The Chamber of Deputies of Chile votes this Monday a constitutional indictment to decide the removal of the president Sebastian Piñera for the case revealed in the Pandora Papers for the controversial sale of a mining company in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.
The initiative was promoted by the opposition to the conservative president after knowing the terms of the sale of the Dominga mining company by a company of his sons in 2010, which was revealed by the work of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The session will begin with a debate on the origin or not of the accusation -a 99-page document- that accuses Piñera of violating the principle of probity and the right to live in an environment free of contamination, and for having compromised the honor of the nation.
According to the investigation by the Chilean media CIPER and LaBot, included in the Pandora Papers, Piñera’s children sold the Dominga mining company to businessman Carlos Alberto Delano – a close friend of the president – for 152 million dollars.
The operation, which took place during the first Piñera government (2010-2014), was mostly carried out in the Virgin Islands.
The payment had to be made in three installments. A controversial clause made the last payment conditional on “not establishing an area of environmental protection over the area of operations of the mining company, as claimed by environmental groups.”
Once Piñera assumed power, that area, which encompasses a true natural treasure on the shores of the Pacific, it was not considered as a protection zone recommended by its predecessor Michelle bachelet (2006-2010).
According to the deputy who defends the accusation, the socialist Jaime Naranjo, the opposition obtained the necessary support of 78 votes to approve the libel, which must be voted on later in the Senate.
The problem is that voting must be in person and among the deputies who support her is Giorgio Jackson, from the leftist Frente Amplio, who will not be able to attend until midnight.
Jackson is in quarantine until that time for being a close contact with the presidential candidate of the same coalition, Gabriel Boric, who tested positive for coronavirus a week ago.
The deputy explained that a PCR test (swabbing) has already been carried out and it was negative, but until his quarantine is over, he cannot appear in Congress, so the strategy designed by Naranjo requires delaying his accusatory speech for hours.
I have a 1,300-sheet speech. I will speak as long as necessary until Giorgio Jackson is in the chamber of the Chamber of Deputies, “Naranjo said on his Twitter account.
Without that vote, they warn from the opposition, the accusation will not go ahead and will be rejected.
For his part, President Piñera’s lawyer, Jorge Gálvez, said last Monday in Congress that the constitutional accusation is “based on false facts or that have been reported in a crafty and misrepresented way.”
This Monday the president will be able to plead his innocence again before the Lower House carries out the vote to determine whether or not his dismissal is appropriate.