Chile’s congressional review commission rejects constitutional accusation against Interior Minister

Chile’s Minister of the Interior, Izkia Siches. – MINISTERIO DE INTERIOR DE CHILE

The constitutional accusation of Chile’s Interior Minister, Izkia Siches, was rejected on Monday by the Chilean congressional commission in charge of reviewing the petition presented on June 16 by the ultra-right-wing Republican Party.

With three votes against and only one in favor, the accusation against Siches for allegedly having violated the Constitution – by declaring a state of emergency in the South Macrozone due to the situation of violence in the Araucanía region – has been denied, reported 24 horas Chile.

Despite the refusal of the parliamentary commission, the Chilean Parliament will have to vote on the accusation. If two thirds of the Senate approves it, Siches would be removed from office and could not exercise public functions for five years, as already happened in 2019 with the then Minister of the Interior, Andres Chadwick.

However, it is unlikely that the motion will go forward, since, from the beginning, the constitutional accusation does not have the support of the Chile Vamos coalition, key votes for its approval.

In addition, the opposition has even labeled the accusation as a «political mistake», and has argued that it is not the right time to take such an action against Siches, according to the aforementioned channel.

The accusation against Siches took place after Siches activated the state of emergency in the South Macrozone due to the situation of violence in La Araucanía, the Chilean region with the highest concentration of Mapuche indigenous people. This «intermediate state», proposed by the Executive, presided by Gabriel Boric, allows the Chilean military to «guard routes and roads» to confront violent groups.

Following the state of emergency, the Republican Party submitted an accusation – a 159-page document – to the General Secretariat of the Chilean Lower House, assuring that Siches had «seriously compromised the honor of the Nation», as well as its security. In addition, the Republican Party accused the minister of infringing the Constitution and the laws, and «for having left these without execution», as reported by ‘Bio Bio Chile’.

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