Santiago de Chile (EFE).- The leak of more than 400,000 secret email messages from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO) to hackers and a new case of alleged corruption have revealed a new crisis in Chile and led to resignations and prosecutions in the military. , an institution with eroding prestige.
According to reports this Friday, a Chilean judge has ordered the trial of five retired generals for their alleged responsibility for repeated crimes in the embezzlement of public funds equivalent to 455 million pesos (about $500,000).
The visiting minister for court-martial, Romy Rutherford, is in charge of the “fraud in the army” case and many aspects of it, investigating the crimes committed between December 2007 and March 2018, in the framework of which dozens of officers were tried. and former Chilean military branch officers.
Specifically, Rutherford brought Guillermo Hernán Porcil Arellano, Alberto Eduardo González Martín, John Eduardo Griffith Spielman, Sergio Patricio Ahumada Labe, and José Manuel Lanca Zuazagotia to trial.
The procession is, to this day, the final scene of a long parade of active and retired military by the Chilean court, with the main protagonists being members of the High Command.
Property purchases, luxury cars, trips, parties and tourism including financial resources are part of a fiscal shelf that includes 1,392 volumes and 46 notebooks full of multiple ends, and an alleged embezzlement of the national treasury that has so far exceeded 8.5 million euros.
This is not the first time that Chile’s military leadership in a democracy has been investigated for crimes related to illicit enrichment, a practice that historians say was deeply rooted during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
Since the return of democracy, all the commanders-in-chief of the Chilean army have been linked to the billionaire fraud, with Humberto Oviedo, Juan Miguel Fuentalba and Oscar Izurieta also tried for corruption offences.
The new judicial complaint coincides with the scandal revealed by the massive leak of EMCO emails conducted by the hacker group Guacamaya, which revealed more than 400,000 messages and numerous documents classified as “protected”, “confidential” and “top secret”. “
The leaks forced Defense Minister Maya Fernandez to return to Chile urgently from New York, where she was with the republic’s president Gabriel Boric at the UN General Assembly, and forced the EMCO chief to quit on Thursday. General Guillermo Paiva.
“Confronted with knowledge of the security failure of the Joint Chiefs of Staff emails, the President of the Republic has directed the Minister of National Defense to return to the country to lead the response to these incidents,” they communicated. From the Government of Chile.
In addition to providing records to military justice to facilitate a criminal investigation, the executive orders an administrative summary to determine responsibilities.
Congress, meanwhile, has already taken action and its National Defense Commission has already called the secretary of state, along with the undersecretary and head of EMCO, to account for the scope of the leak.
Boric considers resignation sufficient
“It seems right to me that General Paiva has taken over,” Borik said when asked at a news conference in New York.
“What I can tell you is that we are working on this as a state with all commanders in chief,” said the president, who insisted the priority was “protecting the national interest” while he supported the minister’s handling. defense
“You can be absolutely sure that we are going to rise to the occasion and the institutions are going to work,” he stressed.
This morning, also, the arrival of the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Admiral Jose Luis Fernandez, was confirmed, while Brigadier General Mario Graze Casanueva will investigate the summary of the email leak.
According to local investigations, the leaked files include sensitive information on cyber security, communications and border surveillance as well as intelligence and satellite monitoring systems.
On September 19, and during the protocol parade of the armed forces to mark the national holiday, a group of attendees – some relatives of members of the government – abused and insulted President Borik – in an act unprecedented in modern times and which drew criticism from sections of the government and political class.
Web version: Natalia Sarmiento.