Vera-Zavala was born inRomania. She is the daughter of Chilean film directorLuis R. Veraand his Peruvian wife Maria Rosario Zavala. Her family moved toSwedenwhen she was young and she grew up in the suburb ofÅkersberganorth ofStockholm. In1993she became a member of theYoung Left, the youth wing of the Left Party, where she also served as vice chairperson for some time. She lived inBrusselsfor four years, working as an assistant at the Left Party'sEuropean Parliamentoffice.