The Three-Term Mayor Who Defied Chile’s Anti-Incumbent Wave

By John Bartlett

Carolina Leitao is offering a model for a country currently rethinking what its government should look like.

This article is part of AQ’s special report on Latin American mayors. SANTIAGO - Early on a winter morning in 1999, 1,650 families surged onto a 60-acre plot of privately owned land in the Santiago district of Peñalolén, completing the first illegal land occupation since Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. The encampment soon swelled to become one of Chile’s largest. Carolina Leitao has spent part of her career in politics dealing with the fallout – first as a city council member who helped relocate the families to formal housing over a period of several years....

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