Chilean Army Commander-in-Chief Ricardo Martinez revealed that officers sell weapons to drug traffickers during a speech that was registered at the Santiago Military School.
"We have information that there are officers and permanent staff who buy weapons through legal channels, who abandon them, but what they are doing is selling them to groups of traffickers, criminals," Martinez said in audio published by The Clinic
The intervention of the military chief occurred in the main hall of the Military School, which lasted about two hours and was heard by more than 900 uniformed employees.
Martinez gave no further details of his charges, but asked to be "careful" about these facts and said they must face "a strong command, no internal fractures."
"An army without discipline is a horde of very dangerous people," he said.
These statements are made amid scandals of million-dollar fraud and misappropriation revealed months ago within the Army that led to the removal of 21 generals, about half of the high military command.
Last October, Gen. John Griffiths, second in command of the Army behind Martinez, was arrested on the order of the military judicial system investigating a network of civilians and uniforms over the last two years for the misappropriation of millionaire funds used for travel derived from reserved law.
"The last seven months for me were not easy, having to face everything. And they come more," Martinez said in the tape, which also did not rule out that irregularities also occur in the Air Force and Navy.
The government reacted to statements made by the military chief through Defense Minister Alberto Espina, who told a news conference that "these statements contain serious facts," then called Martinez on Friday to specify how many police are involved and to give explanations about the case.
Deputy Alvaro Carter, a member of the Defense Commission and a former member of the Milicogate case, said on Thursday that he officiated a month ago for the Armed Forces because of his suspicions of possible links with drug traffickers.
"It is very serious what was reported by the commander-in-chief of the Army because it reveals a fact that I personally had huge suspicions of." Also, on October 23, I officiated at all military institutions to let me know what happened with the bullets that were not used or were lost, because I have the serious suspicion that they reach our populations in the hands of drug traffickers. ", the parliamentarian questioned via Twitter.
"It is inexplicable that every time a criminal is found, he has an arsenal of war that should only be in the hands of the Armed Forces, the Carabineros or the IDP," he added.
In the controversial speech, Martinez also asked the uniformed to defend with "teeth and teeth" the exclusive system of military retirement, which is obtained after 20 years of service in the institution.
"A pension system like the one we have is unsustainable, not the reality of the country." Thus the general mentioned the change prepared by the government, which would prolong the military career and rule out wage increases in the short term.
"You have to be a strategist. The good to be protected are pensions. Pensions are something that you have to take care of with teeth and teeth, if it is necessary to extend the military career, so that the essence of our pensions prevail, we must do "warned the Army commander-in-chief.