Third-generation Croatian immigrant to Chile and lawyer Carolina Nevenka Goić Borojević is the national president of the Chilean Christian Democratic Party.
The large Croatian community in Chile plays a major role in the economic, societal and political life of this distant and robust South American country, as is attested to by the latest news that senator Carolina Goić, a Chilean lawyer of Croatian extraction, is in the field of presidential candidates for the country’s upcoming elections for head of state.
Carolina Nevenka Goić Borojević was born in u Puerto Natales in 1972 to the family of Pedro Goić Karmelić and Mary Borojević Jutronić – second-generation Croatian immigrants to Chile. She is the niece of Alejandro Goić Karmelić, bishop of the Diocese of Rancagua and president of the Chilean Conference of Bishops. Carolina is a lawyer by profession and the leader of the Chilean Christian Democratic Party. She was on the party’s slate in 2005 when elected to Chilean parliament, and was re-elected in 2009.
At the presidential elections, the seventh since the fall of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, to be held along with the elections for parliament on the 19th of November, Goić is the Christian Democratic Party candidate. Judging by the polls her support level of only a few points gives her very slim odds of winning the presidency. As none of the eight leading candidates enjoy over fifty per cent support it looks like Chilean voters will be out for a runoff round to elect their next head of state. The winner of the presidential elections will succeed the popular president Michelle Bachelet, who leads the left-of-centre coalition and was first elected to the post in 2006.
President Bachelet appointed two ministers of Croatian heritage to her cabinet in her first term in office – economy minister Ingrid Antonijević and education minister Martin Žilić, once again affirming the great esteem the Croatian community enjoys in this southern land.
In many ways the Croatian community in Chile is different from other Croatian emigrant communities. Our people first settled there a hundred or more years ago, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when Croatia as a whole and its southern region of Dalmatia were under the Austrian crown. Most, upwards of ninety per cent, hailed from the island of Brač. In spite of all the dilemmas regarding their identity, Chilean Croatians have made a name for themselves in Chile by their ability and industriousness. The third and second generation Croatian settlers are largely very well educated, are fully integrated into Chilean society, and work in all of the country’s major institutions, making a significant impact on the overall development of the country, a fact reaffirmed by the latest presidential candidacy of Carolina Goić.
(Denis Romac, Novi list)