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Chonchol, Jacques (c. 1926–)

Chonchol, Jacques (c. 1926–)

Jacques Chonchol is a Chilean political leader and agrarian reform expert. A member of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Chonchol advocated the creation of a communitarian society as the way to solve Chile's economic problems and to avoid the excesses of socialism and capitalism. A member of the PDC's left wing, he served as a functionary of Eduardo Frei's agrarian reform program. In 1968, distressed by what he considered Frei's conservative policies, he broke with the PDC, creating the United Movement of Popular Action (MAPU). Chonchol later served as Salvador Allende's minister of agriculture, accelerating the pace of agrarian reform. He subsequently bolted from MAPU, which he claimed had become too Marxist, to form the Christian Left. Later he resigned from Allende's cabinet over political differences. After the coup of 1973, he was exiled. He took up a post at the Instituto de los Altos Estudios de América Latina at the University of Paris. In 1994 he returned to Chile, where he continued to serve as an outspoken critic of the neoliberal economic-political system of the early twenty-first century. In 2005 he participated in "The Lessons from Chile," the first conference of the Transnational Institute, a fellowship of global scholars and activists, held in Amsterdam.

See alsoChile, Political Parties: Christian Democratic Party (PDC); Chile, Political Parties: Popular Action Unitary Movement (MAPU).


Collier, Simon, and William F. Slater. A History of Chile, 1808–2002, 2nd edition. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Loveman, Brian. Struggle in the Countryside (1976), pp. 280, 285-286, 291-292, 296-300.

Oppenheim, Lois Hecht. Politics in Chile: Socialism, Authoritarianism, and Market Democracy, 3rd edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2007.

Rector, John L. The History of Chile. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003.

Sigmund, Paul. The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile, 1964–1976 (1977), pp. 52-53, 62-63, 72, 79, 84, 89, 91, 130, 139, 151-152.

                                      William F. Sater

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