A month ago the general director of Carabineros (s), Marcos Tello, attended the fourth mixed subcommittee of the Budget in the Congress. Accompanied by other officials exposed the financial situation of the institution with a view to next year and said that, despite the context of the millionaire fraud being investigated, perpetrated by a mafia of officials in the uniformed police, "everything works normally."
The expression annoyed the parliamentarians, as the ruling senator Carlos Montes (PS) or the opposition deputy Cristian Monckeberg (RN), who showed their objections and folded to the initiative to suspend the processing of this game, until not knowing, between Other things, what is the actual endowment of active Carabineros officials. This detail was particularly important from the data collected by the investigating commission on irregularities in the administration of the aforementioned police institution.
The general, in his presentation, advanced one of the conclusions reached by the deputies of the commission in charge of investigating the origins and responsibilities in the scheme with which the fraud was executed. Tello said that, in addition to withdrawing money from the accounts destined to pay evictions, those involved in the fraud "put their hands on personnel spending accounts (…) it is not information that is confirmed because it is part of the investigative process (but) of what we could establish, it is fundamentally those places that were assigned to the institution and that for various reasons were not occupied ".
These unoccupied squares are what the parliamentarians of the commission, and other people close to the investigation of the case, have called "Carabineros fantasmas". In figures represent, in practice, a very attractive money well, which after 11 years meant an important source of income for the executors of the crime, which so far exceeds 26 billion pesos, without anyone in said lapse, apparently, suspected or realized anything.
The thread that Villalobos delivered
On May 15, during the second session of the commission of the Chamber, the general director estimated the strength of Carabineros, between civilians and operatives, at 58,228 people. The point is that the 2017 Budget delivered money considering a total of 65,085. During the last decade this gap has remained, between the Carabineros squares that work effectively and others for which there are resources, but which have not been completed. A new type of officials is born in this way, the "carabineros fantasmas", which are considered in such Budget, but do not exist.
So far, on the occasion of the fraud, this difference in the endowment was not known because Article 436 of the Code of Military Justice establishes that the exact number of people who are part of the Armed Forces and Carabineros is a secret. The only figure known is that which General Bruno Villalobos delivered to the commission.
In this way, the difference in 2017 between operative police and others for which there is money but that do not exist, was 6,853 cash. In other words, vacancies that have not been filled and that, however, are considered in fiscal spending. In June, 1,500 uniformed police officers were released, who join the 2018 contingent, but who still do not cover the difference.
The mafia pit
For the deputy Leonardo Soto (PS), member of the commission, this data of the difference between the paid quota and the one that actually operates, arose from a question. "When we saw that the fraud exceeded 26 billion, we asked ourselves what part of the Carabineros budget was left unfulfilled from the resources stolen and we found this money that was delivered and for years it was impoverished. In addition, who defended the budget in the Congress and in front of the Ministry of Finance, was the own general Flavio Echeverría ", details Soto, in reference to the general who, according to the Public Ministry, is the boss of the mafia formed to defraud.
In July 2017, General Carlos Carrasco, deputy director of Carabineros between December 2013 and August 2015, acknowledged in the commission that the Department of Remuneration was never included in the audits.
No reference was made to the remuneration item, since the amounts to be allocated were in relation to the places and grades of the Public Employees Scale approved by law. He explained that the effective allocation was determined by the Magazine List, which is an instrument in which the agencies register their staff and the benefits to which they have access.
That List of Magazine was crossed with the official documents of ups and downs, since there had to be backs in decrees or resolutions to determine the effective endowment. With this, one could know, with a degree of certainty, the real cost of fixed remuneration. On the other hand, the variable remunerations, which is where the criminal situation was located, were calculated on the basis of the historical budget, increased by the percentage of increase of places, plus an annual corrector. Through internal and external audits of the General Inspectorate and the Comptroller General of the Republic, respectively, the normal execution was reported, with observations of form and substance, as was the case of the final audit report No. 30.
In addition, variable remuneration was monitored and monitored by the general assistant director of travel expenses, flight and navigation allowances, tickets, freight and risk assignments, among others, in order to be part of the annual availability. , since there were always missing resources. Thus, he said, "the finance director gave an account of how the execution was going, which was normally overdrawn, in case the general assistant director warned the distributors about that condition." The general assistant director observed and controlled from a macrosystem, since he was the director of Finance who gave an account of the way in which the budget execution was developed ", explained Carrasco.
No one noticed
The general admitted only a political responsibility in the fraud. "It's about political and administrative responsibilities, having been at a time when the events were happening. Also, (Carrasco) guaranteed that he had no knowledge of the situation, because, as happened on two previous occasions, he reported the incident. Regarding the risk matrix for the management control of the institution, he expressed doubt that the theft had been considered, since the budgetary risk of the institution was in the misallocation of the money, either in an equivocal or fraudulent way, as for example that a prefecture recognized risk assignment to all the personnel that worked in the administrative area, without it proceeding legally. To this type of orientation of fraud, the misappropriation of benefits, the weakness was oriented ", the report of the Investigating Commission specifies.
In his appearance, the general acknowledged a fact that opened the doors to both parliamentarians and the Public Ministry to find one of the substantial sources of fraud.
"There was a fairly large surplus in terms of remuneration, a condition that favored criminals. In Remunerations, money was never lacking. The plant law defined a certain number of officers and personnel that the budget financed, but in the effective force there was always a deficit of around 5,000 to 6,000 people, "Carrasco told the parliamentary body.
However, for deputy Sergio Espejo there is a long chain of responsibilities. "The recruitment and inspection of personnel is the responsibility of Carabineros. After the Ministry of the Interior and also the Dipres. It is not clear that this fraud has been financed exclusively by this route, but it could have been, given that the people involved came from the Department of Finance and Remuneration, "says Espejo.
And he adds: "During this time a practice of secrecy has been protected that often does not protect the situation with which it was instituted, the mayors know perfectly how many Carabineros have in their commune. But the opacity in the administration of the Armed Forces and Order is one of the deficits maintained by the State of Chile and must be addressed by the next administration, "he says, emphasizing that what reaches the Parliament is the budget of the main envelope to finance and not the detail of the cash or what, in institutional jargon, is called Magazine List.
Deputy Soto says that, after this district week, will present a project to change the Code of Military Justice, so that you can know the actual endowment of the different branches of the Armed Forces, since the secret can cover similar practices to those detected in Carabineros in other branches of the Defense. For both parliamentarians, General Bruno Villalobos is responsible for the omissions that gave rise to the fraud.
"According to Villalobos, there was a culture of lack of control in the institution that was tolerated and also protected by the civil authorities," says Espejo.
Anyway, according to the calculations made by the entities that investigate the fraud, while the mafia lasted, for more than a decade an average of 3,000 million pesos a year was subtracted.
In the context of the approximately 1.3 billion pesos that Carabineros receives, it can be a marginal percentage that was not detected. This year, if the Budget is approved, it will have an increase of 2.7%, reaching a total of 1,745 million dollars, of which 1,364 million are spent on personnel expenses.
For now, to unblock the processing from Carabineros, ensure that they have already sent the information with the actual endowment to Congress. Regarding the gap between the staff that actually works and the one that is considered in the Budget, they explained that "a vacancy percentage is maintained, which was reported to Congress, this situation is due, among other fundamentals, to aspects associated with a decrease in the processes of application and selection, and a permanent policy of purification of our ranks, either during the training process or institutional career.
Concluding that, "in the latter case, those who request their voluntary retirement are also included, for which Carabineros is facing this situation through different recruitment and selection plans, which are being periodically improved".