Chile – Corruption and theft: Municipalities, Government and upcoming elections in Maule

We hereby publish an unofficial translation of an article from the Chilean Prensa Chiripilko:

The State of Chile with its current government led by Boric (Frente Amplio) in complicity with the false “Communist” Party faces a deep crisis in economic and political aspects and contradictions in its “social base.” The countless “flips” and false promises made by President Gabriel Boric increasingly disappoint the masses who voted for him in the hope of seeing some real change.

The inherent corruption of bureaucratic capitalism – capitalism typical of semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries like Chile – has revealed the reactionary and country-selling character of all electoral parties, both the ruling party and the opposition. It has reached such a stark scale that today mayors, former mayors, government advisory lawyers and leaders of “non-profit” foundations formalized for corruption and other crimes are paraded in the courts of justice.

Recent examples, especially in the media, are that of the current mayor of the commune of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue (“C”P) – who this morning was in preventive detention -, the former mayor of Maipú, Cathy Barriga (UDI), who is under house arrest, the Hermosilla case with lawyer Luís Hermosilla as the protagonist or the so-called “lingerie” case, with Camila Polizzi as the main accused, a character who used a foundation to carry out corrupt businesses.

These events demonstrate part of the rottenness of the old Chilean State, added to the incessant rise in the cost of living, the housing crisis and the desperate repressive measures such as evictions to ‘tomas’ and occupations, which only increase the anger and unrest of the people against the ruling classes.

For this reason, the oppressing classes – the big bourgeoisie and big landlords – together with their master, Yankee imperialism, must apply the three counterrevolutionary tasks, which are to reinvigorate bureaucratic capitalism, restructure the State and repress the revolution.

To fulfill these tasks, the State needs to gain legitimacy, as a political objective in its war against the people, diverting any spirit of rebellion so that it falls on the “institutional path” which they paint as peaceful and the “only possible”.

Thus, the next municipal elections will be a crucial part of the reaction in their vain attempts to wash their image and “give legitimacy” to the municipalities and regional institutions that, as we briefly outlined in our article from last 1st of May, perform an important job in the exercise of power and local control, both in the cities and the countryside.

Some cases at the local level

Our territory is not alien to what happens at the national level, despite its particularities. And as we have brought to light with various previous articles, our region is characterized by its high rurality and dependence on agricultural production, which influences the economy but also politics and local culture with a strongly semi-feudal base.

In this way, corruption, which is also present in our localities, shows the rottenness of the local institutions of the State where the presence of large estates that extends to municipalities and governorates through historically big landlord parties and personalities linked to agriculture is especially relevant.

We will start with the case of Martín Arriagada (UDI), mayor of the commune of Sagrada Familia – which is part of the province of Curicó and the Mataquito valley – who was removed from his position after being formalized and declared guilty of fraud against the treasury. However, he did not spend a day in jail and was only banned from holding public office for five years.

Arriagada, abusing his power as mayor, allowed his municipality to sell circulation permits to motor vehicles that were listed with fines – an issue that is prohibited by law – benefiting his relatives on multiple occasions as revealed by the investigation itself, his own mother being one of them, the one that accumulated several violations. In this case, head of Internal Control, Isabel Vázquez, was also formalized.

The investigation by the PDI discovered that Arriagada had allowed the sale of more than 1,200 permits, defrauding a total of 805,382,136 pesos.

The motivation that the former mayor would have had to fraud the treasury in this way was the possibility of obtaining political favors among the masses of his commune, gaining followers thanks to the fact that the mayor “makes the move” to obtain circulation permits and thus paved the way to win a new re-election as mayor or some other position in electoral politics.

Additionally, as no minor fact, Arriagada until before his dismissal received around 5,900,000 in salary for his position, that is, almost 13 minimum wages.

Martín Arriagada (UDI)

Other cases are found in the municipality of Hualañé, which is also a commune of the Curicana province and part of the Mataquito valley, and which has been experiencing a series of irregularities, crimes and corruption.

In the previous administration, the former mayor and now councilor Claudio Pucher (UDI) was sanctioned with dismissal from his position for two months after being found guilty of hiring personnel with funds from the Preferential School Subsidy (SEP) to perform functions not linked to education and also for damaging municipal assets. The measure was accompanied by the former mayor receiving only half of his salary.

Claudio Pucher (UDI)

Another episode that reveals irregularities and even possible crimes and corruption is the discussion between the current mayor Carolina Muñóz (DC) and the already appointed councilor Pucher during the municipal council on February 6 of this year.

