Santiago de Chile (EFE).- The leak by hackers of more than 400,000 secret emails from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO) and a new case of alleged corruption have sparked a new crisis in Chile, leading to army resignations and indictments. , an institution of fallen prestige.

As reported this Friday, Chilean justice ordered the indictment of five retired generals for their alleged responsibility in the alleged repeated crimes of embezzling 455 million pesos (about $500,000) in public funds.

Police personnel will establish a checkpoint in Santiago on September 22, 2022. EFE / Elvis González

Courts-Martial Minister Romy Rutherford, who is responsible for the Fraud in the Army case and its many facets, is investigating crimes allegedly committed between December 2007 and March 2018, charging dozens of officers in the framework. Officers of the Chilean military branch.

In particular, Rutherford prosecuted Guillermo Hernán Porcile Arellano, Alberto Eduardo González Martin, John Eduard Griffith Spielman, Sergio Patricio Ahumada Labbé, and José Manuel Llanca Zuazagotía.
The diligence is the latest scene so far in a long parade of active and retired military personnel in Chilean courts in corruption cases that have featured members of the military’s high command.

The purchase of real estate, luxury cars, trips, parties and tourism with fiscal funds is part of a fiscal shelf of 1,392 volumes and 46 multi-edged notebooks and an alleged embezzlement of over €8.5 million so far.

This is not the first time that the democratic country has been investigated for crimes related to the illegal enrichment of the leadership of the Chilean army. This practice, according to historians, was deeply rooted during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

Since the return to democracy, all of Chile’s army commanders have been implicated in millionaire fraud, and Humberto Oviedo, Juan Miguel Fuentalba and Óscar Izurieta have also been indicted for corruption offences.

security breach

The new indictment coincides with the scandal sparked by the massive email leak of hacker group Guacamaya EMCO, which revealed more than 400,000 messages and numerous documents classified as “reserved”, “secret” and “top secret”. “.

Police officers work on community prevention, control and security on September 22 in Santiago. EFE / Elvis González

The leak forced Defense Minister Maya Fernández to rush back to Chile from New York, where she accompanied the president of the republic, Gabriel Boric, to the UN General Assembly, and forced the resignation of the head of EMCO on Thursday. General Guillermo Paiva.

“Faced with the known facts regarding the security breach of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s emails, the President of the Republic has ordered the Minister of National Defense to return to the country to lead the response to these events,” they said. From the Government of Chile.

Along with handing over the documents to the military court to advance the criminal investigation, the executive ordered the preparation of an administrative summary to determine the respective responsibilities.

Meanwhile, Congress has already taken action, and the National Defense Committee has already subpoenaed the Secretary of State, along with the Vice Chancellor and the head of EMCO, to explain the scope of the leak.

Boric considers the resignation adequate

“It seems right to me that General Paiva has accepted his responsibility,” Boric said when asked at a news conference in New York.

“I can tell you that we are working on this as a country with all the commanders in chief,” said the president, who stressed that the priority was “protecting national interests” while he supported the minister’s leadership. protection.

“You can be absolutely sure that we will cope with this event and the institutions will start working,” he emphasized.

Additionally, the arrival of Vice Admiral José Luis Fernández to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff was confirmed this morning while Brigadier General Mario Grez Casanueva conducts a summary investigation into the email leak.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric (c). EFE/Alberto Valdes

According to local investigations, the leaked files contain data on cyber security, communications and border surveillance, as well as sensitive information on intelligence and satellite surveillance systems.

On September 19, and during a ceremonial parade of the armed forces on national holidays, groups of attendees – some relatives of members of the government – sniffed and insulted President Boric, an act unprecedented in modern times that triggered the firing. criticism of the government and part of the political class.

Online publication: Natalia Sarmiento.

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