Heraldo Muñoz

Heraldo Muñoz Valenzuela (born July 22, 1948) is a Chilean politician and diplomat, the former Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations, to Brazil, and to the Organization of American States, former Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator, and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Programme, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile under President Michelle Bachelet.

Heraldo Muñoz
Heraldo Benjamín Muñoz Valenzuela.jpg
Foreign Affairs Minister of Chile
In office
March 11, 2014 – 11 March 2018
Appointed byMichelle Bachelet
Preceded byAlfredo Moreno Charme
Succeeded byRoberto Ampuero
Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations
In office
Appointed byRicardo Lagos
Preceded byJuan Gabriel Valdés
Succeeded byOctavio Errázuriz Guilisasti
Minister Secretary-General
of Government
In office
January 7, 2002 – March 3, 2003
Preceded byClaudio Huepe
Succeeded byFrancisco Vidal
Ambassador of Chile to Brazil
In office
Appointed byEduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Succeeded byJuan Martabit Scaff
Permanent Representative of Chile to the Organization of American States
In office
Appointed byPatricio Aylwin
Personal details
Born (1948-07-22) July 22, 1948 (age 71)
Santiago, Chile
Alma materSUNY Oswego
Universidad Católica de Chile
University of Denver
OccupationDiplomat, politician


Born in Santiago on July 22, 1948, Heraldo Muñoz is a political scientist, politician, and diplomat. After graduating from the public school Liceo de Aplicación, he attended the University of Chile where he studied English. After the first year, he left to major in political science at the State University of New York, Oswego, through a scholarship from the Institute of International Education, where he got his B.A. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, Colorado (1978), a Diploma in International Relations from the Catholic University of Chile (1975, graduated with honors), and also took courses at Harvard University. He was a doctoral fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. (1977), where he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation.

He later was a researcher and professor at the University of Chile's Institute of International Studies. Muñoz founded and directed the Program on Latin American Foreign Policies (PROSPEL), a foreign policy research institute, associated with the Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, which published annual reports on the foreign policies of Latin American governments (1984-1990). He has received fellowships from: Resources for the Future, the Ford Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, the Twentieth Century Fund, and the MacArthur Foundation.

He was a member of the Central Committee and secretary of foreign relations of the Socialist Party of Chile (1983-1986), as well as candidate for undersecretary general of the party on the Ricardo Lagos list. He co-founded the Party for Democracy (PPD) and participated in the executive committee of the "No" Campaign which defeated Augusto Pinochet in the 1988 plebiscite.


Once democracy returned to Chile with the administration of Patricio Aylwin, Muñoz was named Ambassador Permanent Representative for Chile to the Organization of American States (1990-1994), where he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Environmental Partnership with then Senator Al Gore.[1] He was the Ambassador to Brazil (1994-1998) during the government of Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle. While in Brazil, he participated in the negotiations to end the hostilities between Peru and Ecuador. At the start of the administration of Ricardo Lagos, Muñoz was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations until January 2002, when he was designated Minister Secretary General of Government. In 2003, Lagos named him Chile's Ambassador Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

At the time Muñoz assumed as ambassador to the UN, Chile was a non-permanent member of the Security Council (between 2003 and 2004). While on the Council, he presided the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, traveling to countries like Afghanistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Iran, in line with Security Council resolutions, to check the implementation of arms embargoes, asset freezing, and travel bans of those groups.[2] Muñoz served as President of the Security Council for the month of January 2004. In 2008, the New York Times featured his life and work in The Saturday Profile[3]. In February 2009, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon appointed him as head of a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate the assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in response to a request by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.[4] The report of the findings of the commission, delivered in April 2010, resulted in the reopening of the case in the courts of Pakistan and the subsequent arrests of several high level individuals.[5] Other positions he held while ambassador to the UN were: Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, Facilitator of the Security Council reform consultations (2007-2008), Vice President of the General Assembly’s 61st Session (2006-2007), and a member of the Human Rights Commission reform consultations (today known as the Human Rights Council).[6]

In May 2010, Muñoz was designated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon as Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator, and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Programme.[7] President Elect Michelle Bachelet named him Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile in 2014.[8]

As Minister of Foreign Relations, he headed the successful defense of Chilean sovereignty in a case presented by Bolivia at the International Court of Justice, intended to force Chile to hand over territory for Bolivia to have sovereign access to the sea. Chile won that case by an overwhelming majority vote at The Hague. During his tenure, the Foreign Ministry elaborated a National Action Plan for Human Rights and Business, which Muñoz presented to President Bachelet in 2017.[9] In that same year the political opposition to the government of Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela requested that Muñoz represent them, along with Luis Videgaray, Foreign Minister of Mexico, in the negotiations undertaken in the Dominican Republic, to establish clear rules and a date for presidential elections. After several months, with many ups and downs, the efforts were unsuccessful due to the intransigence of Venezuelan authorities and disagreements within the opposition.[10] By invitation from John Kerry, at the time US Secretary of State, he joined an international campaign to protect the ocean. As a result, Chile now has 1.4 million square kilometers of marine protected areas, becoming a world leader in ocean protection areas. In 2018 the Pew Charitable Foundation and the Bertarelli Foundation named him Ambassador of the Ocean. Muñoz also achieved congressional approval of the bill for the modernization of the Foreign Ministry, after many attempts by previous governments. The bill was signed into law by President Bachelet on March 7, 2018. He headed up the elaboration of an agenda for the foreign policy of the future entitled Política Exterior 2030. He created and promoted the concept of "convergence in diversity" between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur.

