Chilean resistance during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.[2] She spent her childhood between the communes of Macul and La Florida, and attended Colegio Raimapu, a 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 became involved in politics, which led her to join the Chilean Communist Youth the following year.[3] Vallejo graduated as geographer in July 2013.[4]

The student movement

Vallejo 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]

Vallejo has acquired public attention as a leading spokesperson and as leader of the 2011 student protests in Chile, alongside other student leaders, including 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][6] In October 2011 she was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Chile at its XIII National Congress.

On 7 December 2011, Vallejo was defeated in her bid for re-election by Gabriel Boric, a law school graduate.[7] Despite not being the president of the FECh any longer, Vallejo continued to appear consistently in the media to defend the student movement and the rights of workers.

Contract fund controversy

In August 2011, when Vallejo was FECh's President, a contract between FECh and a company in charge of selling pre-university courses was brought to light by its executive secretary in which FECh loaned the use of its name in exchange for 30 million Chilean pesos with no control of its content or quality.[8][9] The executive secretary added that nobody knew what Vallejo was doing with the money.[9] In response, Vallejo declared that FECh's name lending "wasn't for anyone's personal profit," without addressing the destination of the funds, the lack of quality or any kind of control over the expenses, and called those declarations "opportunistic".[9] On 23 January 2012, Vallejo's successor in FECh's presidency, Gabriel Boric, announced via his Twitter account that the Federation had terminated the contract.[10]

Political career

Vallejo and Michele Bachelet in 2013.

In November 2012, Vallejo was proclaimed by the Communist Party of Chile as one of their candidates for Congress in the 2013 elections.[11] Although in January 2012 Vallejo had stated that she would "never be willing to campaign" in favor of Michelle Bachelet,[12] she changed her position after the Communist Party decided to offer its support to Socialist presidential precandidate. Later she stated that "it was not an easy decision".[13] Vallejo and Bachelet first met at a campaign event on 15 June 2013.[14] After Chile's national elections of 17 November 2013, Vallejo was elected to represent District 26 of La Florida with more than 43 percent of the votes, one of the highest victory margins of that election.[15][16]


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.[17][18] In August 2011, she was displayed on the front page of the German weekly Die Zeit[19] and in December of that year she was overwhelmingly chosen as "Person of the Year" in an online poll by readers of The Guardian,[20] 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 in its December 2011 "Time Person of the Year" annual issue,[21] and in "150 Fearless Women" by Newsweek in March 2012.[22][23] She is also the subject of the 2015 song, "Te Amo Camila Vallejo" by Omaha-based band Desaparecidos. In 2012, a collection of her writings, Podemos Cambiar el Mundo ("We Can Change the World") was published in Spanish. [24]

Some have been more negative. Historian Gabriel Salazar sparked controversy by stating in an interview with newspaper El Mercurio de Calama that Vallejo should quit the Communist Party if she was "intelligent enough."[25][26] He stated that she had become the new caudillo of the Communist Party.[27]

Personal life

In April 2013, it was made public that Vallejo was expecting her first child with Julio Sarmiento, one of the heads of the Communist Youth of Chile and her partner since September 2011.[28][29] On 6 October 2013, she gave birth to a baby girl.[30]

See also


  1. Goldman, Francisco (5 April 2012). "Camilla Vallejo, the World's Most Glamorous Revolutionary". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. Olivares, Marisol (12 February 2012). "Reinaldo Vallejo saca la voz". Diario La Tercera. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  3. Aldea, Sofía (16 May 2011). "Compañera Camila". Revista Paula. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 Jonathan Franklin (24 August 2011). "Chile's Commander Camila, the student who can shut down a city". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  6. Corte Suprema acoge amparo a favor de Camila Vallejo y ordena rondas policiales, Emol, 23 August 2011
  7. "Camila Vallejo, Chile's iconic student leader, loses election". Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  8. "Dirigente admite que existe un contrato entre la FECh y un preuniversitario". EMOL. 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  9. 1 2 3 "Camila desmiente lucro por contrato en que arriendan nombre de la FECH a preuniversitario". La Segunda. 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
  10. "FECh termina contrato con preuniversitario que usaba su nombre". The Clinic. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
  11. "Juventudes Comunistas proclamaron a Camila Vallejo como precandidata a diputada". 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  12. "Vallejo: Jamás estaría dispuesta a hacer campaña por Bachelet ni a llamar a los jóvenes a votar por ella". 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  13. "Camila Vallejo (PC): Apoyar a Bachelet "no fue fácil, pero es la única que puede desplazar a la derecha"". La Segunda. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  14. "Bachelet coincide con Camila Vallejo en actividad y recalca rol de la educación "como un derecho social"". La Tercera. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  15. "Chile's ex-student leaders march their way to congressional victory". Reuters. 2013-11-17. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
  16. "Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo elected to Congress". The Guardian. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  17. El Partido Comunista y su recambio generacional: Karol Cariola, Camila Vallejo y Camilo Ballesteros encabezan el "comunismo joven", CNN Chile, 3 October 2011
  18. Francisco Vidal sobre Camila Vallejo: "Es la Gladys Marín del Siglo XXI" , El Dinamo, 23 August 2011
  19. El Mercurio S.A.P. "Diario alemán dedica portada a Camila Vallejo". Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  20. "The Guardian readers vote Chile's student leader Person of the Year | Video". 25 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  21. Padgett, Tim (14 December 2011). "Chile's Student Protesters - Person of the Year 2011". TIME. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  22. "Camila Vallejo y Bachelet aparecen dentro de las 150 mujeres más valientes del mundo". 29 April 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  24. "Podemos Cambiar El Mundo on Alibris".
  25. Salazar aclara: "Camila Vallejo no es una gran líder política, pero lo puede ser" El Mercurio. Published 18 June 2012.
  26. La Tercera. Published on 18 June 2012.
  27. Gabriel Salazar, Premio Nacional de Historia: "Si Camila Vallejo es inteligente debe abandonar el PC" El Mercurio de Calama. p. 46. 17 June. Retrieved 18 June.
  28. "Camila Vallejo está embarazada". 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  29. "Julio Sarmiento es el padre del hijo que espera Camilo Vallejo". Nació 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  30. "Nació bebé de Camila Vallejo: Fue niña y pesó 3 kilos 355 gramos" (in Spanish). 6 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
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