In this, Claudio Pucher asked the councilor to review a possible non-compliance with the public procurement law, arguing that the current administration has abused the “direct treatment” modality that allows suppliers to be contracted without public bidding, which has been done without go through the approval of the municipal council and that, in addition, closes the doors for different companies to apply, which would be an act of lack of transparency and probity, as he pointed out.

Irritation on the part of Mayor Muñoz was unleashed when she accused the councilor of being “stick-faced” because, according to her, officials are currently being formalized for lack of integrity who come precisely from the former Pucher administration.

Thus a shouting erupted where both accused each other of carrying out irregularities such as allowing officials of the current administration to use municipal vehicles for their own purposes, paying millions in false overtime to officials who are relatives of the mayor, and abuse of power by leaving that the local telecommunications company Hualavisión – which provides television and internet service – uses municipal poles to install its cables, this company being owned by Carolina Muñoz’s partner.

Before ending the session, the mayor responds, extremely confused, that Pucher paid irregular allowances to her ex-partner during her administration.

Regardless of whether the accusations are partially or totally true and the pathetic game of “but if you did it too, why can’t I?” We can point out that this episode is another demonstration of the struggles between the ruling classes and the abuse of power incurred by the councilors, using the people’s money and influences for their own benefit, always with a view to obtaining benefits and political favors that they can use afterwards, especially during election periods.

Carolina Muñoz (DC)

Other regional examples

At the level of the provincial capital, we have the case of human trafficking and modern slavery that we announced in November of last year in an interview with Foundation Libera where officials from the Provincial Government of Curicó led at that time by Macarena Pons (RN) carried out all the efforts to recruit temporary migrant workers who were subjected to forced labor and other humiliations by contracting companies directed by Francisco Mendoza, a subject who had a very fluid relationship with Pons and the officials of the Provincial Government of the day.

To finish exemplifying we have the Maule edge of the so-called “Foundations Case”, where the Regional Government of Maule led by Cristina Bravo (DC) would have signed a fund transfer agreement for almost $600 million pesos in total with the Social Urbanism Foundation and who is currently being investigated for treasury fraud, influence peddling, incompatible negotiation, embezzlement of public funds and others. The case has generated a stir because one of the main directors of the foundation is the current “Seremi [Translator’s note: Secretarías Regionales Ministeriales, that means, the ministerial branch at the region] of Housing of Maule”, Rodrigo Hernández Fernández (RD – Frente Amplio), a subject who belongs to the same conglomerate as Boric.

Cristina Bravo (DC)

Rodrigo Hernández (RD – Frente Amplio)

We reiterate, all these facts are a sample at the local level of what we had advanced in previous articles: “Many municipalities – and other institutions at the regional level – have been discovered forming networks and mechanisms of corruption, where the bourgeois justice itself has condemned mayors, councilors and municipal officials from all electoral parties. In fact, today there are more cases of corruption than municipalities in Chile, with 642 cases being opened according to the national media El Mostrador.”

The elections are coming, the Electoral Boycott is coming

As it is customary, the next municipal candidates will come to offer sky, sea and land, promising to solve the ills that afflict the masses. But as we have shown with the previous examples, we already know that this will only be false promises to continue stealing and committing acts of corruption to the detriment of the people and for the benefit of their petty interests.

Let us remember what Marx highlighted about elections: “The oppressed are authorized to decide once every several years; “What members of the oppressing class must represent and crush them in parliament!”

What path is left for the people then?

The current path must be that of the New Democracy Revolution, especially that of the Agrarian Revolution. This involves fighting to conquer Power for the people through revolutionary struggle, demolishing the old State and building a new one. Elections only serve as means to make propaganda, and at the current time that implies propaganda aimed at denouncing the counterrevolutionary nature of the elections, that is, in the Electoral Boycott.

The revolutionary forces must show what harms the people and what helps and benefits them.

What is stated in this article reaffirms that voting not only harms the people but also gives the ruling classes the legitimacy they need to govern and repress possible rebellions. Let’s not continue doing the same thing, it’s time to do something different.

Therefore, to the oppressed, to the poor, to the masses, we must all understand that little by little our emancipation actually falls to the organization itself and not to solutions invented by lying candidates.

To succeed we need to reconstitute the vanguard Party that Recabarren already founded, together with our own armed forces and a united front of organizations that will allow us to build a new society at our service; that gives land to the peasant, housing to the homeless, work to the worker, health and education to children and young people, decent pensions to our grandparents, in short, all the rights that are fruits of the blood and sweat of the masses but that the oppressors take away and deny. In history there are experiences such as the Ránquil uprising of 1934 that occurred in Lonquimay, which this year we commemorate its 90th anniversary.

Given the upcoming candidates and municipal elections, let’s say:





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