The head of the South Public Ministry, Héctor Barros, resolved to remove from their positions the prosecutor Patricio Rosas and the advisory lawyer Roberto Contreras, who in June 2020 and in the company of the secretary of the Senate Raúl Guzmán, violated the quarantine when attending a restaurant in seafood in San Miguel, without wearing masks, or respecting physical distance.
Barros’ decision confirmed in this way the proposal made by the administrative prosecutor of the case, Christian Toledo, who after several months of investigation estimated that the accumulation of information gathered made the continuity of Contreras and Rosas in the persecuting body untenable.
According to the information gathered by the Radio Bío Bío Investigation Unit, there were a series of facts that were proven in the file that aggravated the situation of the aforementioned.
The first of them is that they violated the prohibition to circulate in the middle of the quarantine decreed by the authority to have lunch in a place that could only sell food via delivery.
It was also considered that after lunch, Contreras and Rosas returned to the building that houses the South Prosecutor’s Office, where they proceeded to breach hygiene and safety protocols, since the temperature was not measured and they used side accesses.
Another fact considered was the improper use of the travel permit and the failure to maintain faultless official conduct, among other disciplinary aspects.
Once notified, the professionals may file two appeals to save the situation. The first is a reconsideration that must be directed to Barros himself where they could request the reduction of the sanction.
If the latter upholds his decision to expel them – as everything indicates – his latest attempt is to appeal to the national prosecutor, Jorge Abbott.
Sources of the entity, indicated that the case is a “hot potato” for Abbott and anticipate that it could use the moment to send a warning signal to the officials of the organization who violate the norms dictated by the health authority.
In fact, at the beginning of last April, Pedro Pinochet, a prosecutor for sexual crimes in the same southern area, was arrested for participating in a clandestine party. The latter also faces an administrative summary.
From the mountain range
The events for which Contreras and Rosas were sanctioned occurred on June 25, 2020 at the restaurant “Loyola”, whose specialty is crazy people.
That day, the aforementioned met for lunch with the secretary of the Senate Raúl Guzmán, former southern regional prosecutor, who traveled in the car provided by Congress, from his home in San Carlos de Apoquindo to San Miguel, where the premises are located. .
The fact was revealed on June 7, 2020 when the Radio Bío Bío Research Unit revealed a photograph of the three diners sitting at a table without masks or keeping their physical distance.
As a result of the foregoing, Abbott appointed the Bío Bío regional chief, Marcela Cartagena, to initiate a criminal investigation.
The persecutor carried out a series of proceedings with the PDI with a view to formalizing Contreras, Rosas and Guzmán for violating article 318 of the Penal Code, which sanctions non-compliance with sanitary regulations, but did not achieve its mission.
The foregoing because the defendants appealed to the Constitutional Court (TC), where they alleged that the fine of 2,500,000 pesos that the Seremi de Salud de Santiago gave them had already sanctioned the infraction. Hence, if they were also charged with criminal charges, they would face a second penalty for the same acts.
In January 2021, the TC accepted the arguments and prohibited them from being brought to justice.
If Abbott agrees with Barros, Contreras and Rosas will be the first to be removed from the Public Ministry during the pandemic, while Raúl Guzmán will continue his work as Secretary of the Senate as if nothing had happened.
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