José Rodrigo Ambrosio Brieva was born in Santiago, January 5, 1941, in 1956 he graduated from the Colegio Seminario de Chillán and took to studying sociology at the Universidad Católica. He studied Law at the Universidad de Chile and finished at the L’Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, France.
After his return to Chile in 1966, he joined the “rebelde” sector of the Juventud Demócrata Cristiana [the “rebelde” faction was led by Jacques Chonchol, the architect of the PDC’s agrarian reform program, which wanted to pursue a non-capitalist path of development, as opposed to Frei’s reformism], a party he had joined in 1958 after its formation, giving it a leadership and a political project which it had then lacked. He became President of the JDC in 1967.
The rupture with the Democracia Cristiana happened in 1969. In May, the Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitaria (MAPU) was founded, [the same year] in which Rodrigo became professor of sociology at the Universidad de Concepción. In 1970 he was elected General Secretary of MAPU unanimously during the First National Congress, actively participating in the presidential campaign supporting Salvador Allende, and in the Unidad Popular.
On May 19, 1972, at 1:30 in the morning, while General Secretary of MAPU, [José Rodrigo Ambrosio Brieva] died after the Fiat 600 in which he traveled in crashed into a truck loaded with cement at Llay-llay, while he was returning from Valparaíso after participating in party activities related to MAPU’s campaign to the CUT [Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile, MAPU intended to have strong links with the Chilean labor movement] and from attending an act of solidarity with Vietnam. At his death, Rodrigo was 31 years old, he was married to Michelle Uttard, they had a son, Camilo, who was 4 years old, and another one on the way.