Corruption in the Gendarmerie: defense of detained officials accuse the Prosecutor’s Office of setting it up

Yesterday the formalization of 20 people accused of being part of a corruption and arms trafficking network that operated from the Huachalalume prison began, of which nine are gendarmes and another is a former official. Let us remember that the procedure was carried out after a double investigation that originated a year ago, directed by the Western Metropolitan Prosecutor’s Office, and coordinated by the Criminal Investigation Department (DICRIM) of the Chilean Gendarmerie, and the OS9 of the Carabineros, within the framework of the Investigative Focus for the Fight against Organized Crime in Prisons.

Among the accused are a captain of the institution, his partner, also a Gendarmerie official, a senior non-commissioned officer, a sergeant and five other officials with the rank of corporal. Regarding the dynamics of the events, the Western Metropolitan regional prosecutor, Marcos Pastén, explained that the investigation began with an aspect of arms and ammunition trafficking carried out by inmates in different prisons, who agreed with the buyers through social networks and calls from cell phone. Thus, yesterday, in the formalization, three of the six officials were ordered early preventive detention, which they must comply with once the measures they are under have been completed. In addition, the Western Prosecutor’s Office requested preventive detention for the 9 gendarmes, which must be resolved during today’s session, Wednesday, when the hearing resumes.

The eventual “leader” of the network

According to the prosecutor, this first investigation yielded residual information that made it possible to detect the discovery of a network of corruption, bribery, money laundering and illicit association in the La Serena prison facility. In this regard, Pastén assures that this organization was led by the aforementioned Gendarmerie captain, who, along with the other officials, allowed the entry of cell phones, food and other prohibited items in exchange for payments through demand accounts and RUT of people close to them.

“In addition, in some cases we detected that certain inmates were not released. Unlocking is an activity that consists of removing inmates from their cells and taking them to the patios to carry out internal regime activities. This procedure involves removing all people from a cell, but, by not being released, they were allowed to carry out illicit activities, such as telephone scams, from inside the prison. All this was done after payment of a sum of money,” said the persecutor. Regarding the captain referred to as the leader of the corruption network, he would have worked in the Huachalalume accused module. Regarding her partner, the Prosecutor’s Office agreed to a precautionary measure other than preventive detention for her, for being in the care of two young daughters, decreeing nighttime house arrest, national roots and prohibition of communicating with the rest of the accused.

According to the investigation, the couple of gendarmes had been in the area for around three years and would have an excellent relationship with their peers, even beyond work, who were surprised by this situation.

“Setup” of the Prosecutor’s Office

In this regard, defense lawyer Carlo Silva indicated that not a single gram of drugs or money was found in the house of the civil servants’ couple. “In addition, how is he going to be assigned to be the leader of the criminal association, if the captain worked in the accused module and this entire process was carried out in the convicted module? It is a tremendous lie on the part of the Public Ministry. What happened is that they looked for the highest-ranking official and put him as the leader, which is a tremendous lack of truth,” the professional accused.

Regarding yesterday’s hearing, Silva explained that the court agreed to the incident he presented, so the Public Ministry provided all the information on the investigation. “I was able to perceive from the background of the investigation, that the whole great scenario that they (Prosecutor’s Office) set up regarding that it is a gigantic organization, linked to arms trafficking, linked to drug trafficking, there is none of that against my clients. “said the lawyer. In that sense, he maintains that arms trafficking occurred in the prisons of the Metropolitan Region, the same as drug trafficking. “These events are not absolutely linked to any of the Huachalalume prison officials,” the defender emphasized.

However, Silva recognizes that the only thing that could exist are possible crimes of bribery and money laundering crimes, but that they would be “completely debatable” antecedents. “They really do not exist for all defendants. For some cases yes, for others no, history of transfer registration, messaging or some history that really links them to the commission of crimes,” concluded the defender.

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