Roberto Córdova wins Concertación primary elections in Pichilemu, Chile

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Roberto Córdova won the primary elections. Pictured during an interview in November 2010.
Image: Diego Grez.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pichilemu, Chile – Incumbent mayor of the Chilean commune of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova Carreño (Socialist Party) won the primary elections —qualified as "historic" by local newspaper Expreso de la Costa— to choose a unique candidate for mayor representing the Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia (Concert of Parties for Democracy) coalition of left-winged parties in the next municipal elections of October 28. The elections were held in the Digna Camilo Aguilar School. Córdova ran against incumbent councillor Andrea Aranda (Party for Democracy).

Anyone inscribed in the poll registry before November 30, 2011 and without membership in non-Concertación parties can participate in the election. Simultaneously, similar elections are were held in thirteen other communes of the O'Higgins Region, including regional capital Rancagua and Santa Cruz.

Both Aranda and Córdova participated on Saturday night in a televised debate hosted by municipal worker Fabricio Cáceres Jorquera in his program Cóctel de Sábado, broadcasted by Canal 3 Pichilemu.

The candidates

Roberto Córdova

Roberto del Carmen Córdova Carreño is the current mayor of the commune of Pichilemu. He was elected during a city council meeting in September 2009, after Mayor Marcelo Cabrera Martínez was forced to leave office permanently. Córdova is a Performance Engineer in Public Management.

Amongst other things, Córdova had to face the emergency triggered by the 2010 Chile earthquake and the subsequent Pichilemu earthquake. He also inaugurated the renovated Agustín Ross Cultural Centre with then-President Michelle Bachelet.

During his primary campaign, he reportedly visited rural areas such as Rodeíllo with a small group of people. His slogan is "Pichilemu, better every day." ("Pichilemu, cada día mejor.")

As reported by El Expreso de la Costa, he is supported by the regional president of the Party for Democracy (Aranda's party) Leandro Sánchez, and senator Juan Pablo Letelier.

"In this voluntary but necessary election, I invite everyone [to vote] for Pichilemu to be better every day," Córdova said to El Expreso.

Aranda in August 2011, during the Marcha por la Educación Gratuita in Pichilemu.
Image: Diego Grez.
Andrea Aranda

Andrea Natalia Aranda Escudero currently is one of the five councillors of Pichilemu, elected in 2008. She is married to Jorge Vargas, former Mayor of Pichilemu, with whom she has three daughters: Camila, Alicia, and Emilia. She is, by profession, a midwife.

She has been criticized by local media as following in the footsteps of her husband, Jorge Vargas, currently prohibited from active politics following his arrest for bribery.

Additionally, an anonymous editor of El Expreso de la Costa nicknamed Bellaco wrote: "[Aranda] assures her contender is campaigning with municipal funds, somebody asked, does she forget her husband made the same thing years before when he was elected for three terms?"

During her campaign, she visited places such as Cardonal de Panilonco, and organized several meetings with local leaders. Her slogan is "With woman's strength." ("Con fuerza de mujer.")

Aranda wrote in an open letter published in El Expreso de la Costa: "As a woman, I'm sensitive to human necessity, and brave to defend the cause of family. My commitment is to work, providing all my capacities, for concrete works and materialization of dreams with you."


The primary elections were held at Digna Camilo Aguilar School.
Image: Diego Grez.

At 19:12 local time (22:12 UTC), regional newspaper El Pulso reported Córdova won the election, on Twitter.

The final results, as published by local TV channel Canal 3 Pichilemu on Twitter, are the following:

Andrea Aranda said she "will continue to work for the people" and accused she was "the victim of a campaign of terror" against her. She later personally congratulated Roberto Córdova, who said "the election leaves several morals to local democracy," and announced he would make an appeareance in Los Navegantes "to thank those who voted for him and those who did not."


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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.