No veto: Orellana and Ríos deny the cancellation of Ángel Valencia and underline the deficient work of the prosecution in prosecuting crimes against women


“We hope to work, whoever is in charge of that institution, because what worries us is its functioning”, were the words of the minister for women and gender equality, Antonia Orellana, in response to questions on a alleged veto Miguel Ángel Valencia for the post of national prosecutor.

The situation began on Monday, when Justice Minister Marcela Ríos commented in the Senate that Antonia Orellana would rule on a possible nomination of Ángel Valencia to the post.

“Here the decision that the President has taken is to evaluate which person best meets the responsibilities for that office and in no case with respect to a list of shortcomings or buts that may be had from the other candidates, all legitimate candidates, ratified by the Supreme Court, and of which we have not raised any public reproach in this regard. Another thing is that women’s organizations and those that fight against gender-based violence and the minister herself (Orellana), who has a specific mandate to deal with these issues, have expressed concern ”, Marcela Ríos said in the upper house.

The minister’s words immediately captured the attention of public opinion, a situation that did not leave the UDI parliamentarians indifferent, who indicated that they were evaluating the possibility of questioning minister Orellana, assuring that the secretary of state had vetoed the name Valencia and, moreover, its influence has problematized other edges in La Moneta.

“We are convinced that another distorting element is the minister of women, who vetoed a name for the national prosecutor, vetoed the entry into the government of the priest Felipe Berríos, but his defense of feminism says nothing with the political lynching of the former Development Seremi Sociale. It would be healthy if the minister could come to the Chamber to explain her gender policies ”, commented the deputy Gustavo Benavente, of the Constitutions Commission.

For its part, Valencia has sent an email to the Bar Association to officially pronounce itself on the public cancellation of his person. In particular by feminist organizations and by Minister Orellana.

It should be remembered that the Chilean network against violence against women has publicly and emphatically questioned Valencia’s possible appointment as national prosecutor, due to his participation in the defense of former judge Luis Barría, accused of the alleged crime of sexual abuse of an official of the guarantee court of Rancagua.

Another of the highlighted cases in which Valencia has been part of the defense is that of the Chilean-Spanish psychologist, David Bros San Martín, convicted of sexual abuse and rape of a minor in the city of Antofagasta.

In fact, once the rapist was found guilty, Valencia tried to cancel the sentence by filing a complaint against the judges of the Oral Criminal Court who issued the sentence.

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Both Antonia Orellana and Marcela Ríos came out to clarify the statements and clarify that the concerns expressed by the ministries refer to the deficient work of the Prosecutor’s Office on crimes against women and diversity.

“I was very frank: here the government has not made any veto. The minister for women has not vetoed any candidate. What the minister has raised several times in her role is her concern about the lack of effectiveness of the prosecutor’s office in the prosecution of crimes against women. So, here I want to insist: there is no veto on any candidate, neither from the political committee, nor from the president, nor from this minister, nor from the minister for women,” Ríos told CNN.

For her part, Minister Orellana specified that her concerns are framed precisely in the null participation of the National Prosecutor’s Office in the Report on the Intersectoral Circuit on Femicide, a document whose purpose is to provide information on the characterization of the social problem of femicide in Chile and the its victims…

”In this circuit, although it has been going on for 9 years, the national prosecutor’s office is not present and it is precisely the space in which we have our first response when acts of extreme violence occur. Unfortunately, participation is at the discretion of each regional prosecutor”.

Another point of objection refers to the impunity that currently exists when it comes to gender-based violence. ”Domestic violence is one of the most reported crimes in the country, however only around six thousand complaints make it to trial and only 4% of these are convicted. This is impunity”, said Minister Orellana.

Finally, she highlighted the absence of a gender perspective in cases of legitimate defense of women and dissidents.

”There are women who are persecuted by the prosecutor without having a gender perspective. These are the points that concern us as a Ministry for Women with respect to the national prosecutor’s office and on which we hope to work, whoever is the person who presides over that institute, because what worries us is the functioning of the institute itself”.

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