A group of Chilean parliamentarians is studying the possibility of filing a constitutional indictment against President Sebastian PineraAfter it emerged that the president had been involved in a sale agreement for a mining company in a tax haven.
According to a major international investigation called “Pandora’s Papers” by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) jointly with the Center for Investigative Journalism (Ciper) and LaBot, The Piñera and Délano families signed a purchase agreement for the Dominga mining company in 2010 In the British Virgin Islands located in the Caribbean.
Dominga Mining is a Chilean resistant mining project located in the Coquimbo region, north of Santiago. This project belongs to the Andes Iron company controlled by the Délano . family He wants to build two mines to extract iron and copper concentrates and a giant port to export his production.
This is supposed to be near Humboldt Penguin National Park, in the municipality of La Higuera, in the Coquimbo region.
The deal signed by both families was to happen in 2010 when the president and his family were the biggest shareholders in the mining project Occupying 33% of its shares. In December of that year, Chilean businessman Carlos Alberto “Choclo” Delano decided to buy $152 million a percentage of all of Dominga’s partners, Including the part addressed by President Pinera.
The purchase agreement consists of Three installments and the transaction was closed with a signed document for $14 million and another in the British Virgin Islands for $138 million.. The first installment was due on December 10, 2010 at $106.8 million, the second was $21 million while the last was $9.9 million. And it will be canceled only if “the rules in the area in which the mining project will take place have not changed.”
that by saying, Payment of the last installment was based on “the sector not turning into an exclusion zone.” or become a national park or national reserve, Which would inevitably hinder the development of the Dominga project in that regionA, as well as the construction of a port 50 kilometers away.”
This scenario fell on the first government of President Sebastian Pinera, which took place from March 2010 to March 2014. In his first government, Piñera announced the relocation of the Barrancones thermoelectric plant, which would be located in this same sector. “I have agreed with Suez to relocate the Barrancones thermoelectric plant in such a way that it is far from the Ponta Choros sector.“Isla Damas and Isla Gaviota protect this sanctuary of nature,” said President Pinera at the time.
however, Barrancones planned to operate in the same sector that Dominga wants to install todayDélano Family Project.
In 2017, it was learned that the Piñera family was behind the Dominga mining company and a parliamentary investigation was opened Whereas, Piñera supposedly “sought to benefit Dominga Mining in August 2010, when the institutional environmental framework was arbitrarily and bypassed.” The construction of the Barrancones thermal power plant in the town of La Higuera has been cancelled.. Regardless of the above, Piñera was expelled by Chilean justice.
Last August, the Dominga project was approved by 11 votes to 1,, which angered environmentalists at the national and international levels, who described it as “scandalous”. The hasty decision of the authorities to give the green light to this $2.5 billion initiative.
The information revealed by the “Pandora Papers” prompted a group of parliamentarians to announce a possible constitutional indictment of President Pinera. for this new scandal. The constitutional indictment is a tool that looks for the responsibilities of public officials An accused person of constitutional violations that, in the worst case, result in dismissal or expulsion.
For Christian Democratic Political Party (DC) Deputy Bureau Chief Gabriel Silber, “It is very serious that President Pinera has subjected the approval of an environmental permit to an economic process In which he participates or has a direct interest in, this calls into question the independence of the authority of the President of the Republic.”
Representative Marcelo Diaz said that this information “It is very dangerous, because it confirms that President Sebastian Pinera is using the institutional framework of the state for his own benefit, in this case, to increase his already large assets, his enormous wealth.”
however, The constitutional accusation is still under study because the events referred to in the journalistic investigation took place during the first Pinera government.. This has even led to the possibility of some parliamentarians studying the details of the authorities’ approval of Dominga that took place last August, To check if there was any influence whatsoever on this decision. It is expected that deputies and deputies take a position on this issue on Monday or Tuesday.
Defense of the Chilean presidency
Through a press release, La Moneda came out to defend President Pinera by demonstrating The facts mentioned regarding the sale of Minera Dominga have already been investigated It was thoroughly investigated by the Public Prosecution Office and the Courts of Justice during 2017 and the Public Prosecutor’s Office recommended that the case be terminated due to the absence of a crime, compliance with the law and the non-participation of President Sebastian Pinera in the above process.”
“The President has never shared or had any information regarding the sale of Minera DomingaIt is a process that took place in 2010 when the president no longer had any involvement in the management of those companies,” the government said.
In a personal defense at Palacio de la Moneda on Monday, “The decision to sell Dominga Mining was not consulted or notified to me,” the president emphasized.and that “It is not true that there is new information, the information is known in the process; I can send you press clippings.”