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Joaquín José Lavín Infante (born 23 October 1953) is a Chilean politician and economist. He is a member of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party and former mayor of Santiago and Las Condes municipalities of capital Santiago. He ran for president twice in 1999 and 2005, losing both times.

Joaquín Lavín
Joaquin Lavin.jpg
Mayor of Las Condes
Assumed office
6 December 2016
Preceded byFrancisco De la Maza Chadwick
In office
26 September 1992 – 11 June 1999
Preceded byEduardo Jara Miranda
Succeeded byCarlos Larraín
Minister of Social Development of Chile
In office
13 October 2011 – 13 June 2013
PresidentSebastián Piñera
Succeeded byBruno Baranda
Minister of Education of Chile
In office
11 March 2010 – 18 July 2011
PresidentSebastián Piñera
Preceded byMónica Jiménez
Succeeded byFelipe Bulnes
Mayor of Santiago
In office
6 December 2000 – 6 December 2004
Preceded byJaime Ravinet
Succeeded byRaúl Alcaíno
Personal details
Born (1953-10-23) 23 October 1953 (age 65)
Santiago, Chile
Political partyIndependent Democratic Union
Spouse(s)María Estela León
Alma materUniversidad Católica de Chile
University of Chicago
WebsiteMinistry of Education of Chile


He was born on the 23 of October 1953 in Santiago in the family of Joaquín Lavín Pradenas and Carmen Infante Vial, who was a known vinemaker and vinegrower in the region of Bío Bío. And his father Joaquín Lavín Pradenas was a known farmer in the South part of Chile, Portezuelo, province Ñuble. Lavín went to school Los Padres Franceses and earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Chicago. His wife is María Estela León Ruíz, which has been connected to the politics of the country. They have 7 children.[1]


In the period of 1979-1981 at the age of 26 he was appointed as a Dean of Economic Department at Concepción University. From 1981 until 1986 Lavin was a desk-editor of Economics and Business in the newspaper El Mercurio. In 1990 he founded with other partners the private Universidad del Desarrollo which proves to be one of the most important private universities of Chile.[1]

His professional life was always connected with politics and the first step toward this was done when he became a mayor of Las Condas in 1992.[1]

He wrote a book, Una revolución silenciosa ("A Quiet Revolution"), in support of General Augusto Pinochet's economic policies. Afterwards, in 1992, Lavín was elected mayor of Las Condes, a stronghold of the right, with 31% of the vote and reelected in 1997 with 78% of the vote.

Lavín was the presidential candidate for the UDI-National Renewal coalition Alliance for Chile in the 1999 election. He eventually lost to PS/PPD candidate Ricardo Lagos in a runoff by 200,000 votes. Lavín again represented UDI in the 2005 presidential election, but ended in third place with 23.23% of the vote, due the presence of another right-wing candidate in the race, Sebastián Piñera, who made it to the runoff election with 25.41% of the vote.

Lavín is a devout Roman Catholic and also a supernumerary member of the Prealature of Opus Dei.

Lavín was narrowly defeated in his bid for a Senate seat in the general election held in December 2009, but on 10 February 2010, President-elect Sebastián Piñera named him Secretary of Education.[2][3]

In July 2011, President Piñera replaced Lavín as Minister of Education by Felipe Bulnes as a response to the months of student protest and appointed him as Minister of Social Development (2011-2013).[4]

He is now Dean of the Business School of the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD).

On 16 July 2017, Lavín garnered controversy after he hung a rainbow flag over the town hall.[5] This prompted criticism from former presidential candidate José Antonio Kast, himself a former UDI member, who said that there was a "gay dictatorship" in Chile that "corners certain politicians who do not have the courage to say things as they believe them". Lavín had also refused to allow the anti-transgender Bus of Freedom, a bus created by the CitizenGo initiative HazteOir, to pass through Las Condes.[5] Lavín had claimed that his refusal to allow the bus to pass through was related to a timing issue. On 20 July, he had expressed openness to same-sex adoption.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Joaquín Lavín - Economista, académico y político chileno". Joaquín Lavín - Economista, académico y político chileno (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2010-03-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Joaquín Lavin, Minister of Education
  3. ^ "Pinera names his cabinet ministers".
  4. ^ Canales, Javier. La Tercera July 18, 2011. Access date July 18, 2011
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^

External linksEdit

  Media related to Joaquín Lavín at Wikimedia Commons