In La Moneda they say the officer still has the support of the government, but his performance and especially his leadership are questioned, not only in the political world and in the governing party itself, but also within the ranks of the uniformed police itself. His internal enemies, they said at the institution, were reactivated, and General Rivera's resignation this week was seen as an unmistakable sign that his command ability is being increasingly dominated.
Although Hermes Soto still has the support of the government to remain director general of the Carabineros, he can hardly be calm. There are many open fronts, flanks of political and internal conflicts in the institution, which leave no room to avoid new mistakes, second versions or bad surprises for La Moneda, as has been the trend in the turbulent month that has faced uniformed police and administration of Sebastián Piñera after the crime of Camilo Catrillanca in the hands of the Jungle Command.
From the Palace, the transversal version is that General Soto will not leave his post just eight months after the appointment and, even less, if his appointment is closely linked to Piñera's media decision to renew deeply the High Command of the Carabineros, after the crisis that the institution experimented due to the millionaire "Pacogate" fraud and Operation Hurricane fiasco. This was the movement with which the current government debuted to do what the previous government did not do and that is why it weighs so much today in La Moneda that makes it difficult for them to think about getting as much heads of uniformed police.
Likewise, Soto can not be calm; moreover, not a few believe that he hangs by a thread and one of the reasons is because in his own ranks there is a strong questioning of his leadership. Carabineros sources agree that the failure to defend General Christian Franzani – whose resignation was expressly requested by the Interior Ministry – undermined Soto's ascendancy among the troops. Franzani, a former director of Order and Security, and to whom the Public Prosecutor's Office has focused the meetings he held in La Araucanía after the crime of Catrillança.
In fact, Franzani's replacement, General Jose Luis Rivera, lasted only a few days in office and told the press, "I'm leaving, I do not want my family to come after me. resignation at least until today, not to complicate the government before the interpellation to Minister Andres Chadwick, who happened yesterday afternoon in the House of Representatives. Something that clearly did not happen, since Monday was already known about the resignation.
Rivera's words were interpreted within the Carabineros as an unmistakable sign that General Soto's command ability is increasingly broken. In this context, it is not ruled out that other officers may submit to general resignation, those who have already expressed their reserve to depart and to whom the director general would have made the same request to wait a few days.
The internal noise that led to the departure of Franzani increases the fact that the troops, they say, feel that members of the Jungle Command were unnecessarily "exposed" to an investigation as civilians and not in a Martial Court for obstruction of justice and homicide . . This tension made all the "enemies" of Soto in the ranks of the Carabineros – who at the beginning of his administration tried to thwart his rise, exposing his reactivated curriculum and are now in full swing, much stronger in the face of evident weakness. in which the general is.
The origin of lies
But there is something else that can take Hermes Soto's sleep. Since Monday, promoters Roberto Garrido, Cristián Paredes and Jorge Caldarara are in Santiago for a round of key interrogations, especially to clear the "obstruction of justice" limit. In other words, how the idea of delivering a false version of Catrill's death took shape.
On Monday, General Soto was questioned as a witness. Prosecutors asked him how he heard about the operation in which the young member of the Mapuche community died and when exactly he knew that Gope's troops were lying.
This last detail is fundamental to what happens to the CEO's future. Last week, lawyer Cristián Inostroza Quiñiñir was declared accused, and what has happened so far is that this legal counsel Carabineros is identified as one who joined – along with the police – the version of the crossfire product. of a confrontation with the Mapuches. The same version that supposedly was transmitted to Soto.
On Monday, General Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, the former general auditor of the Carabineros, resigned on November 19, claiming "personal reasons," according to what he said. The secondHe was the first to contact Inostroza for the legal support of the police involved and then warned Soto – via a WhatsApp message – that it was "important and complicated". According to him, the order of the director general of the Carabineros was "to send a powerful team to support those elderly people."
But that order was like a shot in the foot. So far, it has been known that Inostroza helped mount the fake version on the instruction of Franzani, one of the members of the High Command closest to Soto.
Currently, both Franzani – who testified yesterday before the prosecutors – and Inostroza are outside the Carabineros and no longer owe total loyalty to the institution, except General Soto. Inside the uniformed police confirmed that the relationship between the director general and his former chief of Order and Security is completely cut off. Something that clearly poses a risk because if they involved the highest uniformed police authority in front of the prosecutors at the origin of the fake version, they would be left with no room for action or possibilities to survive the crisis. And given Chadwick's close collaboration with promoter Cristián Paredes at La Moneda, they would be the first to know.
No credit line
La Moneda already "pardoned his life" when he was summoned on Monday, December 3, to give explanations for the video that Sergeant Carlos Alarcón recorded while in custody and in which he claimed to have been forced to lie. President Piñera, Chadwick and Undersecretary of the Interior Rodrigo Ubilla attended the meeting and there were recriminations against Soto, who acknowledged that he had no explanation for the recording and dissemination of the irregular video. At that meeting were also General Kurt Haarmann, staff director, former Chadwick field helper and one of those who sounds to replace Soto in case the final decision is to remove him.
Government sources acknowledge that "a change in the scenario may pave the way for General Soto's withdrawal." This means that until today it continues with the political support of La Moneda, but that any other irregular situation would mean the end of the official like director general.
In the Government it also annoys that the questioning to Soto, from the recent facts, has caused to grow the antagonistic sides in the institution, the invoices to collect between "villalobistas and hermesistas", which increases the confusion in the ranks of uniformed police
Even the support of the ruling party is not monolithic. On the one hand, RN helmsman Mario Desbores is with General Soto, but the party's deputy, Gonzalo Fuenzalida, was categorical two days ago when he said he had "doubts that he could continue with the things that are." happening and still with what we will discover that we do not know (…). Obviously, a person questioned in his position has to make his position available. "