To the insults and jeers of House of Representative members, Chile's far-right Deputy Ignacio Urrutia lauded President Sebastian Piñera's decree to remove a bill that could have awarded about U$S153 million to victims of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990).
The decree was lauded by the open supporter of the Pinochet regime, Ignacio Urrutia from the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), who said: "This is excellent news that the government removed this disastrous project because this isn't the only time (the government) has given benefits, yet the tenth time it has to give little gifts to people that, more than exiles, were terrorists.
"This is perfect timing for the government to remove this bill thought would have given a bonus again to these people. I sincerely hope that we don’t see this type of legislation in the future."
The house immediately erupted in jeers and whistles. One member yelled "Murderer!" and another yelled "You don't deserve to be in the Chamber, Urrutia!"
Social media soon showed a video of a fellow house representative Pamela Jiles from the Humanist Party (PH) marching up to Urrutia and angrily saying something while she hit his arm three times before other legislators escorted her away.
"I tried to address Urrutia, but I was interrupted by four other parliamentary members that seem to think I have an impactful physical force because they tried to deter me by sweeping me away to protect that man that they thought needed protection," Jiles said.
"I couldn't even address him; I had to yell at him that his attitude was inadmissible and I received verbal aggression," the PH member told La Tercera.
"If this is how the government is going to act when it loses votes in this space of popular sovereignty, removing bills and taking the ball back home, and sending its thugs to Congress."
Natalia Castillo of the Revolutionary Party (RD) said: "The Piñera administration invites us to work together for national agreements, but in practice his representatives incite hate and division."
Representative Alvaro Elizalde said: "We think the government, as well as the UDI, owes an explanation for removing the bill as well as the offences voiced by (Urrutia)."
The bill was introduced by former President Michelle Bachelet before she left office in March and would have awarded about US$5,000 to some 27,950 survivors or their families, and was approved by the house's human rights commission yesterday.
Piñera's administration said it didn't have the money to pay out the rewards to those who suffered human rights violations and torture at the hand of Pinochet.
"Unfortunately this project has a very high cost and it doesn't come with financing," said Secretary General of the Ministry of the Presidency Gonzalo Blumel.
Urrituria later complained to the press that his arm hurt and that Jiles took advantage of being a woman by hitting him, something he says a man wouldn't have got away with.