SANTIAGO – Eight people were arrested on Thursday, Nov. 26, by Chile’s investigative police following an inquiry into death threats against public prosecutor Ximena Chong. At the arrestees’ houses and office, automatic weapons were found. The group’s office is tied to the Rechazo movement.
In the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 26, police arrested eight people (six men and two women) belonging to a group called, “The Vanguard.” The arrestees are suspected of having made death threats to public prosecutor Ximena Chong. Chong is leading the case against the police officer who pushed a protester from a bridge during a protest in early October.
In the homes of the eight, military helmets, bulletproof vests, two pistols, an UZI machine gun and a semi-automatic rifle were found, as well as shields emblazoned with the “Rechazo” slogan. All eight lived in Las Condes, Lo Barnechea, Ñuñoa, and La Cisterna. The group used an office on Avenida Apoquindo, on the same floor as the headquarters of the Rechazo movement. The eight were arrested thanks to an investigation by Chile’s investigative police, PDI, which checked security cameras the day the death threats were delivered to Chong by two people on motorcycles.
Jueves🔵 8 personas, 6 hombres y 2 mujeres fueron detenidas por el delito de amenazas contra fiscal @Xchong . @PDI_CHILE allanó casas y una oficina en Las Condes, Lo Barnechea, Ñuñoa, Quinta Normal y La Cisterna. Se incautó armamento, municiones, cascos, escudos // @Cooperativa pic.twitter.com/5Q6Id2IZMF
— Jean Claude Penjean (@JCPenjean) November 26, 2020
The letter delivered to Chong’s home read:
I am pleased to tell you that I am part of a group of citizens concerned about your threat to the future of Chile, your permanent political activism and attacks on our Carabineros de Chile, and the values that sustain our republic. Corrupt people like you have no place in our nation and that we will take whatever measures we deem necessary, whatever they may be, to defend our country. If you consider that this letter constitutes a serious threat to your psychological and physical integrity, then you are correct. We suggest that you and your followers, who continually contribute to the decline of our nation and our justice, correct your actions as soon as possible.
Shortly after the arrests, Interior Undersecretary Juan Francisco Galli told Radio Cooperativa that the weapons found were “mere gadgets.” “Yes, what is worrisome is a 9-millimeter semi-automatic weapon, which is a prohibited weapon in our country …. The other gadgets were not of great importance,” Galli said, referring to the fact that the two pistols found were blank weapons and could not fire shots.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.