In 2018 he was elected President of the Party for Democracy (PPD).

Books and publications

  • A Solitary War: A Diplomat's Chronicle of the Iraq War and Its Lessons, Fulcrum Publishing, 2008 (also in Spanish).
  • The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet, Basic Books, 2008. Newsweek said about The Dictator's Shadow: Heraldo Muñoz has written "an insightful and poignant new personal memoir of the Pinochet years." The Washington Post stated: Muñoz has produced "a meticulous and vivid new book...Muñoz delivers a compelling, personal account of life in a police state and a strong reminder of how far Chile has come." The Washington Post listed The Dictator's Shadow among the best books of 2008.
  • Getting Away with Murder: Benazir Bhutto's Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan, W.W. Norton & Company, 2013, a book based on the aforementioned UN investigation over which he presided.

Other books written or edited by Muñoz: Democracy Rising: Assessing the Global Challenges (Heraldo Muñoz, editor; Lynn Rienner Publishers, 2006); Globalización XXI: América Latina y los desafíos del nuevo milenio (Heraldo Muñoz, editor; Aguilar, 2000); A Nova Política Internacional (Heraldo Muñoz; Fundacao Alexandre de Gusmao, 1996); Latin American Nations in World Politics (Heraldo Muñoz and Joseph Tulchin, editors; Westview Press, 1996); Política Internacional de los Nuevos Tiempos (Heraldo Muñoz; Editorial Los Andes, 1996); The Future of the Organization of American States (Heraldo Muñoz and Viron L. Vaky; The Twentieth Century Fund Press, 1993); Difficult Liaison: Trade and the Environment in the Americas (Heraldo Muñoz and Robin Rosenberg, editors; Transaction Publishers, 1993); El Fin del Fantasma: Las relaciones interamericanas después de la guerra fría (Heraldo Muñoz, editor; Ediciones Pedagógicas Chilenas S.A., 1992), Chile: Política Exterior para la Democracia (Heraldo Muñoz, editor; Pehuén, 1989), Una Amistad Esquiva (Heraldo Muñoz y Carlos Portales; Pehuén, 1987); Latin American Views of US Policy (Robert Wesson and Heraldo Muñoz, editors; Praeger, 1986); Las Relaciones Exteriores del Gobierno Militar Chileno (Heraldo Muñoz; Las Ediciones del Ornitorrinco y Prospel-CERC, 1986); From Dependency to Development: Strategies to Overcome Underdevelopment and Inequality (Heraldo Muñoz, editor; Westview Press, 1981); Desarrollo energético en América Latina y la economía mundial (Heraldo Muñoz, editor; Editorial Universitaria, 1980).

Duke University holds in the Rubenstein Library a collection of many of the documents of Heraldo Muñoz, Guide to the Heraldo Muñoz Papers, 1963-2013 and undated.[11]

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Graduate School of International Studies Josef Korbel de la Universidad de Denver (1991)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, State University of New York (1994)
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, State University of New York (1995)
  • Doctor of the University, University of Ottawa, Canada (2009)
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Pace University (2009)
  • Gran Cruz Isabel la Católica (2014)


  1. ^ US Congressional Record-Senate, June 9, 1992, pg. 13810, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CRECB-1992-pt10/pdf/GPO-CRECB-1992-pt10-4-1.pdf
  2. ^ https://news.un.org/en/story/2003/10/82102-head-security-council-al-qaida-sanctions-committee-begins-mission
  3. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (15 de noviembre de 2008). «As a Memoirist, a Chilean Diplomat Takes Off the White Gloves». https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/world/americas/15munoz.html, The New York Times
  4. ^ https://www.un.org/press/en/2009/sgsm12328.doc.htm
  5. ^ Washington, Saeed Shah Ewen MacAskill in (16 de abril de 2010). «Pakistan to launch new inquiry into Benazir Bhutto murder after UN report». The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/apr/16/benazir-bhutto-murder-un-report
  6. ^ http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2010/05/28/heraldo-muoz-assumes-role-as-head-of-undps-bureau-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean.html
  7. ^ http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2010/05/28/heraldo-muoz-assumes-role-as-head-of-undps-bureau-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean.html
  8. ^ El Mercurio (Santiago), 25 de enero de 2014, p.C8
  9. ^ https://www.senadis.cl/sala_prensa/d/noticias/6759/presidenta-michelle-bachelet-recibio-el-plan-de-accion-nacional-de-derechos-humanos-y-empresas
  10. ^ Cooperativa.cl. «Permanencia de México y Chile en diálogo venezolano está en duda» https://www.cooperativa.cl/noticias/mundo/venezuela/permanencia-de-mexico-y-chile-en-dialogo-venezolano-esta-en-duda/2018-01-07/181819.html
  11. ^ https://blogs.library.duke.edu/magazine/2009/11/02/the-dictators-shadow/

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Claudio Huepe
Minister Secretary-General
of Government

2002 – 2003
Succeeded by
Francisco Vidal
Preceded by
Alfredo Moreno Charme
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2014 – 2018
Succeeded by
Roberto Ampuero
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Juan Gabriel Valdés
Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations
2003 – 2010
Succeeded by
Octavio Errázuriz