Copa América Shows How Little Love Chileans Have for President Bachelet

Maipú, Chile. 12th November 2013 -- Presidential candidate Michele Bachelet greets supporters as she leaves the car during her campaign tour in Maipú, a commune of Chile. -- A few days before the presidential elections in Chile, Michele Bachelet visited Maipú, a commune of Chile for her campaign. Polls show Bachelet is leading the run and will most likely win the elections on the 17 November.

Bachelet during the 2013 campaign in Maipú, Chile, a moment in which her popularity kept her leading the polls. A popularity that today escapes her due to corruption scandals. Photo by Mario Tellez. Copyright @Demotix (November 12, 2013).

June 11 marked the official start of the most important soccer tournament in South America – the 2015 Copa América in Chile. It was expected, given the importance of the event, that the country's president, Michelle Bachelet, would attend and even give some sort of welcome speech. But many wondered how the president would be welcomed to the National Stadium, given the low levels of approval for her administration and the questions of corruption surrounding her closest political and familial circle.

In March, Bachelet's approval rating hit a record low in her two terms as president: 31%, a rather distant number from the one that turned her into the most well-known and best-rated Chilean political figure.

Her opponents started a campaign called #PifiaaBachelet (#MockBachelet) on social networks days before the start of the tournament, inviting attendees to the stadium to protest against her:

All of Chile from Arica to Punta Arenas yelling: RESIGN JINX


Smoke screens that cannot obscure the discontent over this bad government full of improvisations.

One of the biggest points of contention critics have with the Bachelet administration is education reform, adopted in February 2015, which has driven the student movement to the streets once again and made professors go on strike. Even on Copa América's opening day, Chilean students and certain teachers on strike staged a protest in the iconic Plaza Italia de Santiago, which they called “The Copa América of Education“. During this protest, they launched hundreds of balls in the air with messages like “free-of-charge with no fine print”.

In the video below, they summarize their position, comparing themselves to the Chilean national soccer team:

En Chile, miles de profesores llevan décadas disputando muchas copas. Hoy día disputamos una verdadera Copa América. La copa por la carrera docente que dignifique realmente la labor de cada maestra y maestro.

In Chile, thousands of professors have spent decades competing for cups. Today we are competing for a true Copa América. The cup awarded to the teaching profession that truly dignifies the work of every teacher out there.

After Copa América's opening match, President Bachelet left the stadium quietly. Her presence was not announced, there were no speeches, and presumably her team of advisers requested that the official broadcast exclude takes or close-ups of her to keep her image from being projected on big screens in the stadium. Chileans commented and widely debated her actions with hashtag #BacheletCOBARDE, (#BacheletTHECOWARD), which became a nationally trending topic.

Hiding, Bachelet evaded mockery last night for overwhelming public condemnation 65%+ rejects her administration!

Why didn't they announce the Corrupt Bachelet last night in the stadium??? Easy, because the mockery would have been historic

It would've been much more honorable to present herself to the country and take the jokes stoically, but she decided to hide.

One person even compared her to President of Brazil Dilma Roussef, who was booed at the 2014 World Cup closing ceremony in Maracaná Stadium in Río de Janeiro.

your friend Dilma is equally as incompetent as you, but she wasn't scared by the World Cup: she kicked it off properly and took the jokes.

User @EraDeUltroll referred to President Bachelet's leadership after the earthquake and tsunami of 2010:

But if Bachelet has always hidden or ran from problems, like she did during 27F, why are you surprised?

On the other hand, some accused the people using the #BacheletCOBARDE hashtag as being driven by political ideologies, not concrete criticism of her administration. Others pushed back against that allegation.

Those rejoicing in #BacheletTHECOWARD are supporters of [Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet, who got sick just so he wouldn't have to face justice. That is cowardice.

Treating anyone who uses hashtag #BacheletTHECOWARD like fascists is so single-minded even on the most basic level.

Even more moronic than believing that hashtag #BacheletTHECOWARD was only used by right-wingers. Hahahaha, as if the left-wingers supported her!!

Some alluded to the president's only “public act” during the event — a selfie with the players following their victory — and took the opportunity to stress, once again, the debt she has with the country.

These ultra right-wingers invent #BacheletTHECOWARD and squirm with anger and envy. They'll never have this selfie.

Why doesn't #BacheletTHECOWARD go up north or to Araucanía to take selfies or better yet, why doesn't she go review her ministers’ records?

Madam President, why don't you take a photo with the families of policemen killed on duty?

Bachelet should also take selfies with TranSantiago users. After all, she gave them this filthy public transportation system

Why doesn't this woman here take a selfie instead of #BacheletTHECOWARD?

Sign reads: I dream of the day that education awakens the same passion as soccer does in our country.

Regarding the use of hashtags, @turcosalama29 concluded:

Why do you believe these stupid #BacheletTHECOWARD hashtags if they're not capable of moving their asses to go vote after election day?

And Tuitero Liberal reflected as follows:

A president incapable of showing their face to the public doesn't deserve to be president.

1 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.