michelle bachelet

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The election of Michelle Bachelet as Chile’s new president earlier this month saw the continuation in the rise of women to positions of political power throughout Latin America, garnering praise from analysts concerned with women’s rights in the land of machismo, at a time when the world's leading superpower has yet to see a female as its top leader.

Michelle Bachelet was elected as Chile's president again on Sunday in a landslide victory that hands the center-leftist the mandate she sought to push ahead with wide-reaching reforms. Bachelet won with about 62 percent support, the highest proportion of votes any presidential candidate has obtained since Chile returned to holding democratic elections in 1989.

Forty years ago, a military coup overthrew the leftist government in Chile. President Salvador Allende was killed, and thousands were arrested and tortured. Many died in prison, among them an army general loyal to Allende, Alberto Bachelet. His wife and daughter were also tortured and forced into exile - first to Australia and then to Germany. The daughter, Michelle Bachelet, was elected president of Chile in 2006.