Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet speaks from her office at the Palais Wilson on her first day as new United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights on September 3, 2018 in Geneva.
/ AFP / POOL / Fabrice COFFRINI
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Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was 23 years old when she was tortured and fled her country's dictatorship into exile. Now, more than four decades later, she will face her past fighting such abuses worldwide as the new U.N. human rights chief. Bachelet, 66, is often seen smiling, chatting easily or tossing unplanned comments or jokes into her speeches.Bachelet herself was arrested along with her mother in 1975 .Bachelet returned to Chile in 1979 when she felt she could do so safely.Bachelet rose through the ranks of the Socialist Party and became a key player in the center-left coalition that dominated Chile's government for almost 20 years after Pinochet lost power. Diplomats from the U.N.'s 193-member states burst into applause in July when the General Assembly president gave official approval to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' selection of Bachelet.Bachelet also faces a decision on how outspoken she will be on what she sees as human rights violations.
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