SANTIAGO – The Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army, Ricardo Martinez admitted that officers sold weapons to gangs of drug traffickers in a new case of corruption in the military branch, which ignited the alarms of the Government and Congress after requesting reports from the military authority.
In a secret recording to which the local publication The Clinic agreed, Martinez addressed 900 officers this week in an Army classroom to talk about military corruption and the ties of some military to organized crime.
“We have information that there are officers and a permanent cadre who buy weapons through legal channels, who then give them up for lost, but what they are doing is selling them to narcos, criminal groups,” said Martinez.
The head of the military branch, which took office this year amid allegations of corruption and lack of integrity within the institution, stressed that the only way to deal with the crisis was with a strong command and without internal fractures.
The Army declined to comment on the revealed audio, while Defense Minister Alberto Espina said that Martínez “made reference to events that occurred in the past, which are in military justice.”
“He told me that (…) what he did was to exemplify facts from the past that were not going to be admissible under any circumstances under the orders of the new command of the Army,” said Espina.
All in all, he added that he asked Martinez for “all the details” in a report that must be submitted on Friday.
Socialist senator Álvaro Elizalde, meanwhile, said that the Commander-in-Chief of the Army will be summoned to the Senate Defense Committee after the audios were released.–MercoPress