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A vendor sells balloons at Portales park in Yungay, the neighborhood where Chilean President Gabriel Boric recently moved in. 

A vendor sells balloons at Portales park in Yungay, the neighborhood where Chilean President Gabriel Boric recently moved in. 

Photographer: Tamara Merino/Bloomberg
CityLab
Government

Why Chile’s President Moved Into a High-Crime Santiago Neighborhood

The newly elected Gabriel Boric wants to send a message about reviving areas that have fallen prey to crime and poverty. So far, residents are seeing improvements.

At Eduardo Berrios’ vinyl vintage records store in a deteriorating area of Santiago, sales are getting a boost thanks to a newcomer in the downtown neighborhood: Chile’s 36-year-old president, Gabriel Boric.

On his first visit, Boric, a known music lover, bought the 1975 Adios Sui Generis album, the double-record by Argentine classic rock duet Sui Generis. The second time he came by just to say hi — followed by an entourage of photographers — and then a third time he wanted to make sure the police’s crowd control barriers weren’t blocking the store.