Christian Left

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Christian Left

A breakaway faction of Chile's Christian Democratic Party (PDC), the Christian Left was active during the regime of Salvador Allende (1970–1973). Comprised of the more leftist members of the PDC and under the leadership of Senator Renán Fuentealba, these elements demanded that Eduardo Frei and his followers support Allende's economic policies. Hoping to remain politically potent, many of the PDC initially supported many of the Christian Left's positions. In a 1971 Christian Democratic Party meeting, the leaders of what became the Christian Left submitted a proposal suggesting that the PDC cease cooperating with the conservative National Party (PN). When their motion failed, those who believed it not inconsistent for Christians to support Allende's struggle to bring socialism to Chile broke with the PDC, forming the Christian Left. While the new party, which included six former PDC deputies, attracted some of the members of the United Movement of Popular Action, or MAPU (another PDC splinter group), it failed to bolster the Allende coalition. As just one of many leftist parties, the Izquierda Cristiana won only 1.1 percent of the vote in the 1973 congressional elections, indicating its lack of popular support. Banned by the Pinochet government, it continued to operate clandestinely, joining the Movimiento Democrático Popular to try to restore democracy in Chile.

See alsoChile, Political Parties: Christian Democratic Party (PDC) .


Paul E. Sigmund, The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile, 1964–1976 (1977), p. 135.

Carmelo Furci, The Chilean Communist Party and the Road to Socialism (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Corvalán, Luis. El gobierno de Salvador Allende. Santiago: LOM Ediciones, 2003.

Lomnitz, Larissa Adler de and Ana Melnick. Chile's Political Culture and Parties: An Anthropological Explanation. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000.

                                          William F. Sater

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Christian Left

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