N.Y. Times


SANTIAGO, Chile, March 11 — Michelle Bachelet, a Socialist, pediatrician and former political prisoner and exile, was sworn in on Saturday as the first woman to be president of Chile, the culmination of its long and painful journey from repression and dictatorship to democracy.

Ms. Bachelet, 54, was elected to a four-year term in January, winning 53.5 percent of the vote in a runoff. Her accession to power here is also a milestone: though six other women have served as presidents of Latin American countries, Ms. Bachelet, a single mother of three, is the first on the continent to be elected who is not the widow of a political leader and has built a career on her own.

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