MIL OSI Translation. Region: Spanish / Latin America / UN –
Source: Chamber of Deputies of Chile
The commission that investigates possible sexual abuse by officials of the FF.AA. who participated in the United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti (CIS 43), known as Minustah, received in their first session of hearings the holders of the RR.EE portfolios. and Defense, Teodoro Ribera and Alberto Espina, respectively; and the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Admiral Rodrigo Álvarez.
It should be remembered that this instance arose after the presentation of an international academic study that revealed that there would be 21 babies linked to the Chilean military, out of 265 stories out of a total of 2,500 interviews. This, the result of different types of relationships, including sexual abuse, a topic that was spontaneously mentioned.
Minister Teodoro Ribera referred to the link of his portfolio with international organizations for the participation of Chile in peace missions in various countries. In Haiti, he explained that the mission represents a great personal and financial effort for the stabilization of democracy in that country.
For his part, Vice Admiral Rodrigo Álvarez, who is in charge of peacekeeping missions, detailed how international collaboration is operationalized; He reported that the staff is trained by the Joint Center for Peace Operations, based on UN guidelines; and reported that there were 13,395 Chilean troops who participated in Haiti, between 2004 and 2018.
He added that cases of sexual abuse are evaluated by heads of mission who report to the UN and, if the case warrants, the judicial investigation is launched. He noted that, in the entire period of the mission in Haiti, only one case of sexual abuse was reported, in 2010, which is dismissed by the Chilean military justice, but which would currently have a paternity suit.
Regarding the academic study, he said that unidentified Haitian women make mention of 21 Chilean military personnel whose identity is not known, nor if they refer to one or more people.
Finally, Foreign Minister Ribera pointed out that there are three parallel investigations: the academic one, which verifies a fact but has no legal value; the UN administrative politician; and a judicial one, which must arise under Haitian law and then go to Chile to collect statements from the eventual involved.
In turn, he indicated that they are awaiting information from the Chilean ambassadors in Haiti and before the UN, to find out if they have received any type of complaint of sexual abuse against Chilean uniformed personnel.
Parliamentarians Jaime Naranjo (PS) and Leonidas Romero (RN) valued the delivery of information by the authorities, since they will help to clarify whether sexual abuse was committed in Haiti.
“I think the step we are taking in this Commission is important, since such a serious and delicate accusation has been made against our Armed Forces. and of Order that they went to that peace mission and it seems to us entirely prudent and advisable to clarify these events in depth, ”said Naranjo, who chairs the instance.
He considered that, if there is someone responsible of any nature, it is necessary that the corresponding sanctions be applied, both in the administrative and political fields.
“The information that was given to us on how the personnel are selected, how long they are in the mission and all the internal processes that are lived in this stage in which these peace missions are sent to various countries has been very illuminating,” he evaluated.
For his part, Deputy Romero said he is not against the Army, the Navy, or the Armed Forces. Nor of Order, but is against those who, using the uniform, do illegal acts such as rape or robbery.
“I think that it is necessary to make this transparent and, if in the end we realize that there is only one case, well, that case will have to respond. But what if there is more than one case and it was hidden? Well, the function of the commission is to reveal the truth, “he stressed.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.