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News > Chile

Chilean Congress Starts Impeachment Procedure Against Piñera

  • President Sebastian Piñera, Chile, 2021.

    President Sebastian Piñera, Chile, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @DemopJ

Published 20 October 2021

The Lower House opposition affirms it has secured 78 votes for the impeachment process to be sent to the Senate. This possibility, however, may not be realized.

On Tuesday, the Chilean congress began to review the Constitutional indictment against President Sebastian Piñera for his involvement in the Dominga Mining Company scandal.


Almost 3 Out Of 4 Chileans Support The Dismissal Of Piñera

Between Nov. 5 and 8, the Lower House is expected to decide whether the impeachment moves forward or not. The opposition parties affirm they have secured 78 votes for the impeachment process to be sent to the Senate.

This provision, however, could not be realized. Some lawmakers from the pro-government National Renovation party and the Independent Democratic Union party have expressed doubts about the relevance of carrying out a political trial against Piñera.

For these groups, his removal appears as a political maneuver amid the current presidential campaign. Thus, it is not easily predictable how the right-wing lawmakers will vote in the Lower House and in the Senate.

Among the people who could testify in the impeachment process are Environment Minister Carolina Shmidt, former Director of the Internal Revenue Service Ricardo Escobar, and Manuel Fuenzalida, who was the prosecutor in charge of the first investigation into the Dominga mining company. State Prosecutor Jorge Abbot, who recused himself from the sessions, was also summoned to answer questions regarding the investigation carried out in 2017.

At the beginning of October, the Pandora Papers revealed new information on the operations of Chilean politicians and businessmen in tax havens. As a result of the foregoing, the Prosecutor's Office opened a new investigation on Piñera and his concealment of assets.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed that the Chilean president sold a mining project in the Virgin Islands. In the contract for this business, the buyer requested that the zone where the project would be carried out not be declared an environmental protection zone. Once Piñera became president, that condition was satisfied, which was contrary to legal and ethical principles.

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