Santiago de Chile (EFE), an institution with degraded prestige.
As reported on Friday, the Chilean judiciary ordered the prosecution of five retired generals for their alleged responsibility in alleged repeated crimes of embezzlement of public funds equivalent to 455 million pesos (approximately $500,000).
The Visiting Minister of the Court Martial, Romy Rutherford, in charge of the “Fraud in the army” case and its multiple aspects, is investigating the crimes allegedly committed between December 2007 and March 2018, prosecuting in this context dozens of officers and former officers of the Chilean military branch.
In particular, Rutherford brought to justice Guillermo Hernán Porcile Arellano, Alberto Eduardo González Martin, John Eduard Griffith Spielman, Sergio Patricio Ahumada Labbé and José Manuel Llanca Zuazagotía.
The stagecoach is positioned as the last scene, to date, of a long parade of active and retired military personnel by the Chilean courts, in acts of corruption where the main protagonists have been members of the High Command.
Purchasing properties, luxury cars, travel, parties and tourism with tax resources are part of a tax shelf with 1,392 volumes and 46 notebooks full of multiple edges, and an alleged embezzlement of the national treasury which to date exceeds 8, 5 million euros.
This is not the first time that investigations have been carried out in a democracy for crimes related to illicit enrichment at the head of the Chilean army, a practice that historians say was deeply rooted under the dictatorship of Chile. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
Since the return of democracy, all Chilean army commanders have been linked to millionaire fraud, with Humberto Oviedo, Juan Miguel Fuentalba and Óscar Izurieta also being prosecuted for corruption crimes.
The new legal charge coincides in time with the scandal triggered by the massive leak of EMCO emails carried out by the hacker group Guacamaya, which exposed more than 400,000 messages and numerous documents classified as “reserved”, “secret”. and “top secrets”. ”.
The leak forced the Minister of Defense, Maya Fernández, to return urgently to Chile from New York, where she accompanied the President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric, to the General Assembly of the UN and forced the departure from the head of EMCO on Thursday. .General Guillermo Paiva.
“Faced with the known facts in connection with the security breach of the emails of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President of the Republic instructed the Minister of National Defense to return to the country to lead the response to these events”, have they communicated. of the Chilean government.
In addition to turning over the files to military justice to promote a criminal investigation, the executive ordered an administrative summary to determine the corresponding responsibilities.
Congress, meanwhile, has already taken action, and its National Defense Committee has already summoned the Secretary of State and the Undersecretary and Head of EMCO, to report on the extent of the the escape.
Boric deems the resignation appropriate
“It seems correct to me that General Paiva has taken responsibility,” Boric told a news conference in New York.
“What I can tell you is that we are working on it as a state with all the commanders-in-chief,” said the president, who stressed that the priority was “to safeguard the national interest” while supporting management by the Minister. .defense.
“You can be absolutely certain that we will be up to it and that the institutions will work,” he insisted.
This morning, moreover, the arrival of Vice Admiral José Luis Fernández as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was confirmed, while Brigadier General Mario Grez Casanueva will carry out the summary investigation into the leaked mail. electronic.
According to local investigations, the leaked files include data on cybersecurity, communications and border surveillance, as well as sensitive information on satellite intelligence and surveillance systems.
On September 19, and during the formal parade of the Armed Forces on the occasion of national holidays, groups of participants – some close to members of the government – booed and insulted President Boric – in an act unprecedented in modern times and which triggered criticism from the government and part of the political class.
Web edition: Natalia Sarmiento.