Boric accepts apology from Argentina after minister’s statements about Hezbollah’s alleged presence in Chile

(CNN Spanish) — The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, accepted this Wednesday an apology from the Government of Argentina for statements by the security minister of that country, Patricia Bullrich, who stated that the Hezbollah organization has a presence in the city of Iquique.

Bullrich said this Tuesday in an interview with the TN channel that “Argentina is in an area where there is an active presence of two forces that are allied to Iran (…) which are Hezbollah, which is on the triple border of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina (and that) has also recently seen a presence in Iquique, in the north of Chile,” said the minister.

Bullrich’s statements generated annoyance in the Chilean Executive. President Boric responded in this regard: “These statements made by the press do not seem to me, and we are going to send a note of protest through the Foreign Ministry. Here I demand respect for our country.”

“Chile does not protect any terrorist group, neither in its territory nor outside it; and all those who commit criminal and illicit acts in our territory will be persecuted, as we have demonstrated very clearly, for example, regarding the murders of officials police in recent times, where in each and every one of them we have those responsible in prison,” said the president in an interview with Radio María Reina, in the city of Calama.

Boric stressed that there are several permanent operations to dismantle criminal gangs throughout Chile and asked the Argentine minister to provide the information that she handles. “I demand that the Minister of Security of Argentina that if she has a criminal record, she delivers it and collaborates, but that she does not quickly create a criminal record without proving absolutely anything. We here are going to defend the integrity of Chile and I think it is tremendously important. that the authorities are responsible in their statements,” he stated.

Patricia Bullrich in an archive image. (Credit: TOMAS CUESTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Following this inconvenience, the Argentine Embassy in Chile reported in a statement that Minister Bullrich contacted the Chilean Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, to whom she apologized.

“Minister Bullrich clarified that these observations were made in the context of an analysis of the regional situation, within the framework of the responsibilities inherent to her position, and not with the intention of generating fear or alarm in Chile,” the message states.

Boric responded with a message on the social network X, formerly Twitter, in which he accepted the apology. “To combat transnational organized crime we need permanent collaboration between States, which is precisely what we promote from Chile. Apologies accepted and we consider the matter over,” he said.

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