Military Prosecutor: Politics does not interfere with Chilean justice

The chief prosecutor of the Tamarugal, Hardy Torres, assured that in Chile the independence of the powers existed, so that political power could not intervene in the case of the alleged theft and the illegal possession of the armed forces accused. All three are in preventive detention. However, Bolivian Defense Minister Edmundo Novillo said diplomatic channels would be used to secure his release.

The Bolivian soldiers were arrested by Chilean police early in the morning of September 8 in Colchane commune, 15 kilometers from the border. They were brought to court on Saturday and, at the request of Prosecutor Torres, they were ordered to be held in preventive detention. Their freedom is seen as a “threat to the security of society”.

Torres told Erbol yesterday that the case is now on trial and that there is no political interference in the judiciary.

“I cannot imagine the legal possibility that there could be a diplomatic arrangement that would allow the judicial process to be rendered ineffective; in Chile the separation of powers is absolute, so political power cannot intervene in the decisions of the judicial authorities, ”said the prosecutor in an interview with Erbol.

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He added that the investigation found WhatsApp messages from one of the soldiers proving his knowledge that he is entering Chilean territory.

When asked whether the applicants were being investigated for alleged vehicle smuggling, the public prosecutor stated that the facts were difficult to prove, as the offense was committed when crossing the border and fell under Bolivian jurisdiction.

Torres confirmed that two cases were also found, corresponding to the weapons carried by the Bolivians.

He pointed out that this is the fourth time Bolivian military personnel have been arrested in Chile and urged the authorities to think about what is being done wrong so that this continues to happen.

For his part, Minister Novillo said he would diplomatically insist on obtaining prisoners’ freedom. “What we will always do is use diplomatic channels, the Chilean authorities (and that) the Chilean judiciary above all understands the real facts; They are members of the military and have only prevented smuggled vehicles from entering Bolivia, ”repeated Novillo.

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The prisoners – identified as Lieutenant Jaime Herbas, Second Lieutenant Niger Ponce and Second Sergeant José Bautista Carvajal – are accused in Chile of alleged robbery with intimidation and illegal possession of weapons in the neighboring country.


Defense Minister Edmundo Novillo hopes that the “demonstration of the real events” will take place in the early hours of September 8th. The national authority indicated that the military was doing its job in the fight against smuggling.

“From the government, from the Ministry of Defense, we want to convey our solidarity (and support) to their families; Give our compatriots a lot of strength, a lot of courage, a lot of courage (because) they are great patriots who have accomplished their mission, ”he added.

With that in mind, he reiterated that the government is with them and will support them at all times until they regain their freedom as they only protect the borders.